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Preschoolers

  • By: Paul C. McCabe
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

The preschool years are increasingly being recognized as the ideal time to identify potential developmental problems and provide remediation. This period, which includes ages three to five years, is notable for remarkable growth. Preschoolers are particularly well primed to incorporate new information into their existing cognitive and behavioral repertoires, or create new behaviors to adjust to novel information. This form of adaptation is highly flexible and active during the preschool years, making this age well suited to instruction and intervention.

Preschoolers are maturing across several domains of development, including:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Speech and language development
  • Cognitive development
  • Social skills and competence
  • Self-help and adaptive skills

Maturational changes in biological structures precede the emergence of developmental milestones. Critical and precise physical changes in muscle mass, bone growth, neuronal connectivity, sensory–motor ...

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