Child Development: Scaffolding

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Choosing a child to interact with is a complicated process; however I have decided that my niece, Paige, with whom I spend a comfortable amount of time is a great candidate for this assignment. She is at ease in my presence and I can accurately assess her developmental level without too much bias. At two years old, Paige is in Piaget’s preoperational stage of development, which is characterized by the ability to use symbols and language to “represent objects in the environment.” Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development include the abilities: “visual acuity, hand-eye coordination, planning ahead, and caution.” Developmentally, Paige is not exceptionally advanced in the preoperational stage, as her language skills are not fully developed. However, what she lacks in language, she makes up for in her use of gross and fine motor skills, hand symbols, baby gibberish, and her ability to take directions even though she is not extremely verbal in her responses. Paige has great control over her larger muscle groups: she often hits and kicks rubber balls and stands on her hand in a headstand. Exhibited fine motor skills, she can also paint her finger and toenails quite nicely. She uses hand gestures and baby gibberish with a few coherent words to communicate with others, and demonstrates her listening skills by her uncanny ability to follow fairly complex directions. For these reasons, I believe Vgotsky’s Zone of Proximal development is helpful for analyzing Paige’s abilities. Because of her use of non-verbal expression to communicate, she would not be able to do every activity on her own, especially activities necessitating symbiotic verbal communication. Therefore, in the Zone of Proximal development, Paige can do much more with guidance.

I have decided to scaffold Paige in the task of making a bed. I decided on this task because it utilizes Paige’s effective gross and fine motor skills as well as her ability to take turns and remember. It is also a task that...
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