Unit 1 Learning Aim A



Infancy = 0-2 years

Early Childhood = 3-8 years 

Adolescence = 9-18 years

Early Adulthood = 19-45 years

Middle Adulthood = 46-65 years

Later Adulthood = 65+ years

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Definition of growth and development

Growth is an increase in some measured quantity, such as height and weight]

Development - complex changes including an increase in skills, abillities and capaabilites. 

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The development of schemas

An ipmortant part of Piaget's cognitive develoment theory was that children go through a series of stages of intellectual development. He referred to these stages a as schemas

A schema is a category of knowledge as well as the process of aquiring knowlegde. 

Achild develops concepts about the world around them (equilibrium.)

As they experience situations where new information is presented they reach a stateof disequilibrium. 

As the new information is accomodated, the original schemas are modified or changed so they again reach a stage of equilibrium. 

Accomodation - mofiying schemas in relation to new information and experiences. 

Equlibrium is a a state of cognitive balance when a child's experience is in line with what they understand. 

Disequilbrium is a state of cognitive imbalance between experence and what is understood

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The idea of egocentrric behavour centres on abilities that chuldren have not yet developed.

Egocentrism is best described as a young child's inability to see a situatuon from another person's point of view. 

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Criticisms of Piaget

Critics of Piaget suggest that the age/stages he describes may be more fluid than he thought and that he underestimated/overestimated children's cognitive abilites. 

Bruner did not agree with Piaget's notion of fixed stages. 

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Chomsky's model of language acquisition

Noam Chomsky believed that the ability to develop a signed or spoken language i genetically programmed into individuals. This means that all individuals have the abiltiy to understand and use language regardless of other abillities. 

Chomsky states that individuals are born with a 'language aquisition device' (LAD) that enables children to recognise and develop that languages they experience. 

According to Chomsky's theory, children are 'preprogrammed' to aquire language and it evolve naturally in the same way that children have the ability to stand and to walk. 

Chomsky believes that a child could not possibly learn a new language through imitation alone because of the grammar and syntax of the language around them is often irregular.

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John Bowlby's theory of attachment

John Bowlby refes to attachment as a deep and enduring emotional bond that connects a child to their primary caregiver.

He believed that children were biologically preprogrammed to form attachments and that infancy is  a critical peroid for forming positive attachments. 

Bowlby observed that children experienced separation anxiety when separtated from their mothers.

Bowlby suggested that attachment could be understood as evolving from the caregiver providing safety and security for the infant. According to Bowlby infants have a universal need to seek close proximity with their caregiver when feeling stress ot threatend. 

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The development of independence

Infancy - Towards the end of this life stage they begin to assert their need to become independent and attempt to do things for themselves. 

Early Childhood - Children gradually become les reliant on close family and start to make their own decisions.

Adolescense - They begin to see themelves as separate and indepndent from their family. They may begin to quetion their family's value and become influenced by peer group norms and values.  

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Principles of Growth

At birth and then between six and eight weeks a baby's head circumference will be measured to check the size and growth of the brain, 

Infants grow rapidly during the first six months of their live. Healthy newborns double their birth weight by four to five months and triple it by the time they reach a year old. 

Growth measurements help a health visitor to monitor a child's health and development they can alo help identity other issues. 

A health visitor will carry out the measurements and plot the results on a growth chart to ensure that an infant is meeting their milestones. 

If an infant or child is growing as expected their weight will rise steadily following the centile lines marked on their growth chart. 

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Definition of centiile lines (percentiles)

Centile lines - lines on a graph used to show average measurements of height, weight and head circumference. The lines represent the values of the measurements taking into account age and sex. 

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