Readings for Question # 1:
First reading for question # 1: Infant brain development Dr. Barr’s notes:
This question will ask you to summarize what you have learned about newborns. This is a “thinking question,” meaning that there is not an answer for you to copy and paste here:
Background: A student in BEHS 343 reported that she couldn’t understand her newborn’s behavior. She would pick up her newborn and go to a comfy chair and begin to nurse the baby. But immediately after starting nursing the baby, she would put in ear buds and turn on Netflix to binge watch some program and she never looked again at the baby until she switched to the other breast. Once the baby was nursing and she was binge watching, the baby immediately began fussing. Then whimpering. Then crying. Then screaming. She just looked away at the TV. The pediatrician assured the mother that the baby did not have colic. Why did this baby get so upset? To understand this, please watch each of the Harvard Short Videos that are recommended.
To think about what is going on in this question, you need to read the material presented in Week One, including my lecture notes and below them, viewing the Harvard short videos. There are a couple of possible answers you can find when you look at the Harvard short videos.
Question # 1:
A. Why do you believe this baby is in such distress?
B. Which of the Harvard Short videos help explain this situation?.
Points: 4 points.
Assistance: This question can be easily answered by doing the required readings for Week One. There are several possibilities that arise when you view the Harvard short videos. Please make a simple reference list of the sources you used. (Does need authors if there are any) and titles and computer links given in our classroom.) Length? A few short paragraphs.
Readings for Question # 2:
Please re-read and view again the useful parts of readings for Week One. This question asks specifically about the three Harvard short videos introduced in Week One.
Question # 2:
2A. What is “serve and return?”
2B. Who starts “serve and return”
2C. What does serve and return do for newborns?
Assistance: Length: A few short paragraphs. Please list your sources in our assigned readings and videos of this information.
Points: 4 points
This second part of the Week Three Worksheet contains new information. Please complete the readings here below and then answer the questions.
Readings for Question # 3:
This is new information you will read about right now.
Please complete the readings and answer the questions. Here are the readings:
First reading for question # 3: Dr. Barr’s notes on executive functions:
Question three covers material that we have not studied before. Executive functions are a set of behaviors young children are capable of teaching themselves if they are allowed to play unstructured, old-fashioned play rather than have structured activities and sports and electronics time offered to them by parents and teachers. Executive functions include behaviors such as self-regulation that takes place when a child is using private speech. The Harvard video suggests that there are three types of executive functions: self regulation (how to control your own behavior), working memory (keeping in mind the tasks one is working on), and mental flexibility (the ability to stop what you are doing and share toys or change directions in what one is doing), and they discuss what they involve.
Taken together the executive functions help children regulate their behavior themselves and get along well with others and learn to share and work harmoniously with others. Executive functions help children plan and learn how to deal with others and how to change directions as needed.
Why do executive functions matter? They are predictive of success in school. They predict more accurately a child’s success in higher grades in school than scores on tests of intelligence
Second reading for question #3: Spiegel audio program with transcript
This is a wonderful audio program:
Alix Spiegel (21 February 2008) Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills (audio) National Public Radio: Your Health. This is an eReserve. It is found under Content/Course Resources/eReserves/Week Three. Please go to Content/eReserves. Then you must choose the little letters above the chart: (Week Three) and then the chart of eReserves for Week Three will pop up.
Please notice that the Alix Spiegel reading has a transcript with it. Look around on the opening page of the Spiegel article and over to the right somewhere it says Transcript. I couldn’t follow the audio program well enough to take notes, but then I read the transcript and that helped me a lot.
From the viewpoint of psychologists, educators and parents, this audio program will help you discover:
• what private speech is,
• what self-regulation is
• and what old-fashioned play is,
• and why they all matter.
• why these are critical for normal development
• in what sort of play self-regulation and private speech occur and why they matter.
• what things around the home and at school can damage normal development of self-regulation and private speech.
Third reading for question #3: Dr.Barr’s notes on the Spiegel reading:
The Spiegel audio program discusses activities that facilitate development of executive function.
Private Speech and Old-fashioned play: The Spiegel audio includes private speech, which is an opportunity for a child to self-regulate by talking to himself or herself about how things should be done. That happens when children are playing alone or with each other without adult supervision and are using simple things to invent their own activities. Spiegel also talks about old-fashioned play and alone play, which, in the past, provided the opportunities for a child to teach himself or herself executive functions. Spiegel contrasts old-fashioned play with the usual activities of children today, which are structured activities run by adults, like soccer or baseball games, and video games on the couch. Spiegel reports on a study replicating (copying) an old study years ago looking at self-regulation. Please read about what these researchers found about children in the past and children today and their abilities to self-regulate —it is interesting.
Here is the viewpoint from the Spiegel audio program that is most useful to us! These include private speech, self-regulation and time to play alone. Unstructured play is necessary to give children the time to develop these on their own.
Unstructured play means that no adult runs it or supervises it. This is play in which children take scraps of paper or sticks or whatever is around, and play alone or with other children. They imagine what some common things (paper or sticks or other things) represent and use those imagined ideas to play with. This kind of play uses lots of imagination and children need to remember what things are. This kind of play does not use fancy toys. Instead, common things and lots of imagination and private speech are going on.
Structured play: Structured play means a teacher or parent organizes a sport or an activity or suggests “Let’s play house” or “Imagine that you are a princess” and gives the children directions and even props or costumes so that, unfortunately, they cannot use their imagination.
Fourth reading for Question #3: Harvard short videos.
A Harvard short video on executive functions: This short video gives you additional information about what executive functions are.
On your browser please type in these exact words:
In brief: executive function: skills for life and learning Harvard Center on the Developing Child.
Warning: If you do not follow these directions exactly, you will get totally lost in finding the
videos from the thousands at that site.
The following questions summarize tall this new material about executive functions and also the value of free unsupervised play:
3A. What are executive functions and why do they matter? (one point)
3B. What is free, unstructured play and what does it provide for children (one point)
3C. What is private speech and what does it do for children? (one point)
3D. Please provide an example of free, unstructured play that you remembered doing when you were a child. Remember that we are talking about children probably under the age of 7, when private speech begins to disappear. Please, no classroom games for older children as they discuss in the Harvard short videos! (one point)
Points: Seven points.
Source: Again, please use only the Spiegel audio program or its written transcript and also Dr. Barr’s lecture notes and the Harvard short video on executive functions. Please put any article you quote from on a simple reference list.
Building Brains: The Molecular Logic of Neural Circuits – https://www.sam-network.org/video/building-brains-the-molecular-logic-of-neural-circuits
Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills- https://www.npr.org/2008/02/21/19212514/old-fashioned-play-builds-serious-skills