This topic has explored the roles of different parts of the brain in cognitive development and cognition. In addition, the topic has introduced brain function in relation to learning and has examined executive functioning. In the past Piaget and Vygotsky developed their theories by observing the actions of children – today modern science has made great strides in understanding the role genetics and biochemistry play in cognitive development. By understanding typical development in childhood and adolescence one is better placed to recognise when atypical cognitive development or impairments in executive function occur. In turn this will help teachers to support the learners they work with.
Strategies and support
For information about strategies and support for learners regarding transition and EF skills visit the following websites:
Spld Transitions (English and Welsh versions)
Berk, L (2004). Development through the lifespans – 3rd ed. United States of America: Pearson Education. inc
Bueree, C (1999). Personality theories.
Kristinsdóttir, B (2001). Lev Vygotsky.
Slee, P (2002). Children adolescent and family development. Australia: Cambridge University Press
Matlin, M (2009). A brief history of cognitive psychology. In: Cognitive Psychology. New York: John Wiley & Sons
McGurt, H (1978). Issues in childhood social development. London: Methuen
Meltzer, L (2007). Executive Function in Education: from theory to practice. New York: The Guildford Press
Smith, P, Cowie, H & Blades, M (2003). Understanding Children’s Development. Blackwell Publishing.
- Anderson, V., Anderson, P., Northam, E., Jacobs, R. & Catroppa, C. (2001). Development of Executive Functions through late childhood and adolescence in an Australian sample. Developmental Neuropsychology. 20: 385–406.
- Blakemore, S. & Choudhury, S. (2006). Development of the adolescent brain: implications for executive function and social cognition. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. 47: 296–312.
- Burgess, P. (1997). Theory and methodology in execute function research. In P. Rabbit (Ed.), Methodology of frontal and executive function (pp.81–116). Hove, East Sussex: Psychology Press.
- Diamond, A., Barnett, W.S., Thomas, J & Munro, S. (2007). Preschool program improves cognitive control. Science. 318: 1387–1388.
- Harris, M. & Butterworth, G. (2010). Developmental psychology in the 20th century. In: Developmental Psychology: a student’s handbook. New York: Psychology Press.
- Morgan, S. & Gardener, H. (2007). Hill, Skill and Will: executive function from a multi-intelligences perspective. In: Meltzer L (ed) Executive Function in Education. The Guildford Press, London.
- Morton, J. & Frith, U. (1995). Causal modeling: a structured approach to developmental psychopathology. In: Cicchetti D & Cohen D (eds) Manual of Developmental Psychopathology. Wiley, New York.