Physical and Motor Development
Children witness substantial physical changes and an increased ability to control their bodies. Their long bones lengthen; in the arms, fingers and legs. They harden and become stronger altering their appearance. In terms of motor development, every progressive year witnesses improved control. Milestones include running, kicking balls, riding tricycles, throwing balls overhand and skating. Their motor drive ensures they practice these abilities and discover new ones. Their health gets impaired with reduced sleep and poor eating habits. They do not sleep as recommended and are at risk of health problems due to obesity. In order to compensate for energy needs that used to come from breast milk, they consume inappropriate meals and can suffer from heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes. Parents especially in developing countries. Face difficulties in meeting their children’s nutritional needs, which makes the situation worse.
Piaget speaks of preoperational development as an intellectual development catapulting the child from sensorimotor intelligence to fully operational intelligence. The children can, to an extent, combine, separate and transform information logically; perform mathematical processes and arrange and place objects. Currently, the child cannot engage in true mental operations and usually fall into error and confusion. Children exhibit centration that leads to subjective thinking. Their attention gets easily captured by object, event or dimension. The common errors include egocentrism, confusion of reality and appearance, and precausal reasoning. Egocentrism implies a child’s tendency to be subjective. Confusing reality with appearance is the child’s error in determining fake things from real ones. Precausal reasoning, also called transductive reasoning, is a child’s confusion of cause and effect. However, this development is uneven in terms of performance and extent of developmental change.
Information Process Approaches
The approach relates the human mind to a digital computer in an attempt to explain how it works. It compares the neural features of the brain to a computer’s hardware and the information processing practice that people do to the software. Children gain access to more rain power due to their improved cognitive abilities. That is as a result of their brains maturing and the development of better strategies of processing information. Children absorb what they see and learn from their caregivers and other sources. They then inculcate all these in their long-term memory after a sensory register in their short-term memory. The information gets encoded and stored by the child with the help of control processes, attention, rehearsal, and decision-making, in place to coordinate information flow.
Cognitive Development in Privileged Domains
Another approach in understanding a child’s cognitive development and knowledge acquisition is through privileged domains. These domains involve reasoning that is specific and evolutionarily significant and include psychology, biology and physics. They enable the child to interact with specific environmental features such as behavior of people and objects under a variety of conditions. Children develop an appreciation and understanding of the physical world and the forces that govern it such as heat, inertia and gravity even though they cannot fully grasp them yet. In an attempt to comprehend people’s actions depending on their beliefs, desires and knowledge, children develop naïve psychology. They develop theories relating people’s actions to their beliefs and desires; a theory of mind. Their naïve biology enables them to distinguish between inanimate and animate things regardless of familiarity.
Cognitive Development and Culture
Despite the variety of languages in existence, children can adequately communicate and understand other people. Though not conclusive, a lag exists in cultures that lack mental terms in their language. Thus, the development of naïve psychology slows down or gets eliminated. In some cases, children exposed to talks about minds and mental processes are more competent on standardized tests for theory of mind. It is undeniable that the culture highly impacts a child’s cognitive development by assigning different roles and activities. The mashing together of knowledge, values and skills that children learn, results in the enrichment of their cultural life, economic activity, social interaction and daily routines.