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PSYC 2314
Lifespan Development
Chapter 12
The School Years:
Cognitive Development
Remembering, Knowing, and Processing
• Information-processing theory
Sensory register
Working memory
Long-term memory
Control processes
Improvements in Memory
• Selective Attention
– Screen out distractions and concentrate on
relevant information.
• Memory Skills
– Automatization: many mental activities
become routine and automatic.
• Processing Speed
– Older children are quicker thinkers.
Improvement in Memory
• Knowledge Base
– New knowledge becomes progressively easier
to add.
• Metacognition
– Ability to identify appropriate cognitive
strategies for solving particular problems, to
monitor problem-solving performance, and to
use external problem-solving aids.
Stages of Thinking
• Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
– Concrete operational thought: when children
begin to understand certain logical principles
when they are applied to concrete operations.
• Identity: the idea that certain characteristics of an
object remain the same even when other
characteristics are changed.
• Reversibility: the principle that a transformation
can be restored to its original state by undoing it.
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development
• Preconventional
– Punishment and Obedient
– Fair Play
• Conventional
– Social Expectations
– Law and Order
• Postconventional
– Social contract
– Universal Ethical Principles
Criticisms of Kohlberg’s Theory
• Emphasis on justice and reasoning is too
narrow and restrictive
• Reflect liberal, Western intellectual values
• Biased toward males
Learning and Schooling
• In the vast majority of developing countries,
fewer girls than boys attend primary school.
• Less is generally demanded of girls and
poor children, particularly in math and
Interactive Teaching
• Worldwide, teachers have become more
encouraging of children’s efforts. Although
the specific styles of education will vary,
depending on teacher personality and
cultural assumptions any developmental
approach attempts to engage every student
in the learning process.
Communication skills
• Code switching
– Change from one form of speech to another.
• Formal Code
– Elaborated code, characterized by extensive vocabulary,
complex syntax, and lengthy sentences.
• Informal Code
– Restricted code, uses fewer words, simpler syntax, and
relies more on gestures and intonation to convey
A Second Language
• Approach to bilingual education
– Total immersion
– Reverse immersion
– Bilingual education
– Bilingual-bicultural education
Second-Language Learning
• Crucial differences between success and
failure rests with the attitudes of
– Parents
– Teachers
– Community
• Learn best early in life, under age 5. Peers
are best teachers, supplemented by a
positive attitude at home and in school
Schooling and Cultural Values
• Schoolchildren in the US today spend more
time in school, playing sports, studying,
doing art, reading and less time being
outdoors, playing, watching TV.