Articles On Cognitive Development: Strategies And Teaching Pedagogies

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Question :

choose 1 article from each week  write down 500 words for each article according question paper statement and 300 word for summative statement that identifies the implications of the articles for the early childhood sector and teaching pedagogies and strategies of enhancing children’s progression from lower order to higher order thinking and provision of executive functioning learning experiences in early childhood environments.

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Answer :

Week 6

The article reviews about the age related similarities and differences in self regulated learning. It explores that the young and the old generation chooses informative study material when there is less choices and less time. 

The purpose of study is to unveil some important points that how aging impact the self efficient learning and how compensatory and strategic process helps older adults to more indulge in self regulated studies in spite of having poor memory. The article emphasize on many key aspects of learning behaviours of different age groups. The study reflects that both the age groups are more sensitive to the high value items and spend more time on it and also on its recall process. However, comparatively to the younger adults, older adults spend more time on high value items and recall lesser items. However, in the process of recall, age differences are reduced to the highest value words. The older age group put more emphasis on high value and recalls them just before the test. 

The strength of article is the applied methodology of research. The study is exploratory study based on primary data. There is a display which shows the point value from 1-30 which participant can choose what they want to study. In the 2 minutes session of study, it is up to the participant how he chooses study word. Both younger and older group choose high value words more than low value words. But, it is seen that older adults have given more amount of time to study to the higher value words than the younger adults and these age differences are reduced to the higher value words. However, older adults study high value items but just before the test. According to the mediation on multilevel, it is seen that the participants put more emphasis on the material containing high points. On the other hand, also older adults show the same or stronger strategy in the process of remembering the study material. The primary weakness of article is focusing on specific age group. Hence, the findings cannot be implemented on general populations.

The article’s finding can be easily implemented in early education of childhood as it provide insight about why the older adults put more emphasis on higher value items is their learning environment. This may allow them to learn only higher point items and to learn the specific information. This could be having more implications to learn in early childhood education. It can be implemented in early child hood. If we take an example of side effects of medication, a person who is studying the long list of it would probably remember the lastly mentioned side effects of medication.. Educator can implement findings in the education process. For instance- older adults prioritize the information that which one has to remember first in self-learning situation. As aging can decline the overall memory of the person, but strategy of self regulated learning can help in remembering important points and information.

Week 7

The article aims to explore these development as these are key points of later evolutionary changes in children. As, A little research has been done in the field of dramatic life changes in children. 

The purpose of article is to explore the understanding of children life cycle is the key to understand the later evolutionary change. In today’s time, we know very less about the development of children that how their life changes and the evolution of their understanding.

The main strength of research is  experimental research. There are two studies which examine the knowledge and age impact on children’s life cycle which undergo changes in the whole life span from subtle to dramatic. The participants in the age group of 3, 4 and 7 years old were given an example by showing pictures of adult animals and juvenile and ask them to give biological and non biological mechanism for life span changes. Moreover, 3 to 4 years old participants were compared to the caterpillars which are transforming into butterflies. The key points of study is to analyse the strength of different age group of children.

In the study, four type of biological changes are evaluated. First kind of change is the change in size rather than biological changes. Second type of change is in the texture and color. Third change is metamorphosis. Forth type of change is turning into beautiful butterfly. The article examines the children’s response and acceptance foe these type of changes in caterpillar.

These 3, 4 and 7 olds has been compared to the animals that undergo the changes of life span from subtle to dramatic. It also measures their biological reasoning for these changes and non biological reasoning as well. In the prior studies, all the examinations on children were relied on the biological model rather than non biological models to explain the life span changes. Other than this, all ages of children rejected all the impossible life changes. However, the old age children believe more in the immutability and potential when under examination about life span. These results suggest that exposure to biological changes so early can lead to the increase in the knowledge of different kind of changes that are actually possible. 

The other study examined whether the experience of huge changes in life span of one kind would give an approval to another kind or not. Children usually support the biological process of changes on life span which are witnessed during the caterpillar intervention than the other kind of item with which they were compared or presented. The results said that as the age increased, they support more models but within the species. The results also revealed that adult chose the growth model by default for those species, which were clearly identified as a part of larger class of species such as insects which generally go more changes over the life time. Hence, the above finding of research can be implemented in early childhood. Educator can develop different models for different  age group of children.

