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The changing cognitive in children

- By Dwaipayan, 08 April 2021 | 5 MIN READ


Cognitive or reasoning development in children occurs mostly in predictable sequences. Children develop their skills and abilities with time. Undoubtedly, not all children develop alike but certainly, they pass through common phases of cognitive, physical, and social development.

With cognitive development, children can handle complex and abstract ideas better. For example, younger children have difficulty in figuring out numbers and simple math. But over time as they grow up to be adolescents, they can handle more and more intricate problem-solving.

Are Children Passive listeners?

If we think that children are passive receivers of knowledge, we are wrong. Any information that seeps into a child’s brain immediately starts processing into new ideas. That is, putting them into categories, making connections to other pieces of information they already know, and asking questions to develop an interpretation of the world around them. If we go by the theory of “constructivism” a first-hand experience that students come across can be far more stimulating rather than a pre-conceived notion of what they receive from a teacher’s explanation. Allowing students to explore their own approaches for solving problems rather than a “sage on the stage”

The “blank state”

While another theme that is running through all cognitive development is the “blank state” that is any new knowledge is based on prior knowledge. Unless a child understands the prior knowledge, no knowledge can be built around it. Once it is achieved, students can throw themselves into the vast array of experiences.

The Upper elementary

Students who are there in the upper elementary school in and around the third grade demonstrate a greater ability to perform logical operations with concrete materials, like math manipulatives. Going to the later elementary grades, children begin using abstract concepts more often and proficiently but still do so rarely for example in elementary algebra.

As it comes to children’s communication skills, both verbal and written are rapidly improving. In the third, fourth, and fifth grade teachers report that differences in cognitive styles become recognizable and distinct. Coming to the social lives of upper elementary, students are ever more involved by the issues of status within groups. Research tells that this is when students develop a sense of academic self-worth that usually runs throughout later schooling.

Cognitive skills and Adolescence

In the seventh to ninth-grade students starts to experience superior and quality cognitive skills. They are now able to think systematically, deductively, hypothetically, and abstractly. Physically, they are experiencing significant growth – a very crucial stage. They also start to experience deepening social relationships and there can be ego spurts fueled by physical and psychological changes. Adolescents begin to form an opinion about themselves, having certain characteristics “popular” “sporty” “different” primarily linked to their social environment.

Importantly, these definitions tend to fuel future behavior, so it is the role of teachers and parents to communicate what is going right and where they are slipping. Setting them on the right path now will yield good results in the future.

Scope of Educators

Moving on to the last few years of high school, students generally demonstrate full, adult, abstract reasoning. Students continue to focus on the importance of peer relationships, at this stage, they have developed full physical maturity, though few may tend to be growing. Adolescents during this time highly co-relate to socio-economic status and plans. This duration of adolescence is sensitive and can trigger an emotional or psychological roller-coaster for some.

Educators can be better way effective by considering the cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional development needs of students, it is possible to blind yourself to approaches that may be ageless and timeless, mainly when trying to create a positive environment in your classroom. Instructional methods of teaching or grouping strategies are outdated. In its place, it will be fruitful to reach our objectives of every student. Cognitive development’s insights allow us to understand instruction and developing classroom management systems thoughtfully.




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