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Role of Social Interaction in Child Development

Role of Social Interaction in Child Development

September 18, 2011  | Posted in Parenting/Child Development, Education/Learning/Activities Share Article |

by Azim Uddin
Linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development are corresponding processes that ultimately work together to outline a child's literacy growth. Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development.
Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people and then inside the child. There are many psychologists who focus on the connections between people and the socio-cultural context in which they act and interact in shared experiences. 

Humans use tools developed from a culture, such as speech and writing, to arbitrate their social environment. Initially children develop these tools to serve solely as social functions, ways to communicate needs.
Many schools have traditionally held an instructionist model in which a teacher or lecturer ‘transmits' information to students. In contrast, some other theories promote learning contexts in which students play an active role in learning. Roles of the teacher and student are therefore shifted, as a teacher should work together with the children in order to help facilitate meaning construction in children. Learning therefore becomes a shared experience for both the parties - children and teachers.

An observational study found that social interaction is closely related to the cognitive development of children. The research proposes that social interaction and cognitive conflict contribute to cognitive change, and that children undergo a progression in scientific understanding.
Children progressively build up mental representations of how the world operates. Thus, what a child is competent of learning depends considerably on what they already know. Social communication can cause intangible change, and that there exists a developmental progression in children's scientific thinking. Conceptual change is related to the child's age. 

Some children enter preschool and seem very quiet, timid, shy, or withdrawn. Sometimes parents and teachers are concerned about ways to promote social interaction in shy children. Initially, it is important to make sure a child is comfortable and secure in all of the settings where the child lives.
If the child has just entered preschool, the first intervention will be to provide structure and routine so the child can develop a sense of security. Provide opportunities for one-to-one play with the preferred playmate. It is difficult to learn social skills in a large group setting. With daily opportunities for one-to-one play, it becomes much easier for the child to learn ways to interact and to feel comfortable in social interaction. Sometimes children need explicit instruction on ways to join a group. Teachers can often give simple instructions on ways to join play.
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Tags: child development, learning