Chapter 7 Infants and Toddlers

Report
Chapter 7
Infants and Toddlers: Critical Years of
Life
Infants and Toddlers
High quality care of infants and toddlers has become increasingly
important, along with the increase in dual income families (i.e., families
where both mothers and fathers work). The periods of infancy and
toddlerhood are critical for learning, and we now understand that
children at these ages are quite capable. This chapter focuses on the
characteristics of infants and toddlers and the type of environments
that support their learning and development. Upon completion of this
chapter, you will be able to discuss the importance of developmentally
appropriate practices and learning environments for the infant and
toddler.
Infancy and Toddlerhood
Infant and Toddler Development
Language and mobility leads to toddler independence and desire for
autonomy.
Teachers and caregivers must respond to infant and toddler
developmental changes in ways that support their growth and
development.
Normal growth and development have been established, based on the
mythical average child. Children will grow and develop at different
rates.
Teachers and caregivers should take into consideration children’s
culture and family background when determining what is normal for
the individual child.
Nature and Nurture
Discussions of whether nature (genetics) or nuture (environment) have more
influence on development have shifted so that these two influences are no
longer pitted against each other.
Current thinking is that both are necessary to understand children's
development and that the interaction between nature and nurture contributes
to the individuality of children.
versus
plus
Child’s Development
Brain Development
Decisions about early childhood programs and the organization
of environments to promote child development rely on
information gleaned from brain research.
Brain research points to:
 the importance of early experiences;
 benefits of early intervention.
Brain research provides information about stimulation, and
development of specific areas of the brain.
More on the Brain
The child’s brain is anatomically like the adults brain, except
that the adult’s brain weighs 3 pounds while the child’s brain is
as follows:
At birth – 14 ounces
Six months– 1.31 pounds
Three years – 2.4 pounds
Ten years – 3 pounds
More on the Brain
Neurons are nerve cells which form synapses or connections
through a process called synaptogenesis. Synaptogenesis
continues until age 10.
Brain connections are made when caretakers interact or play
with, and respond and talk to young children.
Connections that are used repeatedly become permanent.
Neural shearing takes place when brain connections wither away
due to lack of use.
Influences on Development and
Learning
High quality • High quality experiences
contribute to neural
experiences
connections.
Critical
periods
• Experiences must
occur at the right
times
Sensitive
periods
• Some things are
learned easier
during certain
periods.
Psychosocial Development
Infants and
toddlers fall
within the trust
vs. mistrust
stage of
Erickson’s
theory of
psychosocial
development.
Raised in
environments of
love, warmth, and
support
Environment with
limited conflict
between infant
and parent or
caregiver
Children from
birth to age
two develop
trust in others
and themselves
Caregivers are
trustworthy and
are sensitive to
the child’s
needs.
Social Behaviors
Infants use social behaviors to begin and maintain relationships.
Infants interact socially with others by
Crying
Imitating and mimicking observed
behaviors
Bonding and Attachments
Social and emotional relationships are influenced by bonding and
attachments
Bonding
 takes place between infant
and parent
 begins at birth
 serves as the basis for
mutual attachment
Attachment
 enduring emotional tie
between infant and parent
 children engage attachment
behaviors (e.g., crying,
sucking, babbling, etc.) to
get and maintain proximity
 adults also engage in
attachment behaviors (e.g.,
kissing, touching, embracing,
etc.) to establish
attachments
Attachments
Young children are capable of developing multiple attachments at the
same time—although they may show a preference for the primary
caregivers.
High quality childcare programs seek out ways to ensure that mothers
maintain primary attachments with their infants.
The quality of parent-child attachments can me measured by the
Strange Situation. This observational tool assesses whether or not an
infant is securely attached to a caregiver.
Temperament and Personality
A child’s temperament is represented by his/her collective behavioral
characteristics. A child’s temperament helps to determine their personality.
Three Types of Children
See Figure 7.3 for details about each type.
Principles of Motor Development
Motor development is sequential. Growth
precedes from:
Gross
(large)
behaviors
Fine
(small)
behaviors
Head
(cephalo)
Cephalocaudal
Development
Foot
(caudal)
Proximal
(center of
body)
Proximodistal
Development
Distal
(extremities)
Cognitive Development
Infants are toddler fit within Piaget’s sensorimotor stage, which is the
first stage of cognitive development. Highlights of this stage include:
 initial learning through reflexive motor action;
 development of object permanence where the infant understands
that objects they cannot see still exist;
 toddlers’ experimentation with objects to solve problems;
 thinking using mental images and memory;
 symbolic play where an unrelated object is used to represent
another object (e.g., a stick is used to represent an airplane).
