Middle Childhood/School Age Paper
- Due No Due Date
- Points 40
- Submitting a text entry box
Please post your paper (you do not need to include your notes worksheet) in the “text entry” comments box.
Human Development Paper Grading Criteria
A. Completeness (80% = 32 Points)
1. 2+ page single spaced essay (4 Points)
2. Three sections each with the title centered and bolded above it: (3 Points)
3. Connection of notes with physical, cognitive, and social/personality development information from textbook including analysis on whether the subject’s behavior is typical or atypical within the domains. (10 Points)
4. At least six (2 for physical, 2 for cognitive, 2 for social/personality development) relevant quotes or citations from the textbook (Follow these with Feldman and the page number: (Feldman, 203). Please bold, underline, and/or WRITE IN ALL CAPS for your quotes or citations. (12 Points)
5. Addresses how cultural values, beliefs, behaviors may have affected
development (3 Points)
B. Written Language Conventions (20% = 8 Points)
1. Correct English spelling and grammar, use of paragraphs, etc
Sample Paper #1:
Human Development Paper Three – Middle Childhood/School Age
For this paper, I decided to interview and observe my nine-year-old cousin and his mother. His name is Edgar and is currently in fourth grade. He lives in Simi Valley with his parents and two older sisters. His family is Catholic, attends mass, and practice traditions. At school, he is at the average level for children his age according to his teachers and grades. He is an active boy, both at school and home, and enjoys playing sports. He is not involved in any school sports but is a member of his community youth soccer team. I asked a series of questions to my cousin regarding his physical, motor, and cognitive development. I asked my aunt a series of questions regarding my cousin’s physical growth, cognitive and emotional development. I also have information from observations at family gatherings and home visits.
I have seen him grow up since he has been born and I have recently seen a rapid growth spurt. His father’s genetic code has been a factor in his rapid growth because he comes from a family of tall members. As stated in the textbook “the average height for boys is slightly shorter [than females] at 4 feet, 9 ½ inches” (Feldman, 281). At the age of nine years, he is 4’10 and one of the tallest in his class. He has also increased his strength by active participation in exercise and sports. His gross motor skills have also developed rapidly, such as swimming at the age of 6 and riding a bike without training wheels at 7 years old. “One important improvement in gross motor skills is in the realm of muscle coordination…school-age children can readily learn to ride a bike, ice skate, swim, and skip rope” (Feldman, 288). He was introduced to swimming at a young because his family will go to the swimming pool every weekend. He learned to use the bike on his visits to my house where we had multiple bikes available to use. As I mentioned above he is a soccer player at his local community and is one of the top players. He is well known throughout the players and well liked. There has been research that has found a “link between physical competence and popularity” (Feldman, 289). He has many friends at school and girls are starting to notice him. He mentions that he likes to play with girls but does not “like” them. When I asked about his dream job he mentioned that he plans to continue playing soccer for a very long time and become a professional soccer player. He enjoys eating and having an active life balances out. His mother has him follow a good nutrition habit, eating only three times a day, including fruits and vegetables; his favorites are carrots and kiwis. Her mother did tell me that he does not have an enforced bedtime, but does go to been normally at 8 pm and wakes up at 6:30 am during the week for school. I observed him doing homework and was able to see the improvements of fine motor skills as he grabs his pencil to write and ability to type up words on the computer quite fast. According to the information gathered he is at the average stage as other children his age.
As I observe and interview Edgar I become aware of his cognitive abilities. During the interview session, I was able to see him do mathematic problems for his homework. He was doing word problems of addition and subtraction in fractions. The questions went in sequence and added to the previous question. He was able to use previous knowledge to help him solve the problems. Children during this stage are “less egocentric, they can take multiple aspects of a situation into account, an ability known as decentering” (Feldman, 301). This is also helpful when working with others. When I interviewed my aunt she mentioned that she tracks her children’s school progress and follows up with teachers. Edgar’s teacher has previously told her that he is cooperative when working and playing in small groups with other children. Influenced by Vygotsky, “cooperative learning, in which children work together in groups to achieve a common goal” (Feldman, 305). At family gatherings, we like to play some friendly soccer and get into groups. When they team up I have seen him comment about different plays they can do to hit a goal. As a team, each member gives input and work together to achieve it. Continuing with his education his mother states that he rarely has trouble doing homework and never complains about it. She also mentioned that when growing up he was in English Language Development courses till he was in second grade. His first and home language is Spanish and has developed his bicultural identity. “ In the case of Spanish-speaking children, for example, instruction begins in the child’s native language and shifts as rapidly as possible to include English” (Feldman, 316). Also stated in the text “studies examining children’s socio-emotional well-being found that bilinguals had the highest level of self-control and interpersonal skills compared with monolinguals” (Feldman, 308). His mother and father know little English but talk the little they know to Edgar and his sisters. They encouraged Edgar’s older sisters to talk English to him as a toddler to introduce the language little by little. Now that they are all older, my aunt enforces only speaking Spanish at home and only speak English when they are discussing homework.
He is surrounded my girls all day, that being his mother and two sisters. The bond Edgar has with his mother and sisters (ages 12 & 14) are inseparable. They are always hugging and joyfully playing and joking around. He spends most of his time with his mother and enjoys hugging her and telling her how much he loves her. His older sisters always spoil him and show him much love. Of course, there are always moments where there are sibling fights and can’t even look at each other. This rarely happens in their household and when it does they do not last more than a couple of hours before saying sorry and hugging it out. “In Mexican American families, which have particularly strong values regarding the importance of family, siblings are less likely to respond negatively when younger siblings receive preferential treatment” (Feldman, 346). Edgar’s parents do not show preference to any one of their children. They are equal with all of them and teach them to be respectful and loving. My uncle and aunt practice authoritative parenting and “are warm and emotionally supportive, while still setting clear limits for their children’s behavior” (Feldman, 336). This lead Edgar and his sisters to have high self-esteem and be proud of whom they are. As a whole, Edgar displays a lot of love toward his family and close friends.
