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AS and A Level: Developmental Psychology

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Five key cognitive development theorists

  1. 1 Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who developed a maturational four stage theory of cognitive development: he said that all children go through the same sequence of sensori-motor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational thought. Learning occurs through assimilation of ideas and accommodation of schemas. His ideas have been hugely influential in education, particularly mathematics.
  2. 2 Lev Vygotsky was a Russian psychologist. He proposed the influential zone of proximal development (ZPD) concept in learning and stressed the importance of cultural mediation – the internalisation of knowledge through the social interaction between adult and child. Unlike Piaget, he argued that language was crucial for cognitive development.
  3. 3 Jerome Bruner is an American psychologist proposed three ‘modes’ of learning as opposed to a strict sequence of stages: enactive, iconic and symbolic. He proposed the ‘spiral curriculum’ and coined the term ‘scaffolding’ -two very influential ideas in education.
  4. 4 Robbie Case is one of a group of neo-Piagetian theorists who have developed Piaget's theory by incorporating ideas and methods from Vygotsky's social-constructivist theory, information-processing, linguistics and developmental neuroscience.
  5. 5 Simon Baron Cohen is a prominent autism researcher. He has contributed much to our understanding of the development of Theory of Mind. This concept is crucial to the development of social cognition and empathy through the ability to take another person’s perspective.

Key attachment theorists

  1. 1 Melanie Klein’s Id-based object relations theory was a key influence on John Bowlby. Psychoanalytic ideas by Klein, Donald Winnicott and other British psychoanalysts were significant in the later development of attachment theory.
  2. 2 John Bowlby was an important attachment theorist. He was director of the psychoanalytic Tavistock Institute in London, where he ran a child guidance clinic. His Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, proposing the link between attachment and mental health was published in an influential report for the World Health Organisation in 1951. He developed his attachment theory over decades, publishing a three volume series ‘Attachment and Loss’ between 1969 and 1980. His ideas stimulated a significant body of research into attachment and his work paved the way for a revolution in childcare in the 20th century.
  3. 3 James and Joyce Robertson worked with Bowlby and were also very influential. James Robertson developed the Protest- Despair–Detachment model of bond disruption (1953a). The Robertsons also concluded that consistent substitute ‘mothering’ was vital for the maintenance of attachment bonds and the emotional wellbeing of the child.
  4. 4 Mary Ainsworth – was a Canadian researcher who worked with John Bowlby at the Tavistock in the 1950s, and later carried out important research in Africa and the US. She is best known for identifying attachment types and her Caregiver Sensitivity Hypothesis, which has been disputed by Jerome Kagan – who proposed the temperament hypothesis in direct contradiction.
  5. 5 Michael Rutter is Bowlby’s main critic. His book ‘Maternal Deprivation Reassessed’ (1972) was an influential critique of Bowlby’s research. Rutter made the distinction between deprivation and privation and argued that privation, poor parenting and family conflict were more significant in attachment disorders than deprivation.

Five classic studies of attachment

  1. 1 Bowlby’s ‘44 Juvenile Thieves’ (1944) were the inspiration for his Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis. They were children who he saw in his child guidance clinic and examined for signs of ‘affectionless psychopathy’ – a condition that he argued would result from separation during the critical period for attachment.
  2. 2 Harlow’s monkeys (1959): Harlow’s experiments on rhesus monkeys provided an unintentional insight into the importance of responsive care in infancy for good emotional development and subsequent parenting skills in adulthood.. His work had a huge influence on John Bowlby.
  3. 3 Ainsworth’s ‘Strange Situation’ (1970): Ainsworth found ways to test Bowlby’s ideas in controlled procedures. She designed the 'strange situation', a tool which has been used across the world to study the attachment types that underlie parent and child interactions.
  4. 4 Robertson & Robertson’s ‘Young Children in Early Separations’ (1971): A series of highly influential films following on from Robertson and Bowlby’s seminal ‘A Two Year Old Goes to Hospital’; these case studies revolutionised the care of children in hospital and fostering.
  5. 5 Hodges & Tizard’s 'Social and family relationships of ex-institutional adolescents' (1989): An influential longitudinal study of children who had experienced early privation resulting from institutional care. The study showed that children could form good bonds with adoptive or biological parents beyond the so called ‘critical period’. They were likely to have difficult or disinhibited peer relationships, but not the affectionless psychopathy predicted by Bowlby.

