The cognitive, social and emotional development in early childhood is very important concept for us. Every child explores and makes experiments until he finds out the cause of the unexpected loud noise.Every child wants to know more. A growing, active mind is in constant search of new adventure, more knowledge.”Why? How? When?” the brain asks. “What will happen if I take this or add that? How far can I go?”
Intelligence is not a number on a test or a score on an exam. It is a tool for survival, a way of using what we know to solve the problems we meet and to learn more. There are many aspects of intelligence, including skill, talent, creativity, and wisdom. We learn to use our mental abilities in ways that help us face life’s difficulties and opportunities and do what we want to do. Intelligence is also referred to as cognition or as knowing and thinking.
Minds, like computers, accept, sort, store, and use information.Our brains take a puzzling assortment of what we sense and perceive, what we conceive and imagine, what we remember and expect, and they piece these together to give us a picture of our world.
Some experts believe mental processes develop smoothly and continuously; others believe that development occurs in distinct stages, each building on the other. Jean Piaget, a pioneer in the field of cognitive development, believed that specific types of thought processes occurred in a developmental sequence and that, until a child reaches the appropriate developmental stage, she is not ready to learn specific tasks. He described maturing thought processes in four stages.
From birth until 2, the first Piagetian stage, thechild changes from a disorganized, reflexive bundle of humanity—thrashing arms and legs—to a gradually more controlled and coordinated being-smiling, imitating, reaching, crawling, walking. The child learns by trial and error, by doing.
The second stage, as conceived by Piaget, occurs between 2and 7 years of age during which the child, having acquired language skills, begins to represent her world by symbols (words and images that stand for something). Curious about everything, she overflows with questions but interprets information according to her limited picture of the world made up of her own experiences. She cannot think as an adult—even a miniature adult. Abstract concepts and deductive reasoning are beyond her capability.
What Are The Cognitive Skills In Children That Develop Cognitive Development In Early Childhood
Piaget believed that children between 7 and 11 begin to solve problems by thinking instead of doing. Whereas previously a child needed fingers to count, she now begins to count and perform simple mathematical problems in her head. Nevertheless, she can only manipulate “concrete” numbers or objects—those things physically present or experienced. She will not be able to think in abstract terms, according to Piaget, until the final developmental stage, which begins between the ages of 11 and 16. This stage marks the start of adult thinking. When she reaches it, she can hypothesize about what might have been or what might be. She can plan for the future. All the necessary mental structures are in place.
Since Piaget made his observations, much research has been done, and it has become clear that cognitive abilities develop more individualistically than he realized. Just as children differ in their rates of physical development, so do they differ in their cognitive development. Also, the sequence in which specific skills are learned varies among children.
Further, children develop individual styles of thinking. This is especially true in problem solving. Some children arrive at conclusions quickly, without considering all the facts; others think problems through before acting. Research shows that reflective children—those who stop and think—tend to perform better than impulsive children in accomplishing tasks requiring detailed study.
Physical health and environment also play important roles in cognitive growth. There is evidence that during pregnancy, poor eating habits or excessive smoking on the mother’s part can slow down the future development of her unborn child. Lack of proper nutrition during early childhood also has been found to retard intellectual functioning.
The role of environment becomes clearer in studies of identical twins. Identical twins raised separately in differing environments show greater differences in their performances on IQ tests than do identical twins raised in the same home. Exposure to stimulating and enriching environments provides children with major advantages for cognitive development.
The acquisition of language skills, understanding of the world and others, memory, levels of thinking, and altruism—all pieces of cognition—are influenced by inherited potential, general health, environment, and, to a great extent, parents.