Edgar is a typical kid that enjoys school and most of all loves to play sports. He is 9 years old and doesn’t care what others say, lives the way he’s comfortable in and proud of his cultural identity. He has been playing soccer since he was seven years old and has come to learn many skills, which help him in both physically and academically. He attains different perspective when solving problems. He has a positive and loving relationship with his parents and siblings. Overall, I was able to see where my cousin was in all domains and share this information with my aunt.
Sample Paper #2:
Essay #3 School Age 7-12 Years Old Book Paper
The book Because of Winn Dixie tells the tale of ten year old India “Opal” Buloni. Opal was abandoned by her mother and moves to a new town called Naomi, Florida with her father. It is summer. Opal’s father is a preacher in the local town and they live in an adult only trailer park. Opal meets her new dog at a Winn-Dixie store and names him Winn-Dixie. She develops a relationship with Winn-Dixie. During this time this relationship helps her to deal with some of the things that a child of this age may face. She meets a girl named, Amanda Wilkinson, who Opal describes as “pinched face”. She later learned why, that she had lost a brother to drowning. The books shows how Opal develops as a child. She develops friendships, develops socially and deals with living with a single parent.
In this story Opal is a 10 year old girl with red hair and freckles. Just around the age of Opal’s age, the textbook states that “While they are in elementary school, children in the United States grow, on average, 2 to 3 inches a year. By the age of 11, the average height for girls is 4 feet, 10 inches and the average height for boys is slightly shorter at 4 feet, 9 ½ inches. This is the only time during the life span when girls are, on average, taller than boys. This height difference reflects the slightly more rapid physical development of girls, who start their adolescent growth spurt around the age of 10.” (Feldman, p. 281)
In Chapter 26, a boy named Dunlap said to Opal, “I’ll race you back to the house,” (DiCamillo, p. 180). Opal replied,“Okay, But I’m warning you, I’m fast.” According to Feldman, at 10 years of age, gross motor skills development says that “Both girls and boys can run 17 feet per second” (Feldman, p. 289). In the book, Opal beat Dunlap to the corner of the house just before he did. Opal is showing typical physical development here.
Opal shows cognitive development throughout the story by showing how she is able to go to the store on her own, a higher level skill cognitively, and purchase food for the family. This is something a parent might do, but Opal seems to do this sort of thing on a regular basis. This was obviously the expectation in Opal’s household and her father. This is an example of the teacher expectancy effect which obviously works for parents too. “These communicated expectations in turn indicate to the child what behavior is appropriate, and the child behaves accordingly.”(Feldman, p. 314) This belief in Opal, helped her to develop cognitively.
It was the one time that she went to the store and happened to run into a dog who had caused some trouble in the store and was about to get in trouble with the store manager. Opal showed cognitive development by thinking quickly and claimed Winn Dixie as her own. She quickly thought up the name “Winn-Dixie” as this was the name of the store that she was in. Cognitive development was characterized in the story by Opal showing an active and appropriate use of logic. “According to Piaget, school age children entering the concrete operational period and for the first time become capable of applying logical thought processes to concrete problems.” (Feldman p. 328) Opal’s cognitive abilities seem to be typical of her age level peers.
Opal feels like an outsider in her new town. In the beginning of the book, Opal says she is lonely and doesn’t have any friends. Gloria acts kindly toward Opal and invites Opal to tell her “everything.” This friendliness makes Opal feel like she has a real, true friend. Friendships are important for social development.
Opal meets a lady named Miss Franny. When Miss Franny offers a Littmus Lozenge to Opal and Amanda in Chapter 17, she tells them the secret ingredient in it is “sorrow”. The characters Opal and Gloria both had sorrow in their lives. Opal lost her mother and had to move to a new city. Gloria Dump made bad choices and battled with alcohol. The preacher lost his wife. Amanda Wilkinson’s brother drowned. Opal learned to deal with sorrow. This culture of true friendship helped Opal to develop socially.
In the text Feldman talks about how important friendships and trust are at this age. “Friends are seen as those who can be counted on to help out when they are needed. This means that violations of trust are taken very seriously and friends cannot make amends for such violations just by engaging in positive play, as they might at earlier ages.” (Feldman, p.339)
Opal lives alone with her father who is a preacher. Opal is interested in knowing about her mother. She asks her dad, the “preacher” ten questions about her mom. She went to her room to write down these “things” so she would remember them. The “preacher”, her father, up until this point has been a pretty absent, uninvolved parent.
One day, when Winn Dixie disappeared, it opened a discussion between father and daughter. The preacher realizes that his wife didn’t take everything. He had forgotten “one very important thing that she left behind” That “very important thing” is Opal, and when he realizes it, the preacher says “Thank God your mama left me you.”(DiCamillo, P. 167) And so because of the dog, Winn-Dixie, the preacher becomes a daddy once again. A daddy who still misses his wife, but now, finally, sees his daughter and is going to be a more involved parent. “Almost one-fourth of all children under the age of 18 in the United States live with only one parent. If this trend continues, almost three-fourths of American children will spend some portion of their lives in a single-parent family before they are 18 years old.” (Feldman, p. 348)
At the beginning of the story, Opal feels quite lonely. She does not know anyone in Naomi and she still thinks about her mother a lot. By the end of the story, Opal has made many new friends and does not feel lonely anymore. She also has developed a relationship with her dad, the “preacher,” all because of Winn Dixie, the dog.