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  1. Free essay

    Cognitive and Psychoanalytical Psychology

    The second stage is called pre-operational this stage happens between the ages of 2 - 7 years during this period there is a continued development and use of internal images, symbols and language. This is important for the child to develop the sense of self awareness. (Gross, 5th edition) The next stage is concrete operational stage. This stage typically occurs between the ages of 7 and 12. During this stage, the child begins to reason logically, and organize thoughts coherently.

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  2. Early Years Curriculum

    Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) was the educational thinker who guided and inspired the 'Reggio Emilia' approach in the Reggio Romagna region of Northern Italy. The approach requires children to be seen as competent, resourceful, curious, imaginative, inventive, and possess a desire to interact and communicate with others. Dr Loris Malaguzzi helped us understand that children shouldn't be expected to all have the same ways of expressing themselves, so he put forth the idea that there are 100 languages or ways of learning (paint, clay, music, drama, cooking, etc)

    • Word count: 3819
  3. How Children Learn

    A cornerstone of good early years practice is that children learn a great deal through play. This principle applies just as much to babies and very young children as it does to slightly older ones. It is an essential part of growing as it boosts the mind, body and spirit. Children often learn skills more quickly through play than they do in school or any other organised learning situations because they're more motivated and more relaxed, and it's a more natural way to learn.

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  4. criminal behavior

    He concludes that observing aggressive or violent behaviour, would make the participant behave more aggressively or violent. A group of young children were put into a room and had seen a video of an adult beating a doll. After the video was shown the children were put into another room as there were toys and the same doll was shown in the video. The children were not allowed to play with the toys and the only thing they can touch was the doll. 88% of children got frustrated by not playing with the toys and gave verbal or physical abuse to the doll.

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  5. IWB in ICT

    Effective teaching takes account of the four different learning styles those being, visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and tactile. The IWB can effectively cater for all the different learning styles for example in my experience in school, James is a visual learner in the fact that he needs to be able to study something. When using the IWB, this equipped the teacher with James unique learning style, as the information was available for him to view on the IWB. Another example is that Stephen is a kinaesthetic learner; he likes to be able to get physically involved. The Interactive white board allows Stephen to come up to the board and work with it on a one to one approach.

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  6. Compare the three poems in Section I, Childhood, and explain how clearly you think they illustrate some of the problems of being a child

    The conscious minds of the narrator's parents had also forbidden him to approach the other children, and his wish to do so could be seen from the phrase 'I longed to forgive them'. Nonetheless, under the shadow of his parent's influence, the narrator, as a first person, had come to realise the difference in social standing between him and other children, as illustrated in the phrase 'Like dogs to bark at our world'. On the other hand, the over-protectiveness of the narrator's parents could be justified, especially then their child was bullied by other children in the neighbourhood.

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  7. define attachment and criticise Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation

    The first and most intense attachment is normally that between mother and child. Because of this, most research is focused on this particular attachment. So what are the reasons for attachment? John Bowlby (1953) did much research on this subject and argued that newborns, being helpless at birth, are genetically hardwired to behave toward their mother in ways that ensure their survival. His initial hypothesis stated that infants displayed a strong innate tendency to attach to 'mother' but he later changed this to 'primary caregiver' Other purposes of attachment are to provide oneself with a carer and role model that we can learn various things from, like social skills and how to communicate.

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  8. Compare and contrast 2 approaches to psychology

    Only the tip [10%] the ego part, is in our conscious grasp. The other 90% lies under the surface in the preconscious and unconscious. He felt that these 3 constantly battled with one another, to maintain a balance and that the outcomes of these conflicts moulded our personality. He also believed our psyche resided in 3 levels of consciousness. The conscious, which held our thoughts that we were aware of. The pre-conscious that held unconscious thoughts which could become conscious and the unconscious which harboured wishes and desires that we were unaware of.

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  9. Free essay

    Compare and contrast two psychological perspectives

    This led to him formulating the 'Law of Effect' (1898). (www.muskingum.edu) Following Thorndike was Ivan Pavlov, a Russian who trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell. He showed that through experience, an animal could learn to respond to a stimulus that had never caused this response before - known as classical conditioning. (Carlson 1990) Behaviourism remained the dominant force in psychology - particularly in America, for the first half of the 20th century. John B. Watson, a behaviourist, believed psychology was a natural science, restricted to observable behaviour and regarded humans as complex animals with no inner processes or unconscious - only responses to stimulus.

