The child also develops intellectually and is able to manage time, set goals and priorities, understand different meanings of words and develop morally. The child develops social skills including attempting to solve problems on their own. The child also tries to form social relationships and make lasting friendships (Morin, 2012).
Jean Piaget explained the stages of a child’s cognitive development, which include the sensor motor stage occurring between birth and two years of age, preoperational stage from two to seven years, concrete operational stage starting from seven to eleven years, and formal operational stage occurring from adolescence to adulthood. Fourth grade students are in Piaget’s concrete operational stage of cognitive development. At this stage, students learn how to use logic appropriately. They demonstrate intelligence by manipulating symbols systematically and logically. They are also able to make sensible decisions and think hypothetically about observable objects. Children at this stage can also sort objects according to shape, size or color. They can also recognize the relationships between things in a sequential order. Moreover, they are able to classify objects depending on characteristics such as size or appearance. The child also understands that some objects can be changed to different states and reversed again, for instance, the deflation and inflation of a ball (Shaffer and Kipp, 2009). The child also goes through social development. Erik Erikson explained eight stages of psychosocial development, from birth to adulthood. Fourth grade students are at the industry versus inferiority stage. It occurs between the ages of approximately five to eleven years. At this stage, children develop pride in their abilities through social interactions. It is an important stage for developing self-confidence. At this stage, children are given opportunities to gain the recognition of their parents or teachers. For instance, they can be asked to draw, solve problems or write sentences. If they do them correctly, they are commended for their achievements. If teachers and parents commend and encourage children at this age, they will believe in their skills and have a feeling of competence. However, those children who are not encouraged by parents or teachers, but are punished and ridiculed instead will begin to doubt their abilities and develop low self-esteem (Underwood and Rosen, 2011). Lev Vigotsky’s socio-cultural theory explains that learning is a social process and human beings get their intelligence from the society. A child’s social interactions play an essential role in cognitive development. Vigotsky’s theory suggests that students should learn in an environment that is socially interactive. The learning environment should be supported with discussions, computers, problem solving, and collaborative writing, among others (Shaffer, 2008). By having knowledge on the social, intellectual and physical development of students, I will be able to teach more effectively in future. Teaching students at the concrete operational stage will involve the use of concrete visual aids to explain complicated ideas to them. I will also use familiar examples to explain complicated concepts and give the students a chance to manipulate objects. I will give students assignments that will require them to think analytically and logically. I will ask them to practice classifying ideas and objects. I will apply Erikson’