Social, Emotional, Physical, and Cognitive Development

Here is a comprehensive summary of the social, emotional , physical, and cognitive developmental stages of students. (Found in one of my Grad school notebooks, unfortunately without proper reference)

1) Preschool and kindergarten children are quite active and enjoy physical activity. But incomplete muscle and motor development limits what they can accomplish on tasks that require fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, and visual focusing.

2) The social behavior of preschool and kindergarten children is marked by rapidly changing friendships and play groups, a variety of types of play, short quarrels, and a growing awareness of gender roles.

3) Kindergarteners openly display their emotions. Anger and jealousy are common.

4) Kindergarteners like to talk and are reasonably skilled at using language. Preschoolers tend to apply their own rules of grammar. An authoritative approach by parents is more likely to produce competent preschoolers than is an authoritarian, or permissive, or rejecting-neglecting approach.

5) Primary grade children exhibit many of the same physical characteristics as preschool and kindergarten children (high activity level, incomplete muscle and motor development, frequent periods of fatigue). Most accidents occur among third graders because they overestimate their physical skills and underestimate the dangers in their activities.

6) Friendships are typically same sex and are made on a more selective basis by primary grade children. Quarrels among peers typically involve verbal arguments, although boys may engage in punching, wrestling, and shoving.

7) Primary grade students are becoming more emotionally sensitive. As a result, they are more easily hurt by criticism, respond strongly to praise, and are more likely to hurt another child’s feelings during a quarrel.

8 ) Primary grade students like to speak up in class. They learn best when tasks are relatively short and when less cognitively demanding tasks occasionally follow more cognitively demanding tasks.

9) Elementary grade boys and girls become leaner and stronger and tend to have a gangly look. But some run the risk of becoming overweight because of poor eating habits and lack of exercise. Boys usually outperform girls on such sports-related motor skills as kicking, throwing, catching, running, and jumping, whereas girls often surpass boys on such play-related motor skills as flexibility, balance, and rhythm.

10) The peer group becomes a strong influence on the norms that govern the behavior of elementary grade children.

11) Friendships in the elementary grades become even more selective and gender based than they were in the primary grades.

12) A child’s self-image (self-concept plus self-esteem) becomes more stable and generalized during the elementary grades. As a result of the decline of egocentric thought and the competitive nature of American society, self-image is based primarily on comparisons with peers.

13) Delinquency occurs more frequently among elementary grade children than at earlier ages and is associated with dysfunctional parent-child relationships and academic failure.

14) The thinking of elementary grade children, although more logical, can be wildly inconsistent and is constrained by the limitations of Piaget’s concrete operational stage.

15) Although most children grow rapidly during the middle school years, girls grow more quickly and begin puberty earlier than boys. Early versus late maturation in boys and girls may affect subsequent personality development.

16) The social behavior of middle school children is increasingly influence by peer group norms and the development of interpersonal reasoning. Children are now capable of understanding why they behave as they do towards other and vice versa.

17) Because the peer group is the primary source for rules of acceptable behavior, conformity and concern about what peers think reach a peak during the middle school years.

18) Although anxiety, worry, and concern about self-esteem, physical appearance, academic success, and acceptance by peers are prominent emotions among many adolescents, some cope with these emotions better than others.

19) The climate of many middle school classrooms does not meet the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of early adolescents.

20) Self-efficacy beliefs, or how competent one feels at carrying out a particular task, begin to stabilize during the middle school years and influence the willingness of students to take on and persist at various academic and social tasks.

21) Physical development during the high school years is marked by physical maturity for most students and by puberty for virtually all. Sexual activity increases.

22) The long-range goals, beliefs, and values of adolescents are likely to be influenced by parents, whereas immediate status is likely to be influenced by peers. Many teens have part-time, after-school employment.

23) Eating disorders, substance abuse, schizophrenia, depression, and suicide are prominent emotional disorders among adolescents. Depression is the most common emotional disorder during adolescence. Depression coupled with an unstable family situation places adolescents at risk for suicide.

24) Cognitively, high school students become increasingly capable of formal operational thought, although they may function at the concrete operational level a good deal of the time. The influence of formal operational reasoning can be seen in political thinking, which becomes more abstract and knowledgeable.

25) Technologies that aid student learning and development are available for every age level, ranging from beginning reading and writing programs for primary and elementary grade children to complex situations, problem solving and telecommunication programs for high school students.

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