Temperament and development seemed endless as a chapter to study – but having flicked forward to next week’s topic (Origins of Development) and its heavy evolutionary and biological slant, I think this chanpter might start to have felt like it was a breeze!
Some of the concepts (individual differences, adult personality types, attachment) are familiar from DSE212, but what is more obvious is the distinction being drawn between temperament and personality – and how childhood temperament affects the development of personality.
The four temperament theories compared and contrasted towards the end of the chapter (Thomas & Chess; Buss & Plomin; Kagan and Dunn & Kendrick) look as if they could form the heart of an exam question, so I’ve paid particular attention to them and tried to get their differences of approach / emphasis straight in my notes for this week.
I must say that I’m enjoying getting back to reading the course books after a frustrating couple of weeks struggling with TMA01. I’m still not very happy with my essay, but I’ve decided to put it aside for the next few days as there are still a couple of weeks or more to go before the deadline.
Chapter 4 is on early cognitive development and seems to start exploring this from the viewpoint of Piaget and then providing evidence to support or contradict his conclusions. It’s not the easiest chapter to read, but distilling it down into a set of notes based on each idea and the evidence that supports or contradicts it seems to work quite well. It’s one of those chapters that you hope a ‘how far does’ or a ‘to what extent’ question appears on the exam paper as there’s plenty of material to construct an answer from.
Last night I listened to the ‘Mind Changers’ audio band on Piaget and if nothing else, I now understand why the idea of sandpits, big sinks and letting children get on with playing as part of education that I experienced in the 70’s must have been such a shock to my parents who were brought up when rote learning was practiced in schools. Piaget comes across in the programme as being a rather isolated figure and quite sad in some ways. The undoubted insights he had into child development could have been much more quickly developed if perhaps he hadn’t had this obstinate streak of wanting to prove his initial ideas were completely right by demanding his assistants produce more and more data to support them and ignoring data that didn’t support these ideas. A genius, certainly, and comforting (to me!) to know that even he had flaws.
… and now onto the first TMA!
Notes for week 3 are here.
Now that wasn’t too bad in the end – certainly once I’d viewed the DVDs a couple of times. Being schooled through the late sixties, seventies and early eighties I can recognise aspects of all four theories being used during my education. I can also recognise some of the things that have been used with my children as well. It certainly helps to explain why some of the heated debates over the last few years have occurred (for example, the impact of television viewing on children) – and why people take different positions. My notes are here.
Not a great week for study – it’s taken me nearly two weeks to do the first week! Still, I am still ahead of the game as the official start date isn’t until 7th February. My target is to get the first TMA drafted before then, so it’s still looking ok. I’ve also managed to create my own notes as well – they’ll get rehashed again come revision time in September.