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11: Middle Childhood - Cognitive Development

  • Page ID
    105536
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    Learning Objectives

    After this chapter, you should be able to:

    1. Describe what cognitive theorists share about children and their thinking
    2. Explain how intelligence is measured, the tests used to assess intelligence, the extremes in intelligence, and the concern of bias
    3. Describe the Information Processing Theory
    4. Explain several theories of language development
    5. Compare typical language development with language difficulties

    Cognitive skills continue to expand in middle and late childhood. Children in middle childhood have thought processes that become more logical and organized when dealing with concrete information. Children at this age understand concepts such as past, present, and future, giving them the ability to plan and work toward goals. Additionally, they can process complex ideas such as addition and subtraction and cause-and-effect relationships.1

    • 11.1: Cognitive Theories of Intelligence
      Theorists are able to give different perspectives to the cognitive development of children and psychologists have long debated how to best conceptualize and measure intelligence (Sternberg, 2003). In the next section, we’ll look at Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Sternberg’s alternative view to intelligence, and Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligence. Lastly, you’ll learn about the Information Processing Theory that looks at the cognitive function of children in middle childhood.
    • 11.2: Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
      As children continue into elementary school, they develop the ability to represent ideas and events more flexibly and logically. Their rules of thinking still seem very basic by adult standards and usually operate unconsciously, but they allow children to solve problems more systematically than before, and therefore to be successful with many academic tasks.
    • 11.3: Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences
      Another champion of the idea of specific types of intelligences rather than one overall intelligence is the psychologist Howard Gardner (1983, 1999). Gardner argued that it would be evolutionarily functional for different people to have different talents and skills, and proposed that there are nine intelligences that can be differentiated from each other.
    • 11.4: Information Processing- Learning, Memory, and Problem Solving
      During middle and late childhood children make strides in several areas of cognitive function including the capacity of working memory, their ability to pay attention, and their use of memory strategies. Both changes in the brain and experience foster these abilities.
    • 11.5: Cognitive Processes
      As children enter school and learn more about the world, they develop more categories for concepts and learn more efficient strategies for storing and retrieving information. One significant reason is that they continue to have more experiences on which to tie new information. In other words, their knowledge base, knowledge in particular areas that makes learning new information easier, expands (Berger, 2014).
    • 11.6: Intelligence Testing - The What, the Why, and the Who
      The goal of most intelligence tests is to measure “g”, the general intelligence factor. Good intelligence tests are reliable, meaning that they are consistent over time, and also demonstrate validity, meaning that they actually measure intelligence rather than something else.
    • 11.7: Language Development in the School-Age Child
      Human language is the most complex behavior on the planet and, at least as far as we know, in the universe. Language involves both the ability to comprehend (receptive) spoken and written (expressive) words and to create communication in real-time when we speak or write.
    • 11.8: Introduction to Linguistics
      Language is such a special topic that there is an entire field, linguistics, devoted to its study. Linguistics views language in an objective way, using the scientific method and rigorous research to form theories about how humans acquire, use, and sometimes abuse language. There are a few major branches of linguistics, which is useful to understand in order to learn about language from a psychological perspective.
    • 11.9: Bilingualism - also known as Dual Language Learners or English Language Learners
      Although monolingual speakers (those that only speak one language) often do not realize it, the majority of children around the world are bilingual, (they understand and use two languages). (Meyers- Sutton, 2005). Even in the United States, which is a relatively monolingual society, more than 47 million people speak a language other than English at home, and about 10 million of these people are children or youth in public schools (United States Department of Commerce, 2003).
    • 11.10: Theories of Language Development
      Humans, especially children, have an amazing ability to learn language. Within the first year of life, children will have learned many of the necessary concepts to have functional language, although it will still take years for their capabilities to develop fully. As we just explained, some people learn two or more languages fluently and are bilingual or multilingual. Here is a recap of the theorists and theories that have been proposed to explain the development of language.
    • 11.11: Learning to Read
      While the foundations of this were laid in infancy and early childhood, formal instruction on this process usually happens during the school-age years. There isn’t always complete agreement on how children are best taught to read. The following approaches to teaching reading are separated by their methodology, but today, models of reading strive for a balance between the two types of reading methods because they are both recognized as essential for learning to read.
    • 11.12: Learning Difficulties
      When children don’t seem to be developing or learning in the typical pattern one might be assessed for a disorder or disability. What is a learning disorder or disability? In the next section we’ll learn about the spectrum of disorders and how they may impact many areas of the child's life.
    • 11.S: Summary

    Thumbnail: pixabay.com/photos/little-gi...eauty-3070209/


    11: Middle Childhood - Cognitive Development is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Paris, Ricardo, Raymond, & Johnson.