Middle childhood development is the concrete operational stage, when the focus is on logical thinking, intelligence and psychosocial development. Contrary to the usual concept, middle childhood is as special a stage of childhood development as toddlers and teenagers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics defines middle childhood from onset of sixth year to completion of tenth year of life.
Development in middle childhood is the outcome of interaction between the milestones achieved and ongoing learning experiences.
Children in their middle childhood years begin to understand the rules of society and its moral bindings.
Middle childhood development helps children to cope with the increasing demands of the classroom curriculum. Learning disabilities and behavior problems surface at this stage that need medical attention.
Jean Piaget’s has described middle childhood development as the concrete operational stage, when the focus is on developing logical thinking.
The thinking process during middle childhood years gets more logical, flexible, and organized than it was during early childhood development. Children during this phase of development are “critical thinkers” with the ability to reason, remember, repeat, reorganize, relate, and reflect.
Enhanced logical thinking are easily noticed in their social relationships; strive for scholastic, cultural and sports excellence. Its reflections are also seen in their creativity, which gets significantly refined during middle childhood.
Children learn to reason and use the acquired knowledge constructively. They evaluate the thoughts both that of the others and their own before putting them in to action.
Constructive application of the information gathered involves child’s newly developed capability to accommodate and assimilate the thoughts.
Thinking changes from perception bound to concrete logical during middle childhood years. Cognitive development during middle childhood development helps children overcome early childhood tendency to focus only on one aspect of a situation and enable the children in middle childhood to perceive the events/problems from different angles.
Any process can be returned to its original state.
Principle of or relationship between cause and effect and that nothing can happen without being caused.
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Middle childhood development shows a sharp rise in child’s capacity to understand the world. Children in this phase begin to think rationally, and use resources effectively when faced with challenges; and that is intelligence.
The components of intelligence that increase during middle childhood.
It gives the ability to remember, reason, and process information increases.
Increases in this type of intelligence gives children the ability to gather information, master skills, and develop strategies.
Metacognition is the process of monitoring own thoughts and memory development.
Development of information processing
The attention span increases during middle childhood development as a result of more controlled an adaptable thought process of children at this age.
Consequently, children develop the capabilities to -
Inability to control attention span
Inability to control attention is seen in children with
These children face great difficulty staying on a specified task. They tend to act impulsively and usually are hyperactive.
Memory strategies are the deliberate mental activities used to store and retain information. Working memory plays an important role in learning during middle childhood.
General intelligence is highly correlated with working memory capacity.
Memory capacity shows a steady developmental increase during middle childhood years as:
Memory strategies require time and effort in order to show desired results.
Memory span improves from the age of
5 years onward and the adult levels of performance is reached by about 15 years of age.
During middle childhood, children arrange the vast amount of information in their memories into increasingly elaborate, hierarchically structured networks.
Strategies to improve memory:
Communicative language development includes expressive and receptive skills, and it parallels child’s cognitive skills. Communication capabilities reflect child's intelligence and psychosocial development. Interactive language-rich environment of school going children increases their communicative capabilities.
Warm, responsive parenting during middle childhood development helps children develop self-regulatory skills and achieve their desired objectives.
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