Week 8

Diamond, A., Barnett, W., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007). THE EARLY YEARS: Preschool Program Improves Cognitive Control. Science, 318(5855), 1387-1388. doi: 10.1126/science.1151148

The research aims to explore the importance of EF in early years. Executive functions are very much important for the success in school as well as in life. These are also called the cognitive controls. It is may be noted that these executive functions are not taught in many situations, but they can be easily taught. 

The tools developed for Mind (Tools) curriculum has the capacity of improving Executive Functions to the children in pre-school stage. These can be done by teachers in regular classroom at nominal expenses. It is hereby informed that the Core Executive Functions skills are inhibitory controls (related to resisting habits, distractions or temptations), working memory (related mentally holding or using information) and cognitive flexibility (related to adjustment and change). 

The main key strong area of article is the opportunity of evaluating the mind tools and other curriculum had arisen when an urban school district having low income had agreed for randomly assigning the teachers and the children for these. The study had been conducted in 21 classrooms out of which 18 were taken initially and 3 were added next year according to the conditions. All the quality standards were pre-determined by the state. The ultimate efforts were put to provide same resources to all classrooms in terms of teachers training and other supports. The aim was to report accuracy and not the speed because in these circumstances of the children accuracy matters more than the speed. The multiple regression analysis was carried out with respect to age, gender, years and curriculum as independent variables. Interaction terms were kept insignificant and to some extent were dropped. It was found that the on Dots-Congruent (having minimal demands of Executive Functions), the performance of children were similar irrespective of curriculum, years of curriculum, gender etc. The performances of older children were better. From it, the concept that that the preschool age is too early for trying and training to improve Executive Functions is not correct. The truth is that it can be done. The Executive Functions, in fact, can be easily improved in the age of 4 to 5 years of age and it can be done in regular school classes with usual teachers. The Executive Functions can be taught by play help activities. 

The finding can be easily implemented in early childhood sector. Executive Functions are taught and controlled in preschool days, the general benefits are increased and the benefits are transferred to other activities as well. The exercises related to Executive Functions have the potential of enhancing development of mind are these are similar as to improvement of body by physical exercises. As the task will be more demanding in terms of Executive Functions, it will be highly correlated to the academic developments. The better academic performances are treated as the criteria of better learning in some schools or states. But, it may be seen that the mind tools related to Executive Functions have the capacity of changing the children towards more activities and performances. The critics may raise fingers that no study is perfect, yet it can be easily said that the real development of children is possible only when they have developed Executive Functions. 

Cumulative statement—

Three articles focus on learning environment and learning opportunity for the cognitive development of children.  By providing self- learning environment alongwith implementation of executive functions are useful and effective strategies in early childhood.

The articles give basis to implement findings in early childhood education. The theoretical framework related to selectivity as well as aging states that older children and adults may engage in the selective optimization along with compensation. These allow them for selectively focusing on important goals as well as functions only. An educator must understand that the part of biological process and physical changes must also be associated with the mental development and Executive Functions. The process of teaching the younger children can be easy and less expensive than those of adults and when these children grow as adult they will be able to understand in better ways the values but retain it for longer days. There have been interventions for children at-risk and the consequences of having poor Executive Functions. But, the efforts of prevention have been ever lacking. Hence, it is emphasized here that the once the Executive Functions are improved at early stage, the benefits can be reaped all the times and it will reduce the cost of special education, together with reduction of societal costs caused due to unregulated and antisocial behavior. It is beneficial to know from the findings of articles that the mental strength of children can be improved by knowledge and by use of other models. It has been found that changes in lifespan have profound impact on children’s later development. The efforts of lifespan changes can never been ignored. Age of children has critical role to take decision about life span changes. Grown up children are prone to identify those insects who go into more complicated life span. The ability of being selective enhances the learning as well as the metacognitive monitoring among the older adults and it is consistent with the value-oriented remembering framework.