cognitive development

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Cognitive Development: Overview
Author: Anne Hurley

I. Main Objectives
Learn that:








Developmental theory views cognition as a sequential and increasingly complex unfolding of biologically driven abilities. These abilities can be influenced by the environment.
There are five basic aspects, or fields, of development. These fields are language, visual-motor tasks, fine motor development, gross motor development, and social behavior. Different theorists have proposed different theories on the development of each field.
At varying ages, children sequentially achieve abilities that become increasing complex. These abilities may be mediated by two central features related to the concept of "executive" functioning. The first is increasing development of "working memory" and the second is the influence of "expertise."
Children develop at varying rate. Therefore, the exact age at which children develop skills is not necessarily predictive of their ultimate adult capabilities (i.e. children who begin to read at age 4 years may have similar outcomes as children who begin to read at age 7).

II. Various Theorists of Development
Arnold Gesell
Arnold Gesell was a pediatrician who wrote early books on development. He proposed a "sequential" theory to development where each stage of development was a prerequisite for the next stage.
Erik Erikson
Erikson took a "psychological view" of development. He proposed a model made up of eight stages
(known as the “Eight Stages of Man”) that extended into adulthood. Failure to master theses stages result in difficulties. For example, the failure to successfully master toilet training would result in shame rather than autonomy. In this case, Erikson believed that the child has some awareness of his/her skills and progress.
Edgar A. Doll/Alfred Binet
Like Gesell, Doll/Binet proposed adaptive skill development. However, Doll extended his theories into adulthood. Doll’s stages could be readily

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