Extra-Curricular Overload

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Chapter 6 in our psychology book seeks to answer how we learn new information. Like most aspects of psychology, there isn't any simple answer. The article I chose tries to see if there is a connection between children's activities and their later successes/developments in life.

The article states that in today's day and age, parents have a belief that their child has a "hidden talent." Therefore, they deem it is necessary to introduce the child to a variety of activities such as tae kwon do, swimming, piano lessons, etc. While at the same time, both economists and psychologists argue that this type of behavior shows no signs of future success or development. In fact, they argue that constant exposure to lessons, practices, meetings etc., can be detrimental to a kid's early development. William Doherty, a professor here at the U, stated "The experiences we thought kids had to have before high school has moved down to junior high and now elementary. Soon, we'll be talking about leadership opportunities for toddlers." The article further states that parents have an obsession to offer every opportunity for their child - even if it means depleting their own financial resources. Furthermore, chapter 6 tells us that children often mimic the actions of their parents and other adults - or in another words the phenomenon known as observational learning.

If parents are constantly rushing their children from activity to activity, isn't it reasonable to assume the child would burn out? Given that we are all cognitive misers, I would assume more activities and events piled on top of childhood development would not be beneficial. Learning is a complex psychological system, but I believe this articles sheds light on some of the misconceptions of childhood development. Especially in wake of the recession, more parents are strapped for cash, yet feel the need to provide the most for their child. In closing, Doherty states that some stimulating activities outside are important, but so is a nurturing family. Nevertheless, this study is fraught with many variables -- including childhood itself. Consequently, this type of experiment requires a long-term case study that is not easily replicated.


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This page contains a single entry by schus193 published on October 10, 2011 9:04 PM.

Sociology vs. Psychology was the previous entry in this blog.

Can the Blind See? is the next entry in this blog.

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