Theories of Language Development
Language acquisition is
innate. All children learn
language regardless of
culture.
Speech production
develops according to
innate biological
schedules.
The content of language is
acquired in the
environment through
modeling. Social
interactions are necessary
for language development.
.
Environmental Theory
Maturationist Theory
Language Development
Language Development
First words
Holophrastic
speech (single
word
sentences)
Symbolic
representation
(a word can
stand for a
mental image)
Vocabulary
development
( 50 words by
age 2)
Telegraphic
speech (two
word
sentences)
Language Development
Additional important points about language development. . .
Motherese – the way mothers and caregivers adapt their speech when
talking to young children.
Language patterns – children develop and master most language pattern by
the end of preschool. The early years represent the sensitive period for
learning language.
Baby signing – infants as young as five months can learn signals that stand
for something else. A growing movement suggests children should be taught
to communicate using signs before they are able to talk.
Developmentally Appropriate
Programs
Dimensions of Developmentally Appropriate Programs
Developmentally appropriate programs consider:
what is known about child development and learning;
what is known about the strengths, interest, and needs of the individual
child so that the program can adapt and be responsive to those interests and
needs;
the social and cultural context in which the child lives so that learning
experiences can be meaningful, relevant, and respectful to children and their
families.
Developmentally Appropriate
Programs
Care must also be taken when matching teachers and child care
providers with children of different ages. Certain
teachers/child care providers will be more emotionally and
professionally suited for certain ages of children.
Environments to Support Infant and
Toddler Development
Environments to Support Infant and
Toddler Development
Teachers and childcare providers can organize environments
that provide for:
 Heath and safety
 Support development of basic trust and autonomy
 Space and materials that encourage active involvement
Infant and Toddler Curriculum
The curriculum should provide for the child’s physical, social,
emotional, cognitive, and linguistic development.
The curriculum should be based on responsive relationships which
means that it will respond to the needs and interests of the infant or
toddler.
The curriculum should
include a daily routine
encourage language development
promote social development and interactions
include engaging and challenging activities
Infant and Toddler Mental Health
Infant mental health refers to the overall health and well-being of young
children in their family, community, and school relationships. Threats to
children such as abuse, neglect, poverty, malnutrition, and the lack of loving
relationships result in poor mental health.
Poor mental health leads to negative outcomes such as:
impaired mental functioning
poor school achievement
poor physical health
substance abuse
delinquency
loss of human potential
Infant and Toddler Mental Health
Relations are important to mental health. Listed below are relational
guidelines.
individualize attention to the needs of both infants/toddlers and
their parents.
emphasis on the strengths of infants and toddlers.
provide continuous and stable caregiving.
be accessible to infants/toddlers and their parents.
be culturally responsive by recognizing the values, beliefs, and
practices of diverse cultures
Diverse Learners
All
families
should be
welcomed.
Families differ in terms of
race, socioeconomic status,
religion, and culture.
See pg. 199 for tips
on working with
diverse families.
Children today
come from diverse
family
backgrounds.
Collaborate
with
diverse
families
All
families
should feel
valued.
Culture influences
beliefs about child
rearing practices and
family responsibilities.
What’s next
After reviewing this presentation and reading Chapter 7, Infants and
Toddler: Critical Years for Learning, check your understanding of the terms
and concepts listed below. You will then be ready to complete the Chapter 7
quiz.
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Infant/toddler age range
Nature vs. nurture
Brain research and development
Brain size-infant/toddler
Neurons and synapses
synaptogenesis
neural shearing
Critical periods
Sensitive periods
Experiences that support development of
trust
Social behavior
Bonding and attachment
Strange Situation
Types of child temperaments
Sequential motor development and growth
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Cognitive development
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Theories of language development
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Stages of language development
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Motherese
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Development of language patterns
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Using sign language
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Dimensions of developmentally appropriated
programs
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Environments supportive of development
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Infant/toddler curriculum
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Infant/toddler mental health
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Threats to mental health/outcomes
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Relational guidelines to support mental
health
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Working with diversity

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