Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8610 Spring 2022
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Course: Human Development and Learning (8610)
Semester: Spring, 2022
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 Provide an overview of growth and development.
Growth refers to the incremental changes in physical characteristics such as height, weight, size, etc., while development refers to qualitative changes to growth in an orderly and meaningful fashion which results in maturity. Growth and development contribute to each other, are inseparable, and occur simultaneously. For example, most babies, by the time they grow up to be 8 months old, can weigh around 8 to 10 kilograms and can sit up. Nature and nurture both contribute to the growth and development of children. Although what’s endowed by nature is constant, nurture tends to make a big difference too. Here are a few factors affecting children’s growth and development.
Heredity is the transmission of physical characteristics from parents to children through their genes. It influences all aspects of physical appearance such as height, weight, body structure, the colour of the eye, the texture of the hair, and even intelligence and aptitudes. Diseases and conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc., can also be passed through genes, thereby affecting the growth and development of the child adversely. However, environmental factors and nurturing can bring the best out of the already present qualities in the genes.
The environment plays a critical role in the development of children and it represents the sum total of physical and psychological stimulation the child receives. Some of the environmental factors influencing early childhood development involve the physical surroundings and geographical conditions of the place the child lives in, as well his social environment and relationships with family and peers. It is easy to understand that a well-nurtured child does better than a deprived one; the environment children are constantly immersed in contributes to this. A good school and a loving family builds in children strong social and interpersonal skills, which will enable them to excel in other areas such as academics and extracurricular activities. This will, of course, be different for children who are raised in stressful environments.
The sex of the child is another major factor affecting the physical growth and development of a child. Boys and girls grow in different ways, especially nearing puberty. Boys tend to be taller and physically stronger than girls. However, girls tend to mature faster during adolescence, while boys mature over a longer period of time. The physical structure of their bodies also has differences which make boys more athletic and suited for activities that require physical rigour. Their temperaments also vary, making them show interest in different things.
- Exercise and Health
The word exercise here does not mean physical exercise as a discipline or children deliberately engaging in physical activities knowing it would help them grow. Exercise here refers to the normal play time and sports activities which help the body gain an increase in muscular strength and put on bone mass. Proper exercise helps children grow well and reach milestones on time or sooner. Exercise also keeps them healthy and fights off diseases by strengthening the immune system, especially if they play outside. This is because outdoor play exposes them to microbes that help them build resistance and prevent allergies.
Hormones belong to the endocrine system and influence the various functions of our bodies. They are produced by different glands that are situated in specific parts of the body to secrete hormones that control body functions. Their timely functioning is critical for normal physical growth and development in children. Imbalances in the functioning of hormone-secreting glands can result in growth defects, obesity, behavioural problems and other diseases. During puberty, the gonads produce sex hormones which control the development of the sex organs and the appearance of secondary sexual characteristics in boys and girls.
Nutrition is a critical factor in growth as everything the body needs to build and repair itself comes from the food we eat. Malnutrition can cause deficiency diseases that adversely affect the growth and development of children. On the other hand, overeating can lead to obesity and health problems in the long run, such as diabetes and heart disease. A balanced diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates and fats is essential for the development of the brain and body.
- Familial Influence
Families have the most profound impact in nurturing a child and determining the ways in which they develop psychologically and socially. Whether they are raised by their parents, grandparents or foster care, they need basic love, care and courtesy to develop as healthy functional individuals. The most positive growth is seen when families invest time, energy and love in the development of the child through activities, such as reading to them, playing with them and having deep meaningful conversations. Families that abuse or neglect children would affect their positive development. These children may end up as individuals who have poor social skills and difficulty bonding with other people as adults. Helicopter parenting also has negative effects as they render children dependent on the parent’s even as young adults and unable to deal with difficulties in life on their own.
- Geographical Influences
Where you live also has a great influence on how your children turn out to be. The schools they attend, the neighborhood they live in, the opportunities offered by the community and their peer circles are some of the social factors affecting a child’s development. Living in an enriching community that has parks, libraries and community centers for group activities and sports all play a role in developing the child’s skills, talents, and behavior. Uninteresting communities can push some children to not go outside often but play video games at home instead. Even the weather of a place influences children in the form of bodily rhythms, allergies and other health conditions.
