1. What did Piaget mean when he said that the preoperational child "lacked conservation"?
Piaget meant that a child does not understand that the properties of an object remain constant even though the physical appearance may have changed. For example, 1L of water in a glass of a diameter of 5cm is equal to 1L of water in a glass whose diameter is 10cm even though they may have seen it being poured out of the same container into the glasses. A child lacks operations to manipulate the idea that the water’s properties are conserved and the amount is the same. Rather, he/ she will see that the water which rises higher in the glass is more. The child also lacks to see that the relationship can be reversed and when returned to the original container, the water will still be 1L.
b. What is Centration and what is the relationship between Centration and conservation? Illustrate with an example to show the relationship.
Centration is an individual’s affinity to focus on only one dimension of the situation, problem or object at a particular given time and disregarding all others. For instance, in the water beaker experiment where the same amount of fluid is poured into jars of different diameters, a child will only judge the amount of the water from how high it rises in each jar. The characteristic of Centration whereby they judge the amount of the water by what they see without considering the fact that it came from a 1L jar results in their lack of conservation of the properties of that water.
2. a. Explain the difference between authoritative and authoritarian parenting.
In the authoritarian style of parenting is intrusive and punitive. Parents demand absolute obedience from their children. They do not give reasons for their rules and disobedience leads to punishment. They are unresponsive to their children and expect their demands to be executed without question. Authoritative parents also lay guidelines by which their children should conduct themselves as do authoritarian parents. However, they are more responsive to their children and their parenting style is democratic and assertive. They explain the reason for the rules they lay and tend to be more forgiving when their children break these rules. They are concerned with producing socially responsible citizens who follow rules because they choose to based on reason, and not simply to avoid punishment as do children of authoritarian parents.
b. Provide examples of each to illustrate your understanding.
An authoritarian parent will tell their children not to eat food in other people’s houses and not give the reason for the rule. The innocent child does not understand that it is bad manners to eat food in other people’s houses uninvited. In case the child questions this claiming that they can eat at their best friend’s house, an authoritarian parent is likely to change their tone and tell the child that “You should not do that because I said so”. Such a parent may snap at further questions and speak to the child in a harsh tone. An authoritative parent on the other hand will explain that it is bad manners to do so. The authoritative parent is more responsive to the child and if the child tries to justify why he/ she can eat at their friend’s house, the parent will use reason to try and make the child understand why they should not. In case the child disobeys the rule, the authoritarian parent will automatically punish the child without listening to their reason for doing so. On the other hand, the authoritative parent will ask why the child did so and is likely to punish their child if the reason is not justifiable.
c. Which form of parenting appears to be most effective?
Authoritative parenting is more effective if practiced consistently. This is because it focuses on bringing up responsible children. The democracy involved gives the child a chance to explore and make their own decisions, but under set rules which they should always put into consideration. Their characteristic of paying attention to their children makes the child accept any punishment given to them as fair because the parent will explain the reason why they must punish them.
d. With which philosophy of childhood is this most consistent.
This is most consistent with the moral development of the child. This deals with a child’s assimilation of rules and final morality level depending on their upbringing. During moral development, there is the pre-moral stage whereby obedience is determined by punishment or reward. The other level is that of morality to conform to roles whereby morals are obtained to maintain good relations. The final level is that of morality of accepted principles whereby somebody acts based on their conscience.
3. Explain what Piaget meant by "egocentrism" and provide an example of an egocentric adult that illustrates this concept.
Piaget explained egocentrism as the characteristic of a child to imagine that everybody’s thoughts concur with theirs. They are focused on themselves, a trait that can be observed between two children conversing. They could be together and talking but each child is oblivious of what the other is saying. For example, one could be talking about the food she ate yesterday and the other responds by saying how happy she is about her new doll. An egocentric adult is one who does not like their opinions questioned. They tend to be assertive and may disturb others while doing things that affect others such as listening to loud music and assuming that everybody else loves it.
4. Describe the psychoanalytic theory of gender. What does this theory seek to explain? Who developed this theory?
The psychoanalytic theory of gender is explained by Freud in terms of the Oedipus and Electra complex. The child identifies with the parent of the same sex as theirs. The boy is initially envious of the father for having their mother’s attention and the girl child becomes attracted to their fathers. However, successfully passing this stage leads the child to develop and understand their gender by comparing themselves to the parent of the same sex as them. The girl blames her mother for lack of a penis and the boy is afraid the father may castrate them.
5. What is "scaffolding"? Explain and give an example of scaffolding that you, as an adult, have experienced (where you were the recipient of scaffolding).
Scaffolding is the support offered to a student to ensure they achieve a stronger understanding of a concept. I have experienced contingent scaffolding whereby my lecturer used to give me vocabulary lessons before I embarked in reading text that had difficult vocabulary to ensure I had confidence to go through with it. I was learning a different language and before every new lesson, she would brief us on the contents of the topic and what was expected of us in advance.6. In early childhood, what stage is a child in according to Freud? In early childhood, what stage is a child in according to Erikson? (2 points)
According to Erickson, a child is in the stage of “initiative Vs guilt” during early childhood which is between ages 2 to 6. According to Erickson, it is the phallic stage whereby a child’s pleasure is focused on his/her genitals.7. Is Project Head Start an effective program? Why or why not?
Project Head Start Program is a program effective only to a certain extent. This is because as much as a child is offered schooling prior to their joining school to enhance how ready they will be for school, the variables are many and different children benefit differently. Factors that impede its effectiveness are such as poverty whereby a student is likely to attend an inferior school afterwards. These children are also not taken from the environment that is likely to be detrimental to their health, education and social life. The parental involvement is also not assured because the parents are not monitored constantly to ensure they treat the child in the best way.