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  10. Evacuation Coursework Part 1

    London was the first place from where children were evacuated as this was seen as a major target area. From what I can assess, it seems to be a quite orderly evacuation with teachers and other officials all present. I know from other evidence that this was the case, so source B is useful from this point of view. Children were walking in lines and I can see that they have Gas masks round their necks, a poignant picture. From evidence I have studied, children were told to bring a gas mask, an identity card, a ration book, clothing and personal coupons, so this also suggests that this part of the photograph is valuable evidence.

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  11. 'I blame it on their parents'

    For the purposes of this essay however, disturbing behaviour is that which has been identified as causing problems for the child, their parents/care givers and/or their teachers. The child's behaviour is not 'normative' and may be hindering their development. Parents are often seen as the omniscient and omnipotent presence in their child's life. They have a great deal of control over their (young) child's life and are the overriding contributor in their development. They shape and guide how their children live and think, they teach them values and morals according to their own ethical code and impose their own life view.

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  12. evaluate the arguments for and against the introduction of legislation on smacking children

    But, the concept of 'reasonable chastisement' dates back to 1860 and is difficult to define in the 21st century. So to protect children from harsh physical punishment the law has been clarified and brought up to date. Smacking is not completely prohibited, thus leading to a debate between the government, parents and child protection authorities. Ministers feared an outright ban would lead to a flood of unnecessary prosecutions, and have been accused of reneging on a pledge to outlaw smacking by telling peers to oppose the complete ban. And although the government agree the defence of 'reasonable chastisement' allows some parents to go beyond smacking, they also take into consideration that

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  13. Free essay

    The Efective Primary School Teacher

    By making links with current knowledge, skills and understanding, the teacher can plan more effectively. Graham J and Kelly A (2000) state that; If a teacher understands, monitors and records each child's knowledge, strategies, strengths, difficulties, confidence, and skill, he/she will be able to ensure, through planning appropriate teaching, that progress is maintained. (p.113) 601027 During my recent extended school experience, my year one class were working extensively on the science topic of 'Sound'. The children were introduced to the range of sounds around them through games, stories and poems and had a visit from a tribe of African drummers.

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  14. The Benefits of Providing Quality Physical Education in the Primary School

    The outcome - Physical Literacy - is as important to children's education and development as numeracy and literacy. Physical activity may also contribute to a child's alertness in the classroom. Children who take little or no regular exercise outside of school may feel sluggish and find it hard to concentrate during the school day. PE increases a child's energy, giving them an opportunity to focus their minds in a more positive way. This is of great benefit to the class teacher, as children who are refreshed and alert will be more receptive to learning.

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  15. Sequence of three drama lessons based on the Titanic

    Likewise children who are bored or uninspired by a topic could become distracted and lose interest. Class 5 is made up of 24 children, 14 girls and 10 boys. Prior to the lesson all tables and chairs have been moved to the side of the room so that the class can work in a safe environment. The lessons will take 45 minutes and will run in the first morning session of Monday, Wednesday and Friday in a single week. It is felt 45 minutes 0601027 is sufficient time for the children to enjoy the drama session without losing interest and enthusiasm.

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  16. To what extent does psychological research (theory and/ or studies) suggest that the effects of deprivation and privation on development are different?

    Additionally, the findings show that at the age of 16 adopted children in general had close relationships with their parents while restored children's were poor. Despite these children being able to form attachments, it appears that there are long lasting effects of privation in some children, For example the teachers admitted that the children were still attention seeking and they were unable to make special friendships at 16. To a large extent we could also argue that the effects of privation may last just as the effects of deprivation do.

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  17. Explain the differing reactions of people in Britain to the policy of evacuating children during the Second World War.

    Children being evacuated were normally from poor backgrounds meaning they didn't have particularly good manners meaning evacuation was that much harder. The children would pack as little as they could, basic essentials eg: Toothbrush, clothes etc. Many of these children had never left city before, and all these feelings and experiences were new to them. On the one hand they were excited as it was a new opportunity for them and like a holiday, but then also they felt scared and nervous as they were leaving their parents and families behind and would be meeting new people.

