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Middle Childhood Observation Paper

Decent Essays
Using “Milestones of Cognitive Attainments of
Middle Childhood and Adolescence”

This was my third field assignment. I elected to sit in the third grade, gifted class of Mrs. Alexis Martin at Hynes Elementary School. I chose to observe a public school for this assignment since my first two schools were parochial schools. Although these were all different grades and age levels, I thought I would have a richer experience by diversifying my subjects. I have not been disappointed in my decision. The first thing I observed upon entering the class was the environment. The building is brand new. The room was bright with lots of natural light and the temperature comfortable. There was not an over-abundance of visual materials for distraction. The
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The subject of the reading was, “How Are Chimps Like Humans?” This was an excellent example of interactive learning. The students worked collaboratively with their table mates on the questions in the lesson. One student was the recorder. He stood to give answers the group had prepared together. Their answers were highly logical and rich with detail, and characteristic of middle childhood cognition. The children compared ape and human characteristics. This is broadly illustrative of classification. Next was a process called “Pick a Friend.” The children devised their own questions and picked a fellow student to answer it. One question from a students was, “What would a chimp look like in the Ice Age?” This could be considered transitive inference in the sense of multiple relationships. The child had to imagine other logical characteristics that might be present in an ice age ape. This is also an example of propositional thought, characteristic of the formal operational stage, a developmental age of 11 years and older. This is advanced cognitive development for fourth graders. At one point a child stated, “I wanted to add on to what Neil said.” I realize this is a result of the teachers instruction, however, I was impressed by the cognitive maturity of this
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