Examining how young people develop is essential to
understanding how they navigate the world around
them. This assignment is your opportunity to integrate
course content and to organise your understandings of
three core dimensions of human development:
(1) Physical development,
(2) Cognitive development, and
(3) Socio-emotional development
Development occurs in many ecological domains, and
this assessment asks you to consider how these
dimensions of development are important to education.
Development and education can be related in multiple
ways. For example, physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development could impact student learning and behaviour
in early childhood centres, classrooms, and schools. Reciprocally, education experiences have the potential to shape the
development of individuals. Development could also be important to broader philosophies and policies related to
education (e.g., children’s rights to a high-quality education).
You will have several choices when starting our academic essay. This is an opportunity to personalise your learning and
find meaning in our course content.
Academic Essay Guidelines
An academic essay is one way of communicating your subject knowledge on child/adolescent development to others.
In an academic essay, you present your voice (that is, your educated opinion) along with evidence of how you have
reached this opinion (usually through published sources). This particular essay is designed in a way so that you can
work towards becoming a specialist on a particular developmental age/stage of your choice while considering its
connections to educational contexts you find interesting.
The following steps will aid you to complete this assignment:
Step 1. Begin your academic essay by deciding which age/stage you would like to focus on: Early Childhood
(2-5 years), Middle Childhood (6-11 years), or Adolescence (12-18 years).
Step 2. Carefully review the Academic Essay instructions and formatting guidelines (below):
Total word count is 2,000 words (+/- 200 words).
Your References section (at the end of the document) does not count toward the word count.
Must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman font, and double-spaced.
APA Referencing from the provided course materials is required. To find out more, access UC Library.
Instructions: Using our course materials, your task is (a) to describe the three core dimensions of
development during the age/stage you have selected; and (b) to identify and explain at least two different
ways in which each dimension could be relevant to educational contexts*.
**Educational contexts may include how development could impact student learning and behaviour in early childhood centres,
classrooms, and schools. Development could also be important to broader philosophies and policies related to education (e.g.,
children’s rights to a high quality education). You may choose the educational context(s) you find particularly interesting.
Note- chapter 19 -Culture and socialization by Chen, Fu, and Zhao (2014) is required for your final essay submission. You must cite information from this content as well.
Possible topics for Cognitive Development (with some pointers):
Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. I would strongly suggest that if you include Piaget, you focus only on the stages and their accompanying characteristics than theoretical elements, such as assimilation and accommodation, as this applies to all ages/stages).
Vygotsky’s elementary/higher mental functions. In that regard, I would be cautious about going down too far down the path of MKOs and scaffolding, as his theory is intended to apply to most ages/stages.
Intelligence. However, you may recall that, typically, intelligence remains rather stable across ages/stages, so I wouldn’t dwell too much on this topic.
Coping strategies. Depending on the coping strategy, this can go really in the cognitive or socioemotional sections.
Executive functioning, Theory of Mind (ToM), and meta-cognition. It’s not necessary to cover all three, so I would be choosy about picking the one that is most relevant to your chosen age/stage.
Language development. This is a massive topic, so if you chose from this characteristic, I would suggest you focus on specific details relating to your age/stage.
Elements of the Information processing model. Keep in mind that the model, in general, applies to all ages/stages; however, you might be interested in covering age/stage-specific characteristics about attention, working memory, and long-term memory.
Cognitive load. This certainly links to working memory, but recall how cognitive load might have relevance to educational contexts!
Possible topics for Socioemotional Development (no pointers here–instead, apply your knowledge on the socioemotional topics to the reasoning I’ve shared in the list above!):
Self and identity development