Biological and Cognitive Development (Tiana)

This week we dove into chapters 3 and 8 of  Educational Psychology (Woolfolk, Winne, Perry, 2016). While chapter 3 covered physical and cognitive development, chapter 8 covered the differences between behavioral and cognitive views of learning. Both chapters provided ways in which student’s environments, and the people within them, affect their development.

3 Things I Learned

The first thing that I learned was that “Between the ages of 11 and 14, girls are, on average, taller and heavier than boys” (Woolfolk, Winne, Perry 2016, 65). I was surprised by this. Looking back at grades 6 through 9, in my experience, males were generally taller and proportionately larger than females.

Another thing that was new to me was that giving students more breaks throughout the day could lead to fewer diagnoses of ADHD (67)! It is common knowledge that children have a TON of energy. They need to partake in physical activities to rid of some of that energy, but I was unaware of just how important time for physical activity was!

A third thing that I became aware of was that our brains are constantly analyzing, processing, and connecting what we are sensing. “For example, when observing someone perform an action, the area of the observer’s brain that would be involved in that action is activated just by watching” (Woolfolk, Winne, Perry 2016, 260)! This process is called mirror systems.

2 Connections I Made

The first connection I made came from page 65 and 66 where the text discusses size variations during physical development. In high school, one of the male students in my class hit puberty far later than anyone else. When he did reach puberty, he remained quite short; never reaching the average male hight. As a result, he was often the target for bullies.

The other connection I made also comes from page 65 but is directly related to myself. Like my peer with whom I just discussed, I too started out fairly short and arrived later to the puberty party. Woolfolk and Perry (2015) state, “The size discrepancy can give the girls an advantage in physical activities, although some girls may feel conflict over this and, as a result, downplay their physical abilities.” (as stated in Woolfolk, Winne, Perry 2016). Although I was short, I was fast and not embarrassed to beat my male peers at running and jumping -I thought it was great!

1 Question I Still Have

On page 64, the second paragraph begins by describing physical change as “a basic aspect of development that affects all the others… as students mature. My question is: during puberty, if students did not change physically, how would this affect the other aspects of development during puberty?

3 thoughts on “Biological and Cognitive Development (Tiana)

  1. Hi Tiana! Awesome response to this week’s readings! I had a similar experience to you where the males were physically developing faster than girls and I found it eye-opening that the text said it to be the other way around. The process of mirror systems was also something that I had not heard of before. I found we made a similar connection in the way that bullying is a result of the different ways we each develop. There is no right or wrong was to develop and it is important for teachers to address these issues early on so that it doesn’t lead to problems such as bullying.
    Wonderful blog! Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Tiana,

    I find it interesting that in your experiences that males were more tall than females in that time period. I actually had the opposite experience. Most girls, including myself, were taller and were more built than the male population in my school(s). Regarding your second connection, I also had the opposite experience for a while. I used to downplay my skills because I was always taught by society that males should be more athletic than females. Luckily that was a long time ago, and am no longer like that- and am like you and am proud of my physical capabilities.


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