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Principle and Theories of Child Development
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Principle and Theories of Child Development
CHILD DEVELOPMENT AND PEDAGOGY
PRINCIPLES AND THEORIES OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Studying and understanding child growth and development are important parts of teaching young children. No two children are alike. Children differ in physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth patterns. Even identical twins, who have the same genetic makeup, are not exactly alike. They may differ in the way they respond to play, affection, objects and people in their environment.
Knowledge of the areas of child development is basic to guiding young children. Linked to this is the understanding of healthy brain development. These stimuli begin at birth. Therefore, it is vital for children to have loving caregivers. Young children need dependable, trusting relationships. They thrive in environments that are predictable and nurturing Understanding theories about how people develop helps form your knowledge base in caring for young children .
Development refers to change or growth that occurs in children, It starts with infancy and continues to adulthood. By studying child development, you will form a profile of what children can do at various ages
Different names are used to describe young children at different ages From binh through the first year, children are called infants. Toddlers are children from age one up to the third birthday (Because of an awkward style of walking, the name toddler describes this age group). The term preschooler is often used to describe children ages three to six years of age.
Areas of Development
The study of child development is often divided into
three main areas. These include physical, cognitive and social emotional development. Dividing development into these areas makes it easier to study
Physical development refers to physical body changes It occurs in a relatively stable environment. predictable sequence. It is onderly, not random. Changes in size and weight are also part of physical development
Physical skills, such as crawling, walking writing, are the result of physical development T skills fall into two main categories:
1. Gross Motor development : It involves improvement of skills using the large muscles in the legs and arms, Such activities as running. skipping and bike riding fall into this category
2. Fine-motor development: It involves the small muscles of the hands and fingers. Grasping. holding, cutting and drawing are some activities that require fine motor development.
Environmental factors also affect what children can do physically. These factors include proper nutrition and appropriate toys and activities
Cognitive development, sometimes called Intellectual development, refers to processes people use to gain knowledge. Language, thought, reasoning and imagination are all included. Identifying colours and knowing the difference between one and many are examples of cognitive tasks.
Language and thought are a result of cognitive development. These two skills are closely related. Both are needed for planning, remembering and problem solving. As children mature and gain experience with their world, these skills develop
The third area of development is called social emotional development. These two areas are grouped together because they are so interrelated Learning to relate to others is social development, Emotional development, on the other hand, involves feelings and expression of feelings. Trust, fear, confidence, pride, friendship and humor are all part of social emotional development. Other emotional traits include timidity, interest and pleasure.
Learning to express emotions in appropriate ways begins early Caregivers promote this learning when they positively model these skills. A person’s self concept and self-esteem are also part of this area, As children have success with all skills confidence flourishes. This leads to a healthy self-concept and sense of worth
The physical, cognitive and social-emotional areas of development are linked to one another. Development in one area can strongly influence another area. For instance, writing words requires fine motor