Critical Thinking Essay

Submitted By candielsey
Words: 1068
Pages: 5

After reading the case study for this week the first thing you have to think about is both of these child’s ages. This is a terrible tragedy that is carried out much more than most people realize. Violence in our school system has increased dramatically over the years. The question here is “Can this six year old be held accountable for his actions? And if not why?” Well, part of the question has already been answered for us by our legal system. Our legal system states that children under 7 are not held responsible for crimes. When a person is to be found guilty there are things that need to be in place. the capacity to form the idea of what to do or carry out, to have the capacity to know what is needed to carry out that specific action and how to follow it through to cause harm the capacity to understand the difference between right and wrong the capacity to stop yourself from acting wrong, which points to the person’s ability to not act upon the want to do harm even with the compulsion to do wrong.
The mental capacity of a child 6 and under is not as developed as that of an older child, say 8 – 12 or 13 – 17 years of age. The brain development of a child 2-6 years of age develops from 75% to 90% of adult weight. The brain weight is heightened because of a material called Myelin. Myelination is the process in which the axons become coated in the fatty material and it speeds the transmission of nerve impulses from neuron to neuron. Although when many thoughts are happening at one time and the greater speed happens at that time, six year olds still do everything slower than persons that are older because all the information is being processed at a slower rate. Impulsiveness and perseveration would override number 3 - capacity to stop yourself from acting wrong, along with the fact that at his age the prefrontal cortex of the brain would not be fully developed. It states in our book that perseveration is the tendency to stick to one thought or action. Impulsiveness and perseveration come from the same underlying cause - the immaturity of the prefrontal cortex. Also in reading the case study, it goes on to say about this child’s home life. It has not been a happy one, nor does it seem to have been very safe or nurturing. The prefrontal cortex also controls the emotions this child would be feeling. Three different areas of the brain work together to control emotion, memory, fear, anxiety, and produce hormones. They are the Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Hypothalamus. These are all part of the Limbic System. The way this child was feeling would have a lot to do with the way the child has been raised, the environment he has grown up in and things this child has witnessed. When the home life is not a setting to where the child can grow mentally and physically healthy, it could be considered an environment of one of three things. Child Maltreatment – Intentional harm to or avoidable endangerment of anyone under 18, Child Abuse – Deliberate action that is harmful to a child’s physical, emotional or sexual well-being, or Child Neglect – Failure to meet a child’s basic physical, educational or emotional needs. All three of these categories carry consequences. The child can become withdrawn, angry, and abusive, have delayed development, and learn what he/she sees/lives. Vygotsky's Social Learning study shows that between children and mentors that children are very curious and observant. They see the world around them and remember. In the case study, it states that this child lived in a home where his father and grandfather were in jail on gun related charges, there was another male in the house that was obviously handling guns that were not only stolen but also lying around, loaded and in a place easily assessable to a six year old. After being around guns for, I'm assuming, the majority of his life,