Child Development 0-19 Yrs: Influences on Moral Development Essay Example
Child Development 0-19 Yrs: Influences on Moral Development Essay Example

Child Development 0-19 Yrs: Influences on Moral Development Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3472 words)
  • Published: May 23, 2018
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Moral development is a key part of social development of a child and is how the child receives, observes, enhances and applies this to develop their sense of right and wrong. One concise definition of moral development is “the process by which children adopt and internalise the rules and expectations of society and develop a sense of right and wrong” (Dwyer and Scampion, 1995, P254). Influences on moral development As children develop their social behaviour they are expected to conform to rules that society dictates. Such rules have been given structure through cultural, legal and religious influences.

Theories of moral development differ immensely on how moral development occurs and what influences it. In his Phychodynamic theory, Freud (1935) explained that the quality of the relationship with their parents affects the child’s moral understanding whilst internal natural preferences influence the ch


ild’s desire to act in a certain way.

Behavioural differences can be apparent as clearly as the first two years this is seen at home, in play group or school settings through the children’s preferences of same sex companions, particular toys and activities” (Serbin et al 2001). Such research expounds the existence of psychological differences between girls and boys whilst Kohlberg presumes no difference in gender when it comes to moral reasoning but does acknowledge gender differences in fine motor skills, perception and girls do better in verbal reasoning tests. These differences, Kohlberg believes, do not affect moral reasoning and attributes moral development as having six universal stages.

The family is the primary mechanism for socialisation in childhood and parents persuasion on the socialisation of their children will reflect their own views, opinions, social background and self esteem whic

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are a function of parenting style with the authoritative style most significant. The family also fulfils an important social function providing emotional support for those in the network establishing and maintaining culturally appropriate social order and educating the young to be competent member of that community. From the start, the family is the most influential factor which shapes the social development of the child and this has a lasting effect on how the child’s life will develop.

The experiences that a family has together are much more lasting than those a child will have with others and influence all aspects of the child’s development particularly as a family environment is geared towards “bringing the child up”. In his “social learning theory” Bandora placed emphasis on moral behaviours whilst Jean Piaget developed a 2 stage theory to explain cognitive influences on the moral development of children. Piaget explained that stage 1 is a “heteronymous” stage which means that the reasoning is based on others in positions of authority e. g. parents or teachers and the child will refer to this higher authority as the justification of a moral attitude.

This stage can occur at around 9 years of age when the child realises that the rules are not rigid but can be changed in light of their intentions for instance it may be acceptable to steal food to help feed a hungry family but is not morally justifiable if it is to satisfy your desire.  Influence of peers “Although the influence parents is typically the most influential in the socialisation of children, relationships with peers are also important. Peer friendships are power influences on children’s conformity” (kiddie, 2004)


interaction helps the child to refine their social skills in an environment which is much more flexible than the family group where rules govern behaviour. The child can learn conformity in an environment which is more tolerant of mistakes and helps them learn from their own and other’s mistakes where open discussions around experiences are often played out.

School and media Schools are important influences in extending children’s social network because schooling places many demands on children that affect all aspects of their development: how children communicate, how they behave, how they progress in learning in different subjects. Schools also influence moral and social development. ” (Woolfolk et al, 2008)

Schools may participate in cooperative learning strategies eg peer collaboration and peer tutoring which serve to build a positive attitude towards peers and the school generally. Formal and social media can affect the social and moral values of children but not always positively. This arena is to a large extent uncontrolled information and things such as violent TV programmes and video games can influence violence in a child as they become more accustomed to violence hereby affecting what they consider to be the norm.

It is acknowledged by researches that short or prolonged exposure to violence will encourage more frequent acts of aggression by children. One modern example of social media encouraging violence is the UK riots in August 2011 where the use of Blackberry messenger helped to coordinate gangs to hit areas as a group. Temperament Child temperament has a rightful place for consideration as an influence on the moral development of the child; this has implications for disciplines and strategies. Much of a child’s temperament is

inherited from the parent’s genes and is an important consideration when instructing or educating a child.

Many inherited personal qualities can give a child a head start in development where fairness, forgiveness, gentleness, respect, integrity, tolerance, optimism and self discipline are innate, although a lot of this can be taught it is not done easily. Write a concise explanation of difference between the sequence and rate of development and why knowing of this is important?

The sequence of development pertains to the order of steps in any child’s development e. g. a child will normally sit up before crawling and crawl before walking. The rate of development relates to the speed of this development because children development at different rates. The importance of understanding the difference is primarily to assist us in decision making around what actions to take if we notice areas the children find challenging.

The sequence of development is common amongst most children while the rate at which they develop often changes. It is important to monitor or recognise the difference in rate so you can determine the kind of help the child needs. Research 3 theories of development. How do these theories and frameworks influence current practice? Cognitive theory (Piaget) Cognitive theory was developed by Jean Piaget and explains his views on the cognitive development within children from age 0 to after 11years. It explains how areas within the brain influence how children understand the world furthermore that children are active participants in the development of their understanding.