    • Word count: 1023
  18. Life On Plantation

    The slaves had to work very long hours and in the fields. They would be woken as early as 4 a.m, and taken from their smelly and overcrowded barns to the fields. Thirty minutes later, they would start work if they were late they would be whipped. They would have to work all day with maybe only one 15 minute break. Summer temperatures could reach 50 degrees Celsius, which made working conditions very difficult. Some slaves would be fitted in some sort of piece of equipment so they wouldn't be able to runaway and so the overseers would know where they were.

    • Word count: 1311
  19. Do these sources, and the site at Quarry Bank Mill, fully explain what working conditions were like for children in textile mills, such as the one at Quarry Bank Mill, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries? Explain your answer with referen

    Firstly, the punishments of pauper apprentices were favourable at Quarry Bank to others such as Litton Mill in Derbyshire. Robert Blincoe describes his time at Litton in an account given to commissioners in 1833: He describes the horrors of some mills, "Mr. Needham (Master) stands accused of having been in the habit of knocking down apprentices with his clenched fists - kicking them about when down, beating them to excess with sticks, or flogging them with horse whips; or seizing them by the ears, lifting them from the ground and forcibly dashing them down on the floor, pinching them 'til his nails met".

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  20. Report on Reading Dads Promotion at Leicester Prison

    The Book Start packs are intended to give the child a head start with their reading. The Prison Libraries also ran a bookmark competition, the winning design to be published and available in the Leicestershire County Council Libraries. The libraries introduced the opportunity for prisoners whose families live within Leicestershire to reserve a book for their child to borrow in a public library. The Father can then read the same book as the child and they can share the enjoyment of reading with each other. This scheme is currently under development and we hope to have it in place by September.

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  21. Explain what is meant by the terms attachment and insecure attachment.

    (3marks + 3marks) Hodges & Tizard 1989 Findings- At age 4: The institutional caretakers reported that the children did not have any deep relationships. The children, in general, were more attention-seeking and more indiscriminately affectionate than non-institutional children. At age 8: Most of the ex-institutional children had formed close attachments with their parents or adopted parents. The children's teachers reported that the ex-institutional children still tended to be more attention-seeking and also more 'over-friendly' than 'normal' peers. They also tended to be unpopular, but did not lag cognitively when compared to 'normal' peers.

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  22. Describe processes for initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a counselling relation.

    The counsellor must inform the appropriate authorities in these exceptions to complete confidentiality and will tell the client that they are obliged to do so. This is to protect the counsellor, the client and others and is a legal requirement. The contract also specifies that after a session, confidential notes may be made by the counsellor about the content and process of the counselling session, but the client will not be identified in anyway. The notes are to help the counsellor follow the counselling process and identify patterns.

    • Word count: 2259
  23. impact of dicriminatory practice

    Indirect discrimination: This when you are discriminated against in general because of a generalization that has been made without taking in each person's situation into account. In order to challenge discrimination several laws, code of conducts and policies are in place. Discriminating against someone can be in the forms of labelling, stereotyping and oppression and all must be challenged immediately. (Miche.V 2004:128) Anti-discriminatory practice will ensure that "everyone has the same rights regardless of things such as family background, appearance, lifestyle, gender, race or medical history."

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  24. ICT resources to aid childrens learning

    Content free software/programmes such as an art-based programme can be used in several ways. Symbols can be used to signify numbers, counting, matching, measuring, shape and space as well as other areas within numeracy. Illustrations and simple games created using software such as an art based one or a content-free program (such as TextEase), can be used to promote and challenge most areas within numeracy. - Content Rich software for children is software, which has been designed to provide scaffolding for and educate children on certain areas of the curriculum, for example; numbers or colours (mathematical)

    • Word count: 1721
  25. Free essay

    The organisation Characteristics, Nature V's Nurture

    Environmental change means that the new characteristics that have developed are continually being selected, promoting evolution and survival of the fittest. According to the psychologists who lean towards the nature idea of intelligence, we are born with certain capacities to observe our environment in certain ways. These capacities are incomplete or immature when first born and develop gradually throughout childhood. These particular psychologists believe learning plays only a minor role in the development of an individual's intellect. The empiricists (nurture), on the other hand, maintain that we are born as blank slates and that our knowledge and abilities are acquired through a process of differing experiences and are therefore learned.

    • Word count: 2372

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