What happens with physical growth during early childhood?
Describe the changes in brain development that take place during early childhood. What is happening with neurons? What is happening in the frontal lobe?
Describe changes in gross and fine motor abilities during early childhood. What can children do at ages 2, 4, 5, and 6?
Discuss the threats posed by lack of outdoor play and/or by lack of food. What effects do these have on development?
Explain the features of Piaget’s preoperational stage of cognitive development. What age range is involved? What can children do now that they could not as toddlers?
What can children still not do? Describe the inability to understand conservation and egocentrism.
What are the major critiques of Piaget’s theory for early childhood?
Explain Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of cognitive development. Why did he regard it as a social-cultural process?
What is the zone of proximal development? What is scaffolding? How do these relate to learning, according to Vygotsky?
What is language?
Describe language development in early childhood. What does “sensitive/critical period” mean? What is happening with grammar ability? With semantics?
What is Chomsky’s (nativist) theory of language acquisition? What are three pieces of evidence that support this theory? What evidence contradicts this theory?
How does social class/income relate to young children’s language development (in the U.S.)?
How does growing up bilingual affect mastery of language?
What is “theory of mind”? Describe and/or recognize examples of a child showing (or failing to show) theory of mind.
Distinguish between sex and gender.
What are the three theories of gender development?
How do evolution and hormones contribute to a biological basis of gender development?
How does culture play a role in gender development? How do parents and peers play a role in gender socialization?
What is a “gender schema”? How do children self-socialize in relation to these schemas?
What does it mean to say that variability within gender is greater than between genders for most characteristics?
What are three purposes for pretend play?
What are autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)? Describe some of the signs/symptoms of ASDs.
What are the rates of ASDs in the U.S.?
What are some of the possible causes of ASDs? What are some of the treatments for ASDs?
Terms to understand
- Preoperational thinking
- Conservation tasks
- Gender schema