Piaget believed that all children have essentially similar learning ability and pass through four stages or levels as below:

  • Sensorimotor period- Ages 0-2 years. Movement and the

senses help children experience the world.

  • Pre-operational Period- Ages 2 -7 years.
  • A period through which improved minor and major motor skills help the child journey through the world doing their own research Concrete operation period- Ages 7 -11 years.
  • Children developed minds begin to apply logic and evaluate and explain their experiences. Formal operational period- Ages 11+.
  • Abstract thinking exists only in thought. Piaget’s theory has proven instrumental in child development research and may have helped form the basis in understanding how the child’s mind works.

    We can consider the implications of Piaget’s work for teaching and learning by the many positive insights that Piaget’s work has made to how much we understand the cognitive development of children and their learning. Piaget introduced the concept of active learning whereby the child dictates the pace and there are no right or wrong answers just answers that give an insight to the teacher of the child’s thought processes so that the teaching can be tailored to fit the needs of the child. eg Nursery schools provide toys that encourage practical actions eg sorting and counting or material like water, bricks that allow children to be creative and the child constructs knowledge for them selves.

    They try experiments and get answers themselves rather than be given answers to remember. Cognitive theory has also helped us to realize the amount of help we should offer children whilst they play and work. We should give children time to discover and consolidate information on their own while being supported by another. The teacher’s role is to smooth the progress of learning, to assist the child in discovery, questioning and speculating and to account

    for mental age in preference to chronological age. Activities should be set based on pupil’s needs and their rates of learning where many schools have statemented children and have specialist provision for them.

    Attachment Theory Although it is usual for the mother to be the primary attachment figure, infants will form attachments to any caregiver who is responsive to them. John Bowlby devoted extensive research to the concept of attachment, describing it as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). Bowlby (1969, p. 79) believed that there are four distinguishing characteristics of attachment:

    • Safe Haven - Returning to the attachment figure for comfort and safety in the face of a fear or threat.
    • Secure Base - The attachment figure acts as a base of security from which the child can explore the surrounding environment.
    • Proximity Maintenance - The desire to be near the people we are attached to.
    • Separation Distress - Anxiety that occurs in the absence of the attachment figure.

    In the long term Bowlby's work in the 1960s had an impact which led to a marked improvement in standards of institutional care and in many areas, the phasing in of fostering arrangements. It facilitated easier access to children in hospitals for their parents and emotional needs of children were inspired in other areas. Childcare arrangements took different forms where children are taken care of in another person’s home whilst babysitters take care of children in their own homes.

    The government schemes were updated with surestart set-up to care for children and their families, schools took on additional support teachers to work more closely with the children who may need attachments. Social Learning

    (Bandura) People learn through watching others. “Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. ” (Bandura). Social learning theory explains human behaviour in terms of continuous interaction between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental influences. It is also seen as a refined variant of cognitive theory and emphasises 4 sets of cognitive processes within learning.

    • Attention- The child notices something in the environment
    • Retention- The child remembers what was noticed
    • Reproduction- The child copies the action
    • Motivation- The result of the behaviour changes the likelihood of the behaviour being repeated.

    Social learning theory has numerous implications for classroom use such techniques are being applied by teachers.  Children often learn a great deal simply by observing other people. Modelling provides an alternative to shaping for teaching new behaviours. Instead of using shaping, which is operant conditioning, modelling provides a faster, more efficient means for teaching new behaviour. Teachers and parents must model appropriate behaviours and take care that they do not model inappropriate behaviours.

    Teachers expose children to a range of other models. This technique is important to break down stereotypes.  Children must believe that they are capable of accomplishing assigned tasks. Thus it is very important to develop a sense of self-efficacy for children. Teachers can promote such self-efficacy by having children receive confidence-building messages, watch others be successful, and experience success on their own.  Teachers should help children set realistic expectations for their accomplishments.

    We are in the local park for the first time; there are rides, climbing frames, swings, a roundabout, zip

    wire and climbing rope net. There are many children at the park with their parents and the weather is bright. Later we went home and spent some time reading books before bedtime. The child is a boy (my son) Age: 5 years 11 months The day is Saturday and time is around 3pm and later at bedtime I observed my child for 10 minutes on 2 separate occasions The activities the child was involved in was taking rides on the zip line and reading before bedtime There were 7 other children engaged in the outdoor activity whilst there was only 1 at bedtime

    There were around 8 adults in the external environment and only 1 adult at night-time. Observation 1: We attended a park in Wolverhampton for the first time, my child had a go on all the familiar rides time and again but he had not seen a zip line previously. He would stop and watch the children take turns on the zip line for a little while and then wander away saying that he did not want to go. He did this a few times and during one of these times he was watching he walked and joined the end of the queue which had only 3 other children in. While waiting he observed every action of the children that were before him and if someone stood in the way he would move so that he could keep watching them.

    There was another boy who was bringing the seat on a rope back to the first child in the queue and when it was my son’s turn he waited and looked around for me and

    smiled. As he was handed the seat he said “thanks” to him, grabbed it and climbed on it one leg at a time and set off. When the zip line reached the end my son tightened his grip as it was a jolt. The line slowed and he got off and proceeded to bring the seat back for the next child and joined the back of the queue. He looked at me and smiled and made a few small skip type jumps.

    My observation centred on the reaction my son would have to the new ride ie the zip line and whether it would be an easy thing for him to accomplish with new children. He has used his social skills such as communication, elf confidence, although nervous, managed to overcome this situation and joined the queue. Initially he did avoid the ride but needs to understand earlier that if he can see others doing it, he will probably be OK himself.

    Observation 2 Later that day I take my son to bed with a book for him to read. He chose the “Goosebumps” book from the book shelf and walked to his bed slowly whilst looking at the picture on the cover. He sat on the side of his bed and opened the book and started flicking through the pages and stopped occasionally to look at pictures. A few moments pass by and he turns to the start of the book and begins to read out loud.

    He read through the words without prompt or assistance momentarily pausing on longer words and then managing to read them. He sometimes does not stop at the end of the

    sentence and continues on then reverting back when he finds that it is not making sense. He continued reading for about 5 minutes varying his tone for speaking characters and pausing when required in taking account of punctuation. He answered my questions about what he had read and how the story might end or should end. At the end of the session he placed the book back onto the book shelf and went to lie down in his bed. Evaluation: He has good reading skills which are above age related expectations but he needs to develop his knowledge of forming sentences correctly. Observation 3

    I helped the school with my child’s first forest school trip and my observation is from the start of the journey back. I saw my son’s beaming face and he would not stop talking to his friends about his day out. He was gushing with words about what he did, what he had seen, how much he was looking forward to going back and do the things that he didn’t have the opportunity to do this time. All this while the teachers were trying to keep the children in line.

    Evaluation: The child demonstrates a positive attitude to learning in the outdoor environment. Occasionally the child can be distracted by his friends so he needs to concentrate when someone is speaking. This experience brought ogether his social, emotional, behaviour and intellectual development.

    Explain how to monitor children and young people’s development using different methods There are a whole range of recording methods that can be used to observe children; some are more practicable than others. It is worth erring towards those that are user-friendly

    and will help parents too and others later on. Below are some of the key ways in which you might observe children. Tick charts and checklists Tick charts and checklists can be used with predefined observations. Tick charts work better if comments are also used to bring them to life as special points will be recoded. Learning stories or journeys

    Here a short written observation is produced and some conclusions about what has been seen, a photo is optional. Every six weeks a review of all the observations is produced to review progress. Digital methods Digital camera, film clips and sound recordings can be used to store observations which are also useful for the parents as examples of moments in their child learning experience. Group observations Group observations provide a view of how children behave and perform within a group. The observation notes can be about 5 minutes apart and a columnar table accommodating one column per child for notes can be set-up.

    How is children’s development influenced by a range of personal and external factors? And explain why children and young people’s development may not follow the expected patter when experiencing some of the difficulties life can present: There are a range of personal and external factors that influence a child’s development in a positive or negative way. Some of these can have lasting effects whilst others are transitory. A list of these factors is discussed below and it is how the child “deals” with these that shape their development.

    With the impacts and influences on emotional, physical, social aspects, discussed above, on the children’s lives there is little wonder that their development in those regards will

    be affected detrimentally more than positively and they may not follow the expected pattern as invariably the factors leave gaps that require filling and often these can be missed but also by the attitude of the child to take these up.

    A positive relationship is conducive to successful development of children whilst a negative relationship would be detrimental. A positive relationship allows the child to thrive All children need strong attachments as the theorist Bowlby asserted. They need consistency, trust and a good attachment whether it is with their key worker, teacher etc having someone that they can trust will make transitions easier. Children with positive relationships on transitions can have long term positive impacts, be more able to cope and be more resilient.

    They are likely to be more successful academically and socially they will feel valued and their learning development will continue instead of dip. They will have good self esteem and confidence and fell more relaxed. Children will feel able to make new friends. If a child has good transitions early in life this will make it easier for transitions later in life.

    Different types of intervention can promote positive outcomes Include examples from your work experience. I was enlisted as a helper by the school as a “reading friend” to this child. He was already undergoing speech therapy and seemed to have low confidence, was quiet, withdrawn and sad.

    Over a period of 6 weeks I read to him on a one to one basis helping him to recognise words and letters. Towards the end he had started to become more confident in recognising letters and some words. I could see some difference that the

    combined interventions were having which was commented on by his support worker. A second example of a positive intervention was when a child known to me who is visually impaired in a secondary school was provided with the support by the school’s VI (visual impairment) unit.

    The VI unit provided a support worker in class and in sports and he was selected to train for the GB Olympic team. Both these interventions produced positive outcomes importance of early identification of speech, language and communication delays and disorder and the risk of late recognition. The importance of early recognition is intertwined with the risks of late recognition. Early stimulation is important for brain development which suggests there is substantial potential of early intervention affecting the child. Lack of stimulation leads to cell death in a process called “pruning” whereby pathways that are not used are eliminated.

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