Respond to the Discussion topics below. Your original response should be at least 350 words and should reflect the fact that you have completed the assigned Readings for the week. Remember, this is your chance to illustrate not only your understanding, but also your mastery of the materials for the unit. Use your words wisely so the posting has substance and includes examples and explanations. Limit the use of direct quotes, and do your best to critically evaluate and synthesize the literature in your own words wherever possible. Make sure to include in-text citations and a reference list as appropriate.
In this unit’s Discussion Boards, you will relate developmental theories to the specific issues that are faced by children in their middle childhood. Typically, this is a time of great academic and social development as they enter their formal schooling years.
As children become more competent in their language skills, they interact more often with peers to learn and to socialize. When children struggle with speech or have reading problems, they often also struggle with making friends. Using the theories from your Reading and any other peer-reviewed resource, respond to the following questions.
- One of the tasks of middle childhood is in developing age-appropriate skills (e.g., academic and social) that help children to feel confident in their overall abilities. Using Erikson’s theory of psychosocial theory in your explanation, how would you describe how children’s sense of self develops from both social interactions with peers and adults?
- What are some interventions that can be used to help children who feel inferior to their peers gain more confidence? How does learned helplessness increase feelings of inferiority?
- After evaluating your classmates’ proposed interventions, what suggestions would you offer to better facilitate their plans? Remember that psychologists often work on teams, so use this opportunity to build interventions as a class (team).
Next, read “A trip to the zoo: Children’s words and photographs” research article. Note the key differences in photographs and descriptions between the younger and older children. Use this article and your understanding of cognitive development (especially Piaget, Vygotsky, or information processing) to respond to the questions.
- Using the cognitive development theory of your choice, compare the differences in photographs and descriptions between children in the youngest group and the older children. Why are their perceptions of what they saw so different from each other?
- Propose a follow-up study that would support your conclusions about the cognitive differences between younger and older children. Be creative and use the same cognitive development theory as you did to respond to the first question.