Middle Childhood: Physical and Cognitive Development

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Age of middle childhood

6-12 (school age)

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Physical Growth

"slow" but steady

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school-aged children grow, on average, ____________ per year

2-3 inches

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this is the only time during the lifespan when girls are on average ____ than boys


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boys and girls gain____ a year

5-7 lbs

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variations of __________ in children the same age are not uncommon

half a foot

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Noonan syndrome

affects boys and girls, due to congenital heart defects

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turner syndrome

girls only, affects x-chromosomes

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what is proper nutrition linked to?

positive personality traits

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poor nutrition in school aged children

-overweight or obese


-increased susceptibility to infections

-poor school performance

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Despite growing rates of obesity, American society places a strong emphasis on ______ which can lead to eating disorders


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Top 10 leading causes of death for 5-14 year olds

  1. Accidents

  2. Cancer

  3. Suicide

  4. Homicide

  5. Congenital anomalies

  6. Heart disease

  7. Chronic lower respiratory disease

  8. Flu/pneumonia

  9. Stroke

  10. Diabetes

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Fine Motor Skills in school aged children

continue to advance, increased levels of myelin around the nerve cells raise the speed of messages traveling to muscles

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Gross motor skills

muscle coordination, gender differences likely the result of societal messages/expectations rather than motor skill

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6 year old gross motor skill

  • girls superior in accuracy of movement, boys superior in more forceful less complex acts

  • can throw with the proper weight shift and step

    • acquire the ability to skip

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7 year old motor skills

  • can balance on one foot with eyes closed

  • can walk on a 2-inch wide balance beam without falling out

  • can hop and jump accurately into small squares (hopscotch)

  • can correctly execute a jumping jack exercise

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8 year old gross motor skills

  • can grip objects with 12 pounds of pressure

  • can engage in alternate rhythmical hopping in a 2-2,2-3, or 3-3 pattern

  • girls can throw a small ball 33 feet, boys can throw a small ball 59 feet

  • the number of games participated in by both sexes is the greatest at this age

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9 years old motor skills

  • girls can jump vertically 8.5 inches over their standing height plus reach, boys can jump vertically 10 inches

  • boys can run 16.6 feet per second and throw a small ball 41 feet; girls can run 16 feet per second and throw a small ball 41 feet

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10 year old motor skills

  • can judge and intercept directions of small balls thrown from a distance

  • both girls and boys can run 17 feet per second

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11 year old motor skills

-boys can achieve standing broad jump of 5 feet, girls can achieve sanding board jump of 4.5 feet

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12 year old motor skills

can achieve high jump of 3 feet

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What are some of the activities older children in middle childhood likely to engeged?

Sports! Soccer, basket ball, ect

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Intellectual development in middle childhood: Piagetian approaches to cognitive advance

-the school-age child enters the concrete operational stage, the period of cognitive development between 7 and 12 years of age, characterized by the active, and appropriate use of logic, children at this stage can easily solve conservation problems - logic use over appearance

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moving out to into/loss of egocentrism

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at the beginning of the _____________________ stage, kids reason that the 2 cars on these routes are traveling the same speed even though they arrive at the same time,

concrete operational

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Critics of Piaget's Views on intellectual development

criticized for underestimating children's abilities and for exaggerating the universality of the progression through the stages (not everyone will go through the stages at the same rate

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Research suggest that Piaget was_________ than wrong

more right

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______________ research increasingly implies children universally achieve concrete operation and that training with conservation tasks improves performance


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Information processing in middle childhood

  • children become increasingly able to handle information because their memories improve

  • memory is the process by which information is initially encoded, stored, and retrieved

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  • an understanding about the processes that underlie memory emerge and improve during middle childhood

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Our memory can be trained (__________) Zone of ___________________

Vigotsky; proximal development

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During middle childhood does the development of concrete operational skills improve? What comes next?

Yes, abstract thinking comes next

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Vgotsky's approach to cognitive development and classroom instruction

-very big on peer learning

-reading comprehension skills are important

-zone of proximal development


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Language development during middle childhood

-large vocabulary

-reading helps increase vocabulary

-often speech therapy is happening now

-speech and language is used in social context

-mastery of grammar in middle school

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language is a way to _________behavior


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the use of more than one language, english is a second language for more than 32 million americans

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schooling in middle childhood

School marks the time when society formally attempts to transfer its body of knowledge, beliefs, values, and accumulated wisdom to new generations

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In the US a primary school education is both a ______ and a ___________

universal right; legal requirement

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More than _______ children don't have access to education and ____ are women

160 million children; 2/3

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When are kids ready for school?

age is not a critical indicator of when children should start school, often children have a large social influence on eachother

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How to teach a child to read

-pre-reading behaviors

-learning letters

-blending sounds

-sight words
-word families

-other phonic skills

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Bloom's Taxonomy

A system for categorizing levels of abstraction of questions that commonly occur in educational settings. Includes the following competencies: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.

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Multicultural education

-Instruction that integrates throughout the curriculum the perspectives and experiences of numerous cultural groups

-is based on several models

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the capacity to understand the world, think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges

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Alfred Binet's intelligence

-he defined intelligence pragmatically that which his test measured

-intelligence tests should be reasonable indicators of school success

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Who invented idea of IQ

Alfred Binet

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-Alfred Binet and his colleague ___________ practiced a more modern form of intelligence testing by developing questions that would predict children's future progress in the Paris school system (this was originally created to assess how teachers are teaching students/teacher's skills)

theodore simon

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Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)

An IQ test designed for school-age children. The test assesses potential in many areas, including vocabulary, general knowledge, memory, and spatial comprehension.

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Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children

Nontraditional individual intelligence test designed to provide fair assessments of minority children and children with disabilities

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What does IQ from these tests mean?

  • IQ is a person's mental age divided by chronological age, multiplied by 100

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IQ Tests has a ____________, most scores fall in the middle of the possible range of scores, few scores appearing toward the extremes of the range, standard deviation of ____

normal distribution; 15

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Issue with IQ tests

The intelligence tests frequently used in schools assume that intelligence is a single, mental ability. many theorists now dispute the notion that intelligence is unidimensional (that g or a single unitary mental ability factor exists)

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Fluid Intelligence

global capacity to reason, ability to learn new things, think abstractly and solve problems

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crystallized intelligence

prior learning and past experiences, based on facts, increases with age

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Gardner's Multiple Intelligences

our abilities are best classified into eight independent intelligences, which include a broad range of skills beyond traditional school smarts

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Robert Sternberg’s triarchic theory of intelligence

describes intelligence as having analytic, creative and practical dimensions

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