- Socio-Economic Status
The socio-economic status of a family determines the quality of the opportunity a child gets. Studying in better schools that are more expensive definitely has benefits in the long run. Well-off families can also offer better learning resources for their children and they afford special aid if the kids need it. Children from poorer families may not have access to educational resources and good nutrition to reach their full potential. They may also have working parents who work too many hours and cannot invest enough quality time in their development.
- Learning and Reinforcement
Learning involves much more than schooling. It is also concerned with building the child up mentally, intellectually, emotionally, and socially so they operate as healthy functional individuals in the society. This is where the development of the mind takes place and the child can gain some maturity. Reinforcement is a component of learning where an activity or exercise is repeated and refined to solidify the lessons learned. An example is playing a musical instrument; they get better at playing it as they practice playing the instrument. Therefore, any lesson that is taught has to be repeated until the right results are obtained. Although nature contributes much to the growth and development of children, nurture contributes much more. As mentioned earlier, some of these factors may not be controllable, and you’ll have to make do with what you have. But there are certain things you can definitely ensure for your child. This includes ensuring that your child gets enough rest every day, because his development is heavily dependent on the amount of sleep he gets. Pay close attention to your child’s nutritional and exercise levels, as these too play an important role in promoting your child’s timely and healthy growth and development.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8610 Spring 2022
2 Physical development is based on genes. Discuss.
At its very beginning, the development of a child starts when the male reproductive cell, or sperm, penetrates the protective outer membrane of the female reproductive cell, or ovum. The sperm and ovum each contain chromosomes that act as a blueprint for human life.
The genes contained in these chromosomes are made up of a chemical structure known as DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that contains the genetic code, or instructions, that make up all life. Except for the sperm and ova, all cells in the body contain 46 chromosomes.
As you might guess, the sperm and ova each contain only contain 23 chromosomes. This ensures that when the two cells meet, the resulting new organism has the correct 46 chromosomes.
So how exactly do the genetic instructions passed down from both parents influence how a child develops and the traits they will have? In order to fully understand this, it is important to first distinguish between a child’s genetic inheritance and the actual expression of those genes.
A genotype refers to all of the genes that a person has inherited. A phenotype is how these genes are actually expressed.3 The phenotype can include physical traits, such as height and color or the eyes, as well as nonphysical traits such as shyness and extroversion.
While your genotype may represent a blueprint for how children grow up, the way that these building blocks are put together determines how these genes will be expressed. Think of it as a bit like building a house. The same blueprint can result in a range of different homes that look quite similar but have important differences based on the material and color choices used during construction.
Whether or not a gene is expressed depends on two different things: the interaction of the gene with other genes and the continual interaction between the genotype and the environment.
- Genetic Interactions: Genes can sometimes contain conflicting information, and in most cases, one gene will win the battle for dominance. Some genes act in an additive way. For example, if a child has one tall parent and one short parent, the child may end up splitting the difference by being of average height. In other cases, some genes follow a dominant-recessive pattern. Eye color is one example of dominant-recessive genes at work. The gene for brown eyes is dominant and the gene for blue eyes is recessive. If one parent hands down a dominant brown eye gene while the other parent hands down a recessive blue eye gene, the dominant gene will win out and the child will have brown eyes.
- Gene-Environment Interactions: The environment a child is exposed to both in utero and throughout the rest of his or her life can also impact how genes are expressed. For example, exposure to harmful drugs while in utero can have a dramatic impact on later child development. Height is a good example of a genetic trait that can be influenced by environmental factors.4 While a child’s genetic code may provide instructions for tallness, the expression of this height might be suppressed if the child has poor nutrition or chronic illness.
Genetic instructions are not infallible and can go off track at times. Sometimes when a sperm or ovum is formed, the number of chromosomes may divide unevenly, causing the organism to have more or less than the normal 23 chromosomes. When one of these abnormal cells joins with a normal cell, the resulting zygote will have an uneven number of chromosomes.
Researchers suggest that as many as half of all zygotes that form have more or less than 23 chromosomes, but most of these are spontaneously aborted and never develop into a full-term baby.
In some cases, babies are born with an abnormal number of chromosomes. In every case, the result is some type of syndrome with a set of distinguishing characteristics.
Sex Chromosome Abnormalities
The vast majority of newborns, both boys and girls, have at least one X chromosome. In some cases, about 1 in every 500 births, children are born with either a missing X chromosome or an additional sex chromosome. Klinefelter syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and Turner syndrome are all examples of abnormalities involving the sex chromosomes.
Kleinfelter’s syndrome is caused by an extra X chromosome and is characterized by a lack of development of the secondary sex characteristics and as well as learning disabilities.5
Fragile X syndrome is caused when part of the X chromosome is attached to the other chromosomes by such a thin string of molecules that it seems in danger of breaking off. It can affect both males and females, but the impact can vary. Some with Fragile X show few if any signs, while others develop mild to severe intellectual disability.6
Turner syndrome occurs when only one sex chromosome (the X chromosome) is present. It affects only females and can result in short stature, a “webbed” neck, and a lack of secondary sex characteristics. Psychological impairments associated with Turner syndrome include learning disabilities and difficulty recognizing emotions conveyed through facial expressions.
The most common type of chromosomal disorder is known as trisomy 21, or Down syndrome.8 In this case, the child has three chromosomes at the site of the 21st chromosomes instead of the normal two.
Down syndrome is characterized by facial characteristics including a round face, slanted eyes, and a thick tongue. Individuals with Down syndrome may also face other physical problems including heart defects and hearing problems. Nearly all individuals with Down syndrome experience some type of intellectual impairment, but the exact severity can vary dramatically.
AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 8610 Spring 2022
3 How can school enhance students’ physical development?
Although it may be tempting to think that physical development is the concern of physical education teachers only, it is actually a foundation for many academic tasks. In first grade, for example, it is important to know whether children can successfully manipulate a pencil. In later grades, it is important to know how long students can be expected to sit still without discomfort—a real physical challenge. In all grades, it is important to have a sense of students’ health needs related to their age or maturity, if only to know who may become ill, and with what illness, and to know what physical activities are reasonable and needed. Typical height and weight for well-nourished, healthy students are shown in Table 1. The figure shows averages for several ages from preschool through the end of high school. But the table does not show the diversity among children. At age 6, for example, when children begin school, the average boy or girl is about 115 centimeters tall, but some are 109 and others are 125 centimeters. Average weight at age 6 is about 20 kilograms, but ranges between about 16 and 24 kilograms—about 20% variation in either direction.
There are other points to keep in mind about average height and weight that are not evident from Table 1. The first is that boys and girls, on average, are quite similar in height and weight during childhood, but diverge in the early teenage years, when they reach puberty. For a time (approximately age 10–14), the average girl is taller, but not much heavier, than the average boy. After that the average boy becomes both taller and heavier than the average girl—though there remain individual exceptions (Malina, et al., 2004). The pre-teen difference can therefore be awkward for some children and youth, at least among those who aspire to looking like older teenagers or young adults. For young teens less concerned with “image,” though, the fact that girls are taller may not be especially important, or even noticed (Friedman, 2000). A second point is that as children get older, individual differences in weight diverge more radically than differences in height. Among 18-year-olds, the heaviest youngsters weigh almost twice as much as the lightest, but the tallest ones are only about 10 per cent taller than the shortest. Nonetheless, both height and weight can be sensitive issues for some teenagers. Most modern societies (and the teenagers in them) tend to favor relatively short women and tall men, as well as a somewhat thin body build, especially for girls and women. Yet neither “socially correct” height nor thinness is the destiny for many individuals. Being overweight, in particular, has become a common, serious problem in modern society due to the prevalence of diets high in fat and lifestyles low in activity. The educational system has unfortunately contributed to the problem as well, by gradually restricting the number of physical education courses and classes in the past two decades. The third point to keep in mind is that average height and weight is related somewhat to racial and ethnic background. In general, children of Asian background tend to be slightly shorter than children of European and North American background. The latter in turn tend to be shorter than children from African societies (Eveleth & Tanner, 1990). Body shape differs slightly as well, though the differences are not always visible until after puberty. Asian youth tend to have arms and legs that are a bit short relative to their torsos, and African youth tend to have relatively long arms and legs. The differences are only averages; there are large individual differences as well, and these tend to be more relevant for teachers to know about than broad group differences.
Puberty and Its Effects on Students
A universal physical development in students is puberty, which is the set of changes in early adolescence that bring about sexual maturity. Along with internal changes in reproductive organs are outward changes such as growth of breasts in girls and the penis in boys, as well as relatively sudden increases in height and weight. By about age 10 or 11, most children experience increased sexual attraction to others (usually heterosexual, though not always) that affects social life both in school and out. By the end of high school, more than half of boys and girls report having experienced sexual intercourse at least once—though it is hard to be certain of the proportion because of the sensitivity and privacy of the information. (Center for Disease Control, 2004b; Rosenbaum, 2006). At about the same time that puberty accentuates gender, role differences also accentuate for at least some teenagers. Some girls who excelled at math or science in elementary school may curb their enthusiasm and displays of success at these subjects for fear of limiting their popularity or attractiveness as girls. Some boys who were not especially interested in sports previously may begin dedicating themselves to athletics to affirm their masculinity in the eyes of others. Some boys and girls who once worked together successfully on class projects may no longer feel comfortable doing so—or alternatively may now seek to be working partners, but for social rather than academic reasons. Such changes do not affect all youngsters equally, nor affect any one youngster equally on all occasions. An individual student may act like a young adult on one day, but more like a child the next. When teaching children who are experiencing puberty, teachers need to respond flexibly and supportively.
Development of Motor Skills
Students’ fundamental motor skills are already developing when they begin kindergarten, but are not yet perfectly coordinated. Five-year-olds generally can walk satisfactorily for most school-related purposes (if they could not, schools would have to be organized very differently!). For some fives, running still looks a bit like a hurried walk, but usually it becomes more coordinated within a year or two. Similarly with jumping, throwing, and catching: most children can do these things, though often clumsily, by the time they start school, but improve their skills noticeably during the early elementary years (Payne & Isaacs, 2005). Assisting such developments is usually the job either of physical education teachers, where they exist, or else of classroom teachers during designated physical education activities. Whoever is responsible, it is important to notice if a child does not keep more-or-less to the usual developmental timetable, and to arrange for special assessment or supports if appropriate. Common procedures for arranging for help are described in the chapter on “Special education.” Even if physical skills are not a special focus of a classroom teacher, they can be quite important to students themselves. Whatever their grade level, students who are clumsy are aware of that fact and how it could potentially negatively affect respect from their peers. In the long term, self-consciousness and poor self-esteem can develop for a child who is clumsy, especially if peers (or teachers and parents) place high value on success in athletics. One research study found, for example, what teachers and coaches sometimes suspect: that losers in athletic competitions tend to become less sociable and are more apt to miss subsequent athletic practices than winners.
Health and Illness
By world standards, children and youth in economically developed societies tend, on average, to be remarkably healthy. Even so, much depends on precisely how well-off families are and on how much health care is available to them. Children from higher-income families experience far fewer serious or life-threatening illnesses than children from lower-income families. Whatever their income level, parents and teachers often rightly note that children— especially the youngest ones—get far more illnesses than do adults. In 2004, for example, a government survey estimated that children get an average of 6–10 colds per year, but adults get only about 2–4 per year (National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, 2004). The difference probably exists because children’s immune systems are not as fully formed as adults’, and because children at school are continually exposed to other children, many of whom may be contagious themselves. An indirect result of children’s frequent illnesses is that teachers (along with airline flight attendants, incidentally!) also report more frequent minor illnesses than do adults in general—about five colds per year, for example, instead of just 2–4. The “simple” illnesses are not life threatening, but they are responsible for many lost days of school, both for students and for teachers, as well as days when a student may be present physically, but functions below par while simultaneously infecting classmates. In these ways, learning and teaching often suffer because health is suffering.
Free AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8610 Spring 2022
4 Suggest activities for preschool children to enhance intellectual development.
Social skills are the skills we use everyday to interact and communicate with others. They include verbal and non-verbal communication, such as speech, gesture, facial expression and body language. A person has strong social skills if they have the knowledge of how to behave in social situations and understand both written and implied rules when communicating with others. Children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified) and Asperger’s have difficulties with social skills. Social skills are vital in enabling an individual to have and maintain positive interactions with others. Many of these skills are crucial in making and sustaining friendships. Social interactions do not always run smoothly and an individual needs to be able to implement appropriate strategies, such as conflict resolution when difficulties in interactions arise. It is also important for individuals to have ’empathy’ (i.e. being able to put yourself into someone else’s shoes and recognise their feelings) as it allows them to respond in an understanding and caring way to how others are feeling.
- Attention and concentration:Sustained effort, doing activities without distraction and being able to hold that effort long enough to get the task done.
- Receptive (understanding) language: Comprehension of language.
- Expressive (using) language: The use of language through speech, sign or alternative forms of communication to communicate wants, needs, thoughts and ideas.
- Play skills:Voluntary engagement in self-motivated activities that are normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment where the activities may be, but are not necessarily, goal oriented.
- Pre-language skills:The ways in which we communicate without using words and include things such as gestures, facial expressions, imitation, joint attention and eye-contact.
- Self-regulation:The ability to obtain, maintain and change one’s emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation in a socially acceptable manner.
- Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.
- Planning and sequencing:
The sequential multi-step task or activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.
- Use fleeting eye contact, does not consistently use eye contact or stares at you fixedly.
- Not be able to take turns when talking to their communication partner.
- Struggle with using appropriate body language (e.g. stands too close/far to another person).
- Fail to use polite forms of communication (e.g. saying: please, thank-you, hello and good-bye).
- Be unable to start and end conversations appropriately.
- Interrupt others frequently.
- Be unable to maintain a topic of conversation and provides irrelevant comments during a conversation.
- Talk ‘at you’ in a conversation as opposed to engaging in a two way conversation ‘with’ you.
- Not ask appropriate questions.
- Repeat information in conversation and tend to talk about topics of their own interest (e.g. trains, a favourite TV show/person).
- Show little or no interest in what the other person has to say.
- Fail to understand jokes and language, such as sarcasm, idioms and non-literal information (e.g. ‘This place is a pig sty!’).
- Interpret what you say in a very literal way (e.g. when you say “Can you open the door?” the child “yes” without moving to actually open the door).
- Talk with unusual speed, stress, rhythm, intonation, pitch and/or tone of voice.
- Be unable to understand different tones of voice or read facial cues.
- Fail to ask for clarification if they are confused or if the situation is unclear to them.
- Struggle to respond appropriately when asked to change their actions.
- Tend to disclose (excessively) personal information to unfamiliar people or strangers.
- Appear unaware of others and fail to read other people’s feelings based on their verbal and non-verbal cues.
- Be unable to respond to teasing, anger, failure and disappointment appropriately.
- Be unable to adjust or modify their language appropriately according to the communication situation.
- Lack empathy (i.e. is not able to imagine what it is like to be somebody else or in their situation).
- Lack imagination.
- Appear self-centred.
- Fail to understand the consequences of their actions.
When a child has social skill difficulties, they might also have difficulties with:
- Behaviour:The child’s actions, usually in relation to their environment (e.g. a child may engage in behaviour, such as refusing to go to social events including birthday parties or engage in inappropriate behaviour, such as tugging on a peer’s hair or yelling at someone to get their attention).
- Sensory processing:The child may have trouble attending or focusing and have difficulty interpreting information they receive from the environment.
- Completing academic work(e.g. the child may misinterpret verbal or written instructions for tasks and/or struggle with imaginative writing).
- Receptive (understanding) language:Comprehension of language.
- Expressive (using) language:The use of language through speech, sign or alternative forms of communication to communicate wants, needs, thoughts and ideas.
- Articulation:Clarity of speech sounds and spoken language.
- Fluency:The smoothness or flow with which sounds, syllables, words and phrases are produced when talking.
- Voice:The sound that we hear when someone talks which is unique to each person.
- Self regulation:The ability to obtain, maintain and change one’s emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation in a socially acceptable manner.
- Executive functioning:Higher order reasoning and thinking skills.
- Play with your child to help develop joint attention, turn-taking, shared interests, cooperation and appropriate play with toys.
- Emotions:Help the child to understand and display their own emotions and to recognise these emotions in other people.
- Empathy:Help the child to understand and recognise how other people are feeling in particular situations.
- Social stories:These are stories which are used to teach children specific social skills that they may find difficult to understand or are confusing. The goal of the story is to increase the child’s understanding by describing in detail a specific situation and suggesting an appropriate social response.
- Social skill groups: These are groups run with the express purpose of mastering social interaction with others.
- Visuals:Make up a poster of rules to remember when starting a conversation (e.g. using a friendly voice, making eye contact, using appropriate greetings, such as ‘hello’).
- Role play: Practise playground/party scenarios where the child does not know anybody. Model and create a list of different things you can say:
- To join others who are playing (e.g. “Can I play too?”).
- To introduce yourself (e.g. “Hi my name is ….”).
- To politely negotiate with peers (e.g. “I don’t want that one. Can I have the blue car please?”).
- Sing songs, such as ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ to help teach a child about different emotions.
- Masks:Make masks together to help improve eye contact.
- Turn taking:Play turn taking games (e.g. board games) to encourage a child to say whose turn it is in the game (e.g. “My turn”, “Your turn”).
- Games:Play board games with the child. Make sure the child is not always the ‘winner’ so that they learn about ‘losing’ in a game and are able to cope better when this happens with their peers.
- Bean bag conversation:Throw a bean bag around a circle and each child takes a turn to contribute to the conversation. Think of different ways to contribute to the conversation (e.g. ask a question, comment on what has been said, add something related to the topic).
- Watch and comment:Role play different situations and comment about appropriate and inappropriate attempts of communication (e.g. standing too close or too far from another person, not using appropriate eye contact, interrupting a conversation).
- Help a child to engage appropriately with others during play, conversation and in interactions.
- Help a child to develop friendships at school and when accessing out of school activities (e.g. playing sport, attending a group such as Scouts).
- Help a child maintain friendships with peers.
- Help a child to behave appropriately during interactions with familiar people (e.g. parents, siblings, teachers, family friends) and unfamiliar individuals (e.g. adults and children they may need to engage with during excursions and when visiting places, such as the park or swimming pool).
- Assist a child in developing their awareness of social norms and to master specific social skills (e.g. taking turns in a conversation, using appropriate eye contact, verbal reasoning, understanding figurative language).
- Develop appropriate social stories to help teach the child about how to respond in specific social situations.
- Some children require explicit teaching about how to interact and communicate with others as these skills do not come naturally to them.
If left untreated what can difficulties with social skills lead to? When children have difficulties with social skills, they might also have difficulties with:
- Making new friends.
- Maintaining friendships with peers.
- Communicating effectively with unfamiliar individuals during situations including asking for assistance in a shop, asking for directions if they are lost and negotiating with someone with whom they have had a disagreement.
- Reading/understanding social situations.
- Understanding jokes and figurative language during interactions with others, and when watching television shows and movies and reading books.
- Coping with failure.
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 8610 Autumn 2022
5 Compare the theories of Lev Vygotsky and Albert Bandura and their implications for education.
Albert’s theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. Albert believed that one’s childhood plays a vital and active role in a person’s development. Albert’s idea is primarily known as a developmental stage theory. The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it.To Albert, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He believed that children construct an understanding of the world around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, then adjust their ideas accordingly. Moreover, Albert claimed that cognitive development is at the center of the human organism, and language is contingent on knowledge and understanding acquired through cognitive development. Albert’s earlier work received the greatest attention. Many parents have been encouraged to provide a rich, supportive environment for their child’s natural propensity to grow and learn. Child-centered classrooms and “open education” are direct applications of Albert’s views. Despite its huge success, Albert’s theory has some limitations that Albert recognized himself: for example, the theory supports sharp stages rather than continuous development (decalage). Albert noted that reality is a dynamic system of continuous change and, as such, is defined in reference to the two conditions that define dynamic systems. Specifically, he argued that reality involves transformations and states. Transformations refer to all manners of changes that a thing or person can undergo. States refer to the conditions or the appearances in which things or persons can be found between transformations. For example, there might be changes in shape or form (for instance, liquids are reshaped as they are transferred from one vessel to another, and similarly humans change in their characteristics as they grow older), in size (for example, a series of coins on a table might be placed close to each other or far apart), or in placement or location in space and time (e.g., various objects or persons might be found at one place at one time and at a different place at another time). Thus, Albert argued, if human intelligence is to be adaptive, it must have functions to represent both the transformational and the static aspects of reality. He proposed that operative intelligence is responsible for the representation and manipulation of the dynamic or transformational aspects of reality, and that figurative intelligence is responsible for the representation of the static aspects of reality. Operative intelligence is the active aspect of intelligence. It involves all actions, overt or covert, undertaken in order to follow, recover, or anticipate the transformations of the objects or persons of interest. Figurative intelligence is the more or less static aspect of intelligence, involving all means of representation used to retain in mind the states (i.e., successive forms, shapes, or locations) that intervene between transformations. That is, it involves perception, imitation, mental imagery, drawing, and language. Therefore, the figurative aspects of intelligence derive their meaning from the operative aspects of intelligence, because states cannot exist independently of the transformations that interconnect them. Albert stated that the figurative or the representational aspects of intelligence are subservient to its operative and dynamic aspects, and therefore, that understanding essentially derives from the operative aspect of intelligence. At any time, operative intelligence frames how the world is understood and it changes if understanding is not successful. Albert stated that this process of understanding and change. involves two basic functions:
Assimilation and Accommodation
Through his study of the field of education, Albert focused on two processes, which h named assimilation and accommodation. To Albert, assimilation meant integrating external elements into structures of lives or environments, or those we could have through experience. Assimilation is how humans perceive and adapt to new information. It is the process of fitting new information into pre-existing cognitive schemas. Assimilation in which new experiences are reinterpreted to fit into, or assimilate with, old ideas. It occurs when humans are faced with new or unfamiliar information and refer to previously learned information in order to make sense of it. In contrast, accommodation is the process of taking new information in one’s environment and altering pre-existing schemas in order to fit in the new information. This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation. Accommodation is imperative because it is how people will continue to interpret new concepts, schemas, frameworks, and more. Albert believed that the human brain has been programmed through evolution to bring equilibrium, which is what he believed ultimately influences structures by the internal and external processes through assimilation and accommodation. Albert’s understanding was that assimilation and accommodation cannot exist without the other. They are two sides of a coin. To assimilate an object into an existing mental schema, one first needs to take into account or accommodate to the particularities of this object to a certain extent. For instance, to recognize (assimilate) an apple as an apple, one must first focus (accommodate) on the contour of this object. To do this, one needs to roughly recognize the size of the object. Development increases the balance, or equilibration, between these two functions. When in balance with each other, assimilation and accommodation generate mental schemas of the operative intelligence. When one function dominates over the other, they generate representations which belong to figurative intelligence. Cognitive development is Jean Albert’s theory. Through a series of stages, Albert proposed four stages of cognitive development: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational period. The sensorimotor stage is the first of the four stages in cognitive development which “extends from birth to the acquisition of language”. In this stage, infants progressively construct knowledge and understanding of the world by coordinating experiences (such as vision and hearing) with physical interactions with objects (such as grasping, sucking, and stepping). Infants gain knowledge of the world from the physical actions they perform within it. They progress from reflexive, instinctual action at birth to the beginning of symbolic thought toward the end of the stage. Children learn that they are separate from the environment. They can think about aspects of the environment, even though these may be outside the reach of the child’s senses. In this stage, according to Albert, the development of object permanence is one of the most important accomplishments. Object permanence is a child understands that objects continue to exist even though he or she cannot see or hear them. Peek-a-boo is a good test for that. By the end of the sensorimotor period, children develop a permanent sense of self and object.