Perceptual and Motor Development and Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Perceptual and Motor Development
1. Without further information, what issues do you suspect may be impacting Michael’s development? Identify the evidence that fuels your suspicions.
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Perception is the process by which a child takes in, organizes and interprets sensory information. It is a multimodal process that has numerous sensory inputs which contribute to their motor responses. Until a child is about seven, he or she takes in sensations during movements, talks during play and then processes those acquired sensations. It is during these times that the child may show behavioral issues, like Michael’s, in classrooms and during interaction with peers. By keenly studying the environment surrounding him it can deduced that it is responsible for the changes. His inability to respond instantly to engagements by peers is possibly due to problems with sensory integration. Michael’s unclear or non-grammatical spoken utterances are due to his lack of exploration of objects, the way his sister does, which as a result interferes with his forming correct concepts about the same. Still on the same, the possibility of him having specific learning and language disabilities as well as emotional difficulties can also be the cause.
2. Following your conversation with Michael’s parents, you decide to attend more carefully to Michael’s interactions with other children. You notice that it often takes his classmates two or three tries to get his attention. What conclusion can you draw from this and, given your conclusion, what would you recommend to his parents?
The parents reveal that Michael is less talkative, has no interest in reading and never enjoys tasks that take time or effort. Typically, the above behaviors are related in that perceptual-motor activities show that a child has to use his brain and body in unison in order to accomplish a given task—for instance, trolling a beam and reciting the alphabet at the same tim. In this case, Michael shows no interest at all in activities like these. Therefore, it makes him struggle with general coordination, portray poor awareness in as far as the body is concerned and feeling less confident.
Michael’s parents can help him guiding him in activities that utilize both sides of the body like catching large balls and jumping jacks. As a teacher, I am tasked with making classroom adjustments to change the environment and foster interactions so that to assist him given his hypersensitivity. By involving him in games and other activities that are not competitive, his clumsy characteristic and lack of confidence is easily done away with.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
1. Emily enjoyed playing games over and over again. How would Piaget explain this desire to repeat actions?
When she does that, Emily is trying to assimilate i.e. use her current scheme to try to interpret the external world. For instance, when she says she wants to play for the third time and goes on to hide in an obvious location. In a way she was assimilating the whole thing into her sensory-motor “hide-and-seek scheme.” In accommodation, she was creating new schemes or adjusting the old ones after realizing that her current school of thought did not capture the environment completely.
2. Emily is 4 years old. According to Piaget, in what stage of cognitive development is she likely to be functioning?
It is most probably the pre-operational stage of cognitive development whereby Emily has not yet grasped any concrete logic and does not have the capacity to mentally manipulate any form of information. Therefore, she is unable to reason from the perspective of other people, a phenomenon commonly termed as egocentrism. Anything learnt by the toddler is repeated intentionally in a bid to trigger possible results.
3. What are the major characteristtics of the stage of cognitive development that you indicated in your answer to question #2, and what characteristics of this stage does Emily exhibit?
Intelligence in this stage is portrayed via the use of symbols, maturity of the language used, and the development of memory and imagination. However, thinking is mainly done in a way that is non-logical and non-reversible. It means that egocentricity in thinking is predominant.
4. When she is not playing hide-and-seek, Emily enjoys working on puzzles or coloring. While engaging in these and other activities, she often talks to herself. Is this normal? Explain. What function does this self-talk serve, if any?
The tendency to self-talk goes hand in hand with repetitive talk, and is a common characteristic of adolescents and children that possess a wide array of developmental difficulties. Such children and adolescents also have difficulties in their social lives. They also tend to be somehow resistant to change and to show repetitive motor behaviors. I would consider this abnormal and for Emily’s case such behavior should serve to alert her parents that they should intervene.
5. According to Piaget, Emily is not yet able to conserve. Is Piaget right? Secondly, should her parents try to teach her conservation abilities? Discuss the research findings surrounding both of these questions.
From the definition of conservation as the ability to comprehend when amounts of something stagnate across any two or more given situations notwithstanding the look of that given thing changing transversely in those situations, it can be concluded that Emily is far from being able to conserve. An instance, is when, after being found during the game, she closes her eyes and claims she is not yet found, and furthermore claims that she is a ghost. Her parents are tasked with putting her in situations where she is bound to learn passively on how to conserve.
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