Children's Cognitive Development - Training School-age Children for Better Cognition
By Andrew Loh
Cognitive development of children is a special subject of study in child
developmental psychology. It refers to an area of child psychology that
deals with thinking and its process. Cognition also deals with many
aspects like how children gain knowledge, store and later modify it to
use at an advanced level. Similarly, a challenging area of cognitive
study is why and how one child differs from the other in cognitive
processes. Likewise, cognitive processes also vary and change with
children's age and developmental processes.
Cognition development process usually varies with age and physiological processes.
Young infants and babies are capable of some elementary form of
cognition like imitation and basic actions. Some sort of memory
functions are also noticed in them. In fact, newborn baby and toddlers
aged 6 months can recognize mother's voice and some bits of spoken
language. The entire process of development of cognition takes place
throughout young children early life and through their adulthood.
Some of the important cognitive functions that get streamlined are as follows:
The mechanism of cognitive developmental processes
The entire process relates to
information processing. Information processing is analogous to the
functioning of a computer. A child perceives and receives raw
information from the environment in which it lives. Information is
received through one of senses. The received information is sent to a
working memory storage area that is temporary in nature and the received
information is retained only for some time. From here, the information
is dispatched to a long term memory storage area for storage. From here,
the working memory can receive information as and when it needed.
Here, both perception and attention signify information input. In
humans, all memory processes involve one of the memory types: short term
working memory or long term memory.
Working memory may involve the following processes:
Conception of ideas
Older children are more refined in creating conception of ideas, solving problems,
reasoning and finding solution for problems. An older child would
automatically process and receive information in a much better way.
Automatic processing of data is always good although it can interfere
with a specific task at times. This effect is often referred to as
automatization and it poses a big challenge to some children.
Confusion is common when learning multiplication after
summation. Experts cite this as intrusion errors. Let us assume that a
child learns how to sum two primary digits, 2 and 5. When asked to
multiply 2 and 5, many children get confused between summation and
multiplication and commit errors of assuming that 2x5 as 2+5. Hence,
they add 2 and 5 instead multiplying them, 2 x 5=10. Most of the real
life processes involve combination of many processes that are cognitive
in nature. All of them are joined together to arrive at a suitable
solution that in turn provide the best possible solution.
Many significant milestones mark the arrival of cognitive learning in
children. Some of them are as follows:
< 6 years old
Improving vocabulary (2000 words)
Composition of simple sentences
Counting up to 10 objects at a single time
Identifying right from left
Basic reasoning and argue based on facts
Learning why and how of things
Basic categorization of objects and things
Identifying shapes and patterns
Basic focusing and rudimentary concentration
Learning to follow basic instructions
7 to 8 years old
Longer attention and focusing spans
Become a team player
Understand somewhat advanced concepts
Understand advanced math and science concepts
Identify time and date
Read and write on own
Advanced categorization of objects and shapes
Cognition is very important
for a growing child. Without proper cognition, they cannot perform well
in their classroom and societal life. Cognition is very critical for
preparing young children for immense challenges ahead. Difficult
subjects like math, reading and writing, solving problems, science,
critical thinking is all possible only with better cognitive skills and
techniques. When a child is trained for better cognition in its early
age, it is possible to empower with necessary skills to succeed in life.
Solving problems, deciphering senses, thinking critically and honing
professional skills lie speaking in public are possible only when the
child is equipped with advanced skills of cognition that too in an early age.
You may be also interested to read
Parental Techniques to Teach Cognitive Processes to School-going Children.