Middle Childhood?


Part one: To prepare for this Discussion: The School Environment

  • Review Chapters 9 and 10 in your course text.

Woolfolk, A., & N. E. Perry. (2015). Child and adolescent development (2nd ed.). Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Chapter 9, “Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood”
This chapter focuses on cognitive development during middle childhood. Topics include Piaget’s stage of concrete operations, intelligence testing, and the child in school. Special consideration is given to cultural differences and children with learning challenges.

Chapter 10, “Social Emotional Development in Middle Childhood”
Social emotional development during middle childhood is discussed, including the ongoing development of self-concept and gender identity. Peer relationships are covered including the topics of sociometric status and bullying. The child in the family is discussed related to parents promoting self-regulation and the impact disharmony and divorce.

  • Consider the many factors that inform a child’s experiences in school.
  • Think about how the child’s individual temperament (including their vulnerabilities and resilience), the role of parents and teachers, and the larger community inform the child’s school experience.
  • Consider the components of a “caring community” and how to create such an environment for every child at school.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 2

Post an analysis of the child at school. Explain the influence of the individual child (including personality development, temperament, and learning style), family, and broader social forces (e.g., culture, SES) on the school experience. Conclude your post by offering your ideas as to how to create a “caring community” for every child at school.

Part two: To prepare for this Assignment: Friendships and Peer Groups

  • Review Chapters 8-10 of the course text.
  • Review the article, “A Longitudinal Examination of Links Between Mother-Child Attachment and Children’s Friendships in Early Childhood.”


Think about how, and why, school age children and preadolescents make friends.

Think about why some children become popular while others are rejected.

Consider the logical connection between the relationship which develops in the attachment phase, and the development of future relationships in childhood and preadolescence.

The Assignment: (2–3 pages)

Reflect on the development of peer relationships. Include (but do not necessarily limit yourself to) the following:

  • Explain how secure attachment might build a bridge between infant relationships with caregivers and peer relationships in early adolescence. Provide specific examples.
  • Analyze friendships that occur in both middle childhood and preadolescence. Briefly explain how these relationships are developmentally different from each other. Provide specific examples.
  • Summarize your thoughts about the importance of adults in children’s socialization, particularly as it relates to the development of friendships and peer groups. Be sure to provide examples and justify your response with information from the Week 4 readings.

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