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Abstract and Keywords

In this overview, I focus on contemporary research and theory related to five “truths” of cognitive development: (1) cognitive development proceeds as a result of the dynamic and reciprocal transaction of endogenous and exogenous factors; (2) cognitive development involves both stability and plasticity over time; (3) cognitive development involves changes in the way information is represented, although children of every age possess a variety of ways to represent experiences; (4) children develop increasing intentional control over their behavior and cognition; and (5) cognitive development occurs within a social context. Cognitive development happens at a variety of levels, and developmental scientists are becoming increasingly aware of the need to be cognizant of this and the interactions among the various levels to produce a true developmental science.

Keywords: cognitive development, developmental systems, skeletal competencies (core knowledge), stability, plasticity, representation, theory of mind, executive function, strategies

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