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PART 1: Respond to the set task
Respond to each set task below. It is a good idea to complete one task per week as you are studying the information that is relevant to that task, rather than complete all the tasks at the last minute. Reference using the APA style as needed to support your responses. Word count: 350- 400 words for each set task. This includes all text (headings, in-text citations, captions and direct quotes).
PART 2 – Reflection (topic of your choice within the relevant weekly learning module)
For each week, beginning week 2 (Weeks 2 – 6 inclusive), provide a reflection on something new you have learned, something you wish to know more about and/or ways in which the topic has contributed to your understanding of the role of a teacher. Word count: 200 – 250 words for each reflection. This includes all text (headings, in-text citations, captions and direct quotes). This is a limited word count so focus on one aspect only and write precisely and concisely.
Week 2 Task: Brain development and learning are closely related. What changes in behaviour would you expect to observe in educational settings (childcare centres & classrooms) from early childhood to adolescence as a result of brain development?
David Elkind, a noted author on child psychological development, has reported that the fastest pace of human brain development is between birth to the age of five years (Elkind, 1969). This shows that early childhood centres and classrooms need to keep pace with this rapid development in order to ensure that maximum learning can be obtained by children at this level. As recommended by Edie and Schmid, teachers need to instruct younger children through concrete interactions in the earlier period of teaching. They can leave formal instruction for the later period, i.e. the near-puberty age (Edie and Schmid, 2007).
Most ancient scholars considered the early mind to be a blank page as anything can be written on it. It is often seen that whatever is experienced in early childhood has an everlasting result on a child’s mind. “The presence of family violence, sexual abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, growing up in a family where someone is in jail, or where a parent suffers from chronic depression or other mental illness, has the effect of turning gold into the lead in terms of the future prospects of children” (Kolb, 2009). Both parents and teachers alike have reported that changing behaviour in children can be seen from a very young age till the teens. This behaviour is marked by internal hormonal changes as well as external influences (Rutter’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2008). Little children are attention-seeking and love-hungry. It is a common habit in pre-primary children to hunt for the teacher’s attention. Emotions are dominant in this age. However, as the children enter the pre-puberty age, they suddenly get involved in peer activities, and this trend increases as they enter teenage (Kennedy and Chen, 2009).
According to Piaget, the first five years are dominated by memory development. Cognition is seen between 5-10 years. The early puberty years are when a child is able to apply the already learnt theories to practical uses, which he termed as a stage of “concrete operational thinking” (O'Donnell et al., 2016, p 96). This is the age when educators need to be conscious about students’ development as they will be able to grasp anything quickly and efficiently. Thus, the study of brain development has an important role to play in the modern education system.
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