6.1: What are the distinguishing characteristics of thought during Piaget’s concrete-operational and formal-operational stages? Piaget’s Version The Concrete-Operational Period School-age children can perform mental operations – actions that can be performed on objects or ideas that have a consistent result Thinking is bound to the concrete, here and now. Cannot deal effectively with abstract or hypothetical The Formal Operational Period Around 11 years, children can reason abstractly Adolescents may use deductive reasoning Formal operations children understand that a hypothetical situation may not correspond to a real-world problem How do children use strategies and monitoring to improve learning and remembering? Information-Processing Strategies for Learning and Remembering Most human thinking takes place in working memory where only a small number of thoughts or ideas are stored for a short time Information may be transferred to long-term memory, which is permanent and unlimited in capacity. Memory Strategies 7 to 8 year olds use rehearsal in which they repeatedly name the thing to be remembered As children mature, they develop strategies that are useful for specific situations such as organization and elaboration Even older children may sometime use an ineffective strategy in a situation 6.2: What is the nature of intelligence? Theories of Intelligence Psychometricians are specialists trained in psychological measurement in areas such as intelligence and personality Such professionals administer tests to large groups of people to look for common factors that may explains abilities Analysis has led to different conclusions about intelligence such as: Spearman claimed intelligence is a general factor (g-factor) that affects all aspects of ability Thurstone believed that intelligence was actually many (7) different and distinct abilities Why were intelligence tests first developed? What are their features? Binet and the development of intelligence testing In 1904 the French government asked Alfred Binet and Theophile Simon to develop a method for identifying children who could not learn in traditional ways Binet and Simon developed a test to measure children’s mental age, or the level at which they solved problems This first intelligence test was believed to distinguish between “bright” and “dull” children The Stanford Binet Lewis Terman at Stanford University adapted Binet and Simon’s test Terman created the intelligence quotient (IQ) which compared the mental age to the chronological age of children IQ = MA/CA X 100 Intelligence Testing IQ tests no longer use the MA/CA comparison for computation of IQ Today, children’s performance on tests are compared with data of other children their age An IQ of 100 denotes average performance. Above 100 is above average. Below 100 indicates less than average performance. How well do intelligence tests work? Do Tests Work? Two issues in Evaluating IQ tests Reliability – are the scores on IQ tests consistent? Studies show scores on modern tests are relatively stable when repeatedly administered Validity – do IQ tests really measure intelligence? IQ tests are moderately good predictors of performance in school and work How do heredity and environments influence intelligence? Hereditary and Environmental Factors IQ scores are affected by both heredity and environment Heredity influences both IQ scores and changes that occurred during development Adopted children’s IQs were more similar to biological parents than adoptive parents Environmental influence is seen in the fact that children’s IQ scores have risen over the past century How and why do test scores vary for different racial and ethnic groups? The impact of Ethnicity and Social Class Studies show differences in scores among ethnic groups Asian Americans have highest scores, followed by European Americans, Hispanic Americans, and African Americans These differences are impacted by socioeconomic status. However economic disadvantage does not fully explain the difference 6.3: What are the characteristics of gifted and creative children? Gifted and Creative Children Traditionally, an IQ score of 130 or higher was considered gifted Today, definitions of giftedness are also likely to include talents in art, music, writing, and dance Exceptional talent seems to partly stem from a love of the subject, receiving inspiring instruction from an early age, and parents who support and nurture a child’s talent. Creativity Creativity is often linked to divergent thinking, or thinking in novel or unusual directions Intelligence is more often associated with convergent thinking in which a specific conclusion is drawn from information given. What are the different forms of mental retardation? Types of Mental Retardation Four levels of mental retardation: Mild Moderate Severe Profound More extreme forms (severe and profound) are usually organic What is a learning disability? Learning disabilities A child with a learning disability must have: Difficulty in one or more academic subject Normal intelligence The disability is not caused by some other condition (E.G., poor instruction, sensory deficits) Roughly 5% of school-aged children have learning disabilities. Reading disability is the most common. What are the distinguishing features of hyperactivity? Attention- Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Characteristics include over activity, inattention, and impulsivity 3-5% of school-age children are diagnosed with ADHD Boys outnumber girls by 3:1 No evidence ADHD that is caused by food allergies, sugar, or poor home life Strong hereditary and biological components 6.4: What are the components of skilled reading? Reading Components of reading include: Word recognition – the process of identifying a unique pattern of letters Comprehension – the process of extracting meaning from a sequence of words Foundations of reading skill: Knowledge of letter names Phonological awareness – knowing sounds by letter combinations Recognizing words Reading requires the child to recognize the word or be able to sound out the word Children also use context to recognize words Comprehension improves when children recognize a sequence of words as: Working memory increases General knowledge increases Through experience, children learn reading strategies Children learn to monitor their comprehension As children develop, how does their writing improve? Writing ability increases as: The child gains greater knowledge about topics Children develop knowledge-telling strategies as well as better knowledge-transforming strategies They gain a better command of spelling, punctuation, and handwriting They learn better use of proofreading and revising their work. How do arithmetic skills change during the elementary school years? How do U.S. students compare to students from other countries? Math skills By 6 years of age, children solve simple addition by counting, usually on their fingers By 1st grade, children add and subtract by counting mentally By age 8 or 9, children know addition tables and can add single digits by memory Comparing U.S. Students with Students in Other Countries U.S. children do not perform in math as well as children from many other countries Children in Japan and Taiwan spend 50% more time in school than U.S. students U.S. students spend less time on homework American parents are more satisfied with their children’s performance in school American parents believe ability is more the key to success Asian parents consider effort more important than native ability What are the hallmarks of effective schools and effective teachers? Effective Schools, Effective Teachers U.S. schools are locally run. Great disparity exists between their success Research has identified characteristics of successful schools: Staff and students understand excellence is the primary goal of the school The school is sage and nurturing Parents are involved Progress of students, teachers, and programs is monitored. Teacher-Based Influences Students often associate teacher effectiveness with personality features such as caring and warmness Higher achievement is associated with: Good classroom management Taking responsibility for student’s learning Emphasizing mastery of topics Active teaching Attention to pacing Valuing tutoring Teaching students to monitor their own learning 6.5 How much do school-age children grow? Growth Boys and girls are about the same size for most of these years Girls are more likely to enter puberty toward the end of elementary schools years At ages 11-12, the average girl is about ½ inch taller than the average boy How do motor skills improve during the elementary school years? Development of Motor Skills Children at 11 can throw a ball 3 times farther than at 3, and jump twice as far. Fine motor skill improvement is obvious in hand writing Are American children physically fit? Gender differences in motor skills Fine motor skills such as handwriting tend to be better in girls Girls’ flexibility and balance are better than boys Boys do better on strength tasks Girls may spend less time one sports and fitness-related activities Fitness activities provide practice for motor skills What are the consequences of participating in sports? Participating in sports Sports teach skills such as working as a part of a group Children in sports use new cognitive skills for playing strategies Adults sometimes overemphasize competition instead of skill development.