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Comparison of Preschool and Middle School Child Development Essay


Preschool (Bettina)

Physical characteristics

The child exhibits signs of alertness and enthusiasm when engaging in educational and physical activities (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013, p. 71). In fact, the child engages vigorously in class activities implying enjoyment. Active playing during break periods is a common feature in this case (Peisner‐Feinberg, Burchinal, Clifford, Culkin, Howes, Kagan & Yazejian, 2001).

A preschool child grows slowly and steadily as he or she increases in height and weight. Signs of well formed, clean teeth, as well as lack of cavity, can be spotted. The preschool child has firm musculature, as evidenced from standing and sitting postures. Normally, the preschool child stands with legs in a straight posture.

In addition, the preschooler sits with a straight back, exhibiting signs of a good health and well-formed body structure. The child’s motor development and control starts to take shape, as other body parts exhibit good coordination. Moreover, the five year old preschooler’s motor skills develop when he or she climbs, hops, skips and walks without losing balance.

By throwing, catching and bouncing a ball, effective body coordination skills by hands, legs and eyes, are exhibited. The hand-eye coordination of the five year old preschooler can be evidenced from construction of complex block structures, handling and utilization of toys, and tackling of puzzles.

Other psychical characteristics exhibiting development of motor skills include writing and drawing skills using pencils, markers or paint brushes. From the above observations, the child’s behaviors are typical at this level of growth and development.

Cognitive characteristics

Among the most notable cognitive characteristics in the five year old preschooler is the ability to speak. In this context, the child speaks clearly irrespective of sentence complexity. In addition, the child writes his or her full names without referring to any text. The ability to count objects using numerical numbers is consistent and accurate with this stage of development.

It is also typical for a five year old child to recognize colors and use imagination when painting objects as evidenced in this case. However, the five year old preschooler’s use of imagination is based on memories. Moreover, the child use of symbols to represent another entity implies good memory development.

In addition, this is exhibited by use of symbols when drawing images and words. In addition, the application of imaginative play and imaginary friend by the five year old preschooler implies an advanced intellectual development (Peisner‐Feinberg, Burchinal, Clifford, Culkin, Howes, Kagan & Yazejian, 2001). Another cognitive characteristic observed is the great attention during class and outdoor activities.

In this context, the child ability to recognize familiar words, signs, objects and comprehension of language is exhibited. For example, the child remembers an address or residential phone number. The ability to follow commands is exemplary, as well as consciousness in terms of time.

Social-emotional characteristics

The child exhibits knowledge and awareness of moral behaviors. For example, the child uses moral reasoning to distinguish between good and bad. However, this is not typical for a preschool child at this development level. Developing interpersonal relationships through friends is observed. For example, the child is always in the company of at least one friend.

In addition, the child connects with other peoples’ feelings through sympathy, anger and sharing. Moreover, the child’s growth and development involves imaginative plays and friends. For example, the child dresses up as an adult while in the house or engages in role playing with friends. The five year old preschooler can control emotions such as anger and frustration for a longer time showing ability to cope with difficult situations.

Moreover, the child exhibits social development through ability to solve problems. For example, the child suggests solutions to problems when in the company of adults or fellow children. In this context, the child interpersonal and communication skills are not typical to that of five year old preschooler.

Middle school (Eduardo)

Physical characteristics

The five year old middle school child has developed important basic life skills (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2013, p. 79). The child exhibits exemplary skills used in feeding, especially in use of spoon, fork and knife. However, an important observation is how the child uses an adult model to copy feeding behaviors. Importantly, initial stages in developing feeding behaviors are messy as the child is confused on which utensil to use.

Another observed motor skill is dressing, where the child learns to put on the clothes. In this context, the hand coordination especially in manipulating zips and buttoning shirts is skillful. Moreover, other dressing skills such as tying shoelaces seem to improve with time.

Motor skills in the five year old middle school children improve with the advancement of games played. In this context, more complex coordination and objects are utilized. The child’s ability to visualize and use hands in creating movements improves with time. Other physical characteristics observed include loss of baby teeth and ability to brush teeth.

Cognitive characteristics

A five year old child in middle school exhibits personal development initiatives. In this context, the child seems curious about the immediate environment. Therefore, the need for further exploration is observed from the child’s active investigative and testing activities. The curiosity exhibited by the child involves many inquiries.

From this perspective, the child ability in relating to ideas and problems is evidenced by attentiveness and the use of logical procedures. The flexibility and ability to classify objects, numbers and words justify the development of the child’s memory (Janus& Offord, 2007). In addition, the child’s spatial reasoning is observed from the ability to distinguish distance and direction aspects.

The five year old middle school child’s brain development improves at this stage as information processing capacity increases. For example, the child takes a short time to solve a mathematical problem. Moreover, the ability to inhibit and control interferences improves at this stage. From observations, the child is attentive and selective on activities and decisions.

In this regard, a sense of adaptability becomes a critical factor of cognitive development. Moreover, the ability to plan signifies a great deal of mental development. In this context, the child shows knowledge in scanning pictures and written materials as part of the learning activities.

In order to memorize information, the child rehearses on important learning contents. Moreover, the ability to organize time using a predetermined schedule or pattern signifies the child’s ability to perform multiple tasks.

Social/emotional characteristics

The child seems to enjoy playing games of non- complex rules. For example, hide and seek, kicking ball and running are favorite games for the five year old middle school child. In addition, the child prefers friendship from colleagues of the same sex. Interestingly, the child understands the concept of a best friend and enemy depending on interpersonal relationships.

However, the child seems to change the list of friends on a daily basis. Emotional characteristics of anger and jealousy become evident through physical expressions (Janus& Offord, 2007). For example, the child engages in constant yelling and anger. Egocentrism, as well as caring for younger children, is observed at this stage. Therefore, the child exhibits typical behavior of a child at this development stage.

References

Janus, M., & Offord, D. R. (2007). Development and psychometric properties of the Early Development Instrument (EDI): A measure of children’s school readiness. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 39(1), 1.

McDevitt, T. M. & Ormrod, J.E. (2013). Child development and education (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson.

Peisner‐Feinberg, E. S., Burchinal, M. R., Clifford, R. M., Culkin, M. L., Howes, C., Kagan, S. L., & Yazejian, N. (2001). The relation of preschool child‐care quality to children’s cognitive and social developmental trajectories through second grade. Child development, 72(5), 1534-1553.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Comparison of Preschool and Middle School Child Development." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/child-development-5/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Comparison of Preschool and Middle School Child Development'. 20 August.

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