Development of the Individual

Topics: Developmental psychology, Theory of cognitive development, Jean Piaget Pages: 6 (2643 words) Published: May 7, 2013
Development of the Individual
Background Information
For the purpose of privacy my case study child will be known as A throughout this assignment. I have gained permission from A’s parents and my work setting. A is a 7 year old female and is in Year 3, she attends her local mixed sex Primary school. A’s parents separated when A was about 3 years old, it was not an amicable separation although both parents are on better terms now. A lives with her Mother and older sister who is 12 years old. A has regular contact with her Father and goes to stay with him every other weekend and sometimes during school holidays too. According to Bronfenbrenners Ecological System (Doherty & Hughes, 2009) these changes were in A’s Microsystem, “the microsystem is our most immediate context, and for most children, is represented by their family and their home.” (Rank, 2009) Mother says A was not hugely affected by the divorce, however A’s Father has since remarried and has a baby girl who is one year old, this change in A’s Microsystem has affected her. A’s Mum has found her to be quite attention seeking since the arrival of A’s baby half-sister. Both I and the class teacher (CT) have observed A making up stories to her peers and staff in school that appear to be a way of gaining attention. When A was in Reception it was noticed by staff that she struggled to see and used to put her face quite close to the paper when writing, although this was mentioned to A’s Mum at the time, A did not start wearing glasses until she was in Year 1. Apart from this A has no other health problems and her physical development is normal and on track for a child of her age. According to National Curriculum assessment test results she is average in literacy and numeracy. A relies on the few close friends she has within the classroom quite a lot, she often gets upset if they do not sit with her in class, she prefers working with them to working alone. A is not a very confident child and she gains confidence from learning alongside them, this demonstrates Vgotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development theory where “ Vygotsky views interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategies.” (McLeod, 2007) Despite a lack of confidence A is generally a happy child; she is kind to other children and is always polite and well mannered. From observations A tries hard in class although she does tend to daydream and this can impinge on her then carrying out a task if she has not listened to instructions properly. This viewpoint is supported by A’s Mother who has said A can sometimes be quite ‘dizzy’ at home and ‘in a world of her own’, she forgets things quite easily and has to be reminded quite a lot by her mum, Mother thinks this could be another way of getting her attention.

Descriptions and Analysis of Evidence
This case study will focus on the areas of social/emotional development and cognitive development. Its aim is to show that A is developing normally in these areas, observations (Appendices A1, A2, A3, A4 & A5) of A will be used which, when applied to child development theories, will provide evidence to support this. The method of observation used for this case study was narrative observations made within the classroom. Piaget’s cognitive development theory proposes that there four periods of cognitive development that are common to all children. These are the sensorimotor period, the pre-operational period, the concrete operational period and the formal operational period. According to Piaget A should be in the concrete operational period, which runs from age 7 – 11 years. In this period children ‘begin to think logically about events they experience and can order, evaluate and explain them’ (Doherty & Hughes, 2009, p 40). During one observation (A 1) A was completing an activity that involved putting a list of sentences in the correct order to make a set of instructions. A was able to do this accurately and with minimal...

References: Doherty, J. and Hughes, M., 2009, Child Development: Theory and Practise 0-11. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd
A Level Psychology. (2008). Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development (online) Available at (Accessed 1st December 2012)
Human Ecology Theory. (2009). The Family As A System (online) Available at (Accessed at 3rd November 2012)
Learning Theories. (2012). Social Development Theory (Vygotsky) (online) Available at (Accessed at 3rd November 2012)
Psychology. 2012. Stages of Psychosocial Development (online) Available at (Accessed 3rd November 2012)
Simply Psychology. 2008. Erik Erikson (online) Available at (Accessed 21st November 2012)
Simply Psychology. 2007. Lev Vygotsky (online) Available at (Accessed at 21st October 2012)
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