Human Behavior in the Social Environment (SWK 5223)

A course at the University of Oklahoma Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work taught by Carrie Jankowski, MSSW, LCSW

Category: Blog posts (Page 2 of 2)

Blog Post: Chapter 3

Citing three examples from Chapter 3, discuss the trend of decreasing play activity from school schedules in exchange for more academics. How might it affect children’s development for better or worse?

Children are forever learning but are in need of their learning to be structured to their ever maturing brains. Part of that is for children to be able to participate in exploratory play. Siegler & Ramani (Cited in Pearson, 2008) created a game to prove the need to develop to their full learning potential. Another reason lack of play could be detrimental to children in their early learning stage is one mentioned by McAlister & Peterson (2006) about social pretend play and the benefits it has to help children make links between people and things and realize items can be representative of real things. Another important tool of learning was brought about by Vygotsky. Vygotsky’s (1978) principals “Tools of the Mind” state play is essential for laying the ground work for future skills



Siegler, R. S. & Ramani, G. B. (2008). Playing board games promotes low income children’s development. Developmental Science, 11, 655-661.

McAlister, A., & Peterson, C. C. (2006). Mental playmates: Siblings, executive functioning and theiry of mine. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 24, 733-751.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind and society. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Blog Post 1

Explain how the brain, environment, and hereditary material are related.

Stress and teratogens can effect the fetus and its development by flowing through the mucus membrane. Stress experienced by the mother transfers to the baby in her womb. The result is that when the baby is born it may be more susceptible to stress. The chromosomes that the child inherits from its mother and father can also have an effect on the child’s likeliness to inherit diseases. Some diseases may develop from dominant or recessive alleles. The care and nurture of the infant, as it develops and grows, by the parents can also cause some genes to be “turned on” or “turned off.” A study was referenced in the book about rat pups and their possibility for higher stress levels due to a certain gene which was “turned off” by being nurtured (licked and groomed) more than a control group. The rat pups that had more licking and grooming were able to have the stress gene “turned off” and reacted better to stress and also continued the same pattern with their own rat pups. Therefore, the brain, environment and hereditary each play a part in the outcome of each individual.

Blog Post Practice

Name 5 things you will personally do to be successful in this course.

1. Complete all the readings.
2. Take notes to refer back and make sure I understand the material.
3. Listen intently to everyone’s comments/understanding of the material to enhance my own experience.
4. Think/plan ahead to ensure I have all the work/assignments done timely.
5. Keep an open mind!

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