Essentials PEPSI Elementary Adolescence Advanced CD
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ESE504 : The Class : Essentials : Test

Test Your Prior Knowledge

To complete this assignment successfully, you should:

1. Self test on the terms

2. Read definitions carefully and check for depth of understanding.

3. Respond to the requests at the end of the glossary.


If many of these words are unfamiliar to you, browsing through a few of the books listed in the annotated bibliography will get you excited about the available information on how children grow and learn, and the maturity process. Child Development goes hand in hand with teaching. The more you learn about children, the more exciting and fulfilling the time spent together becomes.

Accommodation - Making a fresh paradigm to explain new knowledge, rather than fitting the idea into an old framework. For example, if a child believes that only birds can fly and then learns that bats fly, he or she can change the belief structure.

Adolescence - The developmental period from the onset of puberty until young adulthood. It is elongated now, since the average age of onset has moved from 14 to 12 years of age, and many youth are not leaving the parental home to live as an adult, or are returning and remaining with parents until middle age.

Aggression - This is verbal or physical behavior that intentionally hurts someone or destroys something.

Altruism -Unselfish behavior that contributes to the well being of others.

Androgyny - The tendency to incorporate both male and female characteristics into the personality.

Aptitude Inherent ability to perform certain tasks or become accomplished in an area.

Assimilation - Developing an answer by fitting new knowledge into an existing belief. For example, when a tyke sees a bat, it is likely to call it a bird, since the schema he or she developed suggests that birds fly, thus a flying creature is a bird.

Attitude - Personal beliefs or feelings that are expressed in nonverbal ways and may also be acted upon. Children are often instructed to "change their attitudes," when behavior is perceived as inappropriate. A more productive focus involves communicating openly to ascertain the cognitive mind set and then work with the child to view the situation with additional information and insights.

Attribution - Causal explanations for behavior. We hear theories that attribute childhood aggression to TV watching or hyperactivity to sugar consumption.

Autonomy - Heteronomy - Internal mechanism that provides an intrinsic push to meet personal ego needs, to have one's own way, and alternately, to seek the approval of others. It evolves over time and has a cycling nature. Autonomy is usually most pronounced during the ages of 2, 4, 7, 11 and during adolescence. Heteronomy is more pronounced at ages 3, 5, 8, and sometimes at age 12.

Babbling - The universal sound making that occurs at about four months of age and eventually is reduced to sounds specific to the child's first language.

Birth order - Research suggests that placement in a family may contribute to personality. For example, those who are oldest or only children tend to be more conservative, more concerned with social approval and more achievement oriented than children who are born later in the family.

Catharsis - The overt release of emotions, usually with the belief that it will lessen the intensity of feelings or energy for acting out the emotions in less productive ways.

Conformity - The tendency to look and act as others wish or to try to appear to feel as others desire. Conformity may be linked to heteronomy, the desire to "do" what others wish, to be accepted and acceptable to others, to try to fit in and please. Not only is a sense of conformity likely to be partially genetic, it also is a way of reacting to highly stressful or noxious life trauma.

Consciousness - Selective attention and awareness of attention to thoughts, perceptions and feelings.

Conservation - Recognizing that properties such as weight, volume and mass remain constant, even when the appearance or size of a container changes.

Critical Period - A limited period of time when the child must be exposed to specific experiences if proper development is to proceed. It may not be possible to accomplish the same quality of development if missed. Some of the best examples have been seen in research on language development and bonding.

Defense mechanism - Ways a person protects self from anxiety. They can also become habitual ways of responding that become dysfunctional.

Displacement - This is a way of taking an uncomfortable feeling or impulse and shifting it to someone else, as in being yelled at by an adult and turning around and pulling the cat's tail.

Drive - An internal energized state that presses to meet a need, sometimes without awareness of the need or the press to action.

Egocentrism - The ability to see from a personal point of view but not able to see the view of others. Ego refers to self. During the early years of development, a child does not have second person perspective, and cannot see or may not even be aware of the existence of any other viewpoint. This is a critical concept in disciploine, for it suggests that misbehavior may not occur from the motive of hurting others, but rather, is a response or behavior set in motion to please the self, or order the world as he or she sees it, unaware that others may not share that view; certainly without any intention to inflict displeasure. It also means that understanding cause and effect is likely to be limited.

Emotion - This is typically a response to an eventful experience that elicits physical arousal, conscious awareness of a heightened expressive state. Cultural cues provide a positive or negative cognitive set to the feelings, so a boy who is sad may not cry or a person who is angry with a boss may hide the expression, while anger with a pet might be expressed or honored.

Empathy - The ability to understand and feel another's emotion; may also be referred to as second person perspective. We are beginning to question whether children must develop this, if it is a genetic endowment for some, the influence of socialization -- norms, rearing practices, cultural expectations, gender roles, hormones. We also are beginning to question the idea that only humans are capable of experiencing empathy.

Gender - Biologically based and socially determined classification as male or female.

Gender Identity - A person's sense of being male or female.

Genes - Biochemical units of heredity found on DNA; responsible for many physical traits, with increasing evidence that they are also responsible for many traits of personality, preferences, and behavior options. The genome research is likely to provide new insight into our current beliefs about personality development.

Homeostasis - Human beings have a tendency to maintain a constant and optimum internal state. Some research suggests that this is counterbalanced with surging needs for stimulation and change. Jung's ideas about introversion and extroversion suggest that some of us maintain the balance through external means - thus are more likely to turn to others for stimulation or soothing -- extroversion, while others find the stimulation and soothing from internal arousal systems -- introversion.

Identification - Concept from Freud that young children develop a gender identity from adopting and modeling the characteristics of the same-sexed parent.

Imprinting - An internal drive or instinct that provides an attachment between an infant and a care giver. Bonding is the term used when referring to human connections.

Insight - This is a sudden, often creative solution to a dilemma or problem, and often occurs after a number of trial and error efforts, and frequently occurs when the person is not intentionally focusing on the question or issue.

Instinct - An inborn set of rigid behavior patterns or actions that occurs automatically without thought and may be species specific. Ducks imprint, babies suckle [some theorists suggest that human beings don't have instincts], whales rise to the top to breathe, birds make certain shaped nests and migrate, fish return to home waters to spawn, sea turtles come to the beach to lay eggs.

Intelligence - Crystallized -- Tends to increase with age and education.

Intelligence - Fluid -- A person's basic ability to reason abstractly.

Intelligence - General In recent years, the idea of what constitutes intelligence has broadened. Gardener and Lazear have helped popularize the belief that there are at least seven distinct kinds of intelligence.

Language - How we combine words and use them to communicate meaning.

Learned helplessness - The reaction some children develop to cope with pervasive life stressors or tasks that are too difficult.

Learning - A relatively permanent change that is the result of experiences.

Locus of control - Whether one believes that each person has control over what happens and life's choices (internal) or that life if mostly a matter of luck with little anyone can do to change the course or fate (external).

Maturation - The belief that an inner biological mechanism presses us to develop, and external factors have only a minor affect on that internal drive. Walking is a prime example. Though environmental conditions of practice, nutrition and structure may contribute to the timing of walking, children walk when all the physical prerequisites are in place, usually by the age of two, and most of this seems to occur as a pattern that does not require teaching.

Modeling - This occurs when a youngster adopts the actions of those around him or her, usually without the clear intention to or awareness of doing so.

Motivation - An internal or external force that energizes and directs actions.

Nature/nurture - Debate about the importance or weight of hereditary factors and environmental factors in determining personality and development. The answer probably exists on a sliding scale, depending on the traits, the states and the timing of an event along with the age of occurrence.

Norms - Social prescriptions or rules for behavior, most of the time, unstated or unrecognized at a conscious or intentional level, yet still binding if a person is to be perceived as normal or deserving of membership in a group.

Projection - When a child describes another person or toy as having the feelings the child is experiencing, but the child does not wittingly do so or recognize that attribution is occurring.

Rationalization - This is an inaccurate explanation that a person devises to explain a self satisfying behavior or to justify behaviors.

Reaction formation - This is a defense for strong feelings and the child converts unhappy feelings or attitudes into the opposite. An example might be an older sister who is upset about a new baby, and responds by becoming a primary care taker.

Regression - When a child reverts to an earlier way of behaving, usually as a coping mechanism, and most often noted when it is less functional; eg. a child who goes back to wetting the bed after being dry for a protracted period. This should be monitored closely, since the revolution, back and forth between autonomous and heteronomous pressure often brings a return of more self focused behavior by the nature of its back and forth motion. Thus, a child who returns to chewing nails at seven may just be acting as seven-year-olds tend to act rather than because of a school incident or family crisis.

Repression - Burying an experience rather than processing it; especially at issue for children who have deep emotional scars from occurrences in early childhood. It differs from suppression by intention. Repression is not chosen but rather the person's unreasoned and unchosen response. Suppression is intentionally burying or ignoring experiences or feelings.

Role - A set of behaviors for a specific time or place. Example: When teaching, a person may speak a great deal of the time while at home, as the fourth girl in the family, the person may have little to say. In the teaching role, the person is verbal, charming, takes charge and tells amusing anecdotes. In the role of sister, the person is quiet, stays to herself, does not share feelings and manipulates situations by whining and describing aches and pains to get family attention and express herself.

Rooting reflex - This is a baby's natural suckling response which can be initiated by simply stroking the cheek near the mouth.

Scapegoating - This is a practice of choosing one child, unjustly, to be the target for venting a wide range of frustrations and emotions. At times, the child may receive the ire of an entire group, based on the role assigned by the adult in charge. In a family situation, this behavior may lead to an infant who fails to thrive. It can be based on appearance, the child not being of the preferred sex, or unresolved emotional issues of the parents. In the classroom, a teacher or class group may unintentionally choose a child for unfair treatment based on smell,

Self control - The ability to put off immediate gratification in order to gain an advantage or sense of esteem later. It can also refer to the ability to self soothe, the amount of internal grip over expressing emotions - especially the less socially acceptable ones of anger, crying, hysterical laughter.

Self efficacy - The feeling that one is capable and can accomplish goals through self mastery and self control.

Self esteem - A combination of feeling likable and capable, not only in the eyes of significant others, but from a personal internalized sense. This is a very complex set of actions, reactions, emotions and interrelated feelings, including appearance, trust in others, ability to successfully interpret others' actions, an internal sense of being as well as a sense of "doing" - setting out to do something and being able to bring a project to successful completion. It often includes believing that others of importance recognize or value what is done (referrent source).

Sensitive period - The belief that there are developmental time frames that facilitate acquisition of skills and abilities, and that it is best to introduce children to these activities, or even more effective, to allow children to respond to their own sense of timing.

Sexual characteristics - Primary - Organs that are necessary for reproduction

Sexual characteristics - Secondary - Changes that occur during puberty that are gender related; growth of breasts, enlargement of sexual organs, public hair, voice change, etc.

Shaping - Gradual changes in behavior created by reinforcing wanted actions.

Social Clock - Cultural ideal for life changes -- marriage, leaving home, having a baby, getting a first job.

Stranger Anxiety - A recognition of an unknown person that leads to discomfort, as evidenced by reaching to be back with a parent, crying, wriggling to get away. The initial onset tends to come at about seven months of age. Some children appear to have a higher arousal point, more anxiety and more discomfort. We tend to attribute this to child rearing or early traumatic experiences, but recent research points to chemical precursors that may be genetic.

Sublimation - This defense mechanism allows a person to take an unacceptable feeling such as anxiety or anger and use the energy in a positive way.

Subliminal - The person responds, but the awareness of the stimulus or trigger for an action is not realized or recognized.

Traits - Characteristic predispositions or inherited tendencies to act in a certain manner. Some that are commonly ascribed are introversion-extroversion, emotional stability, openness-privacy,agreeableness, conscientiousness, resilience, need for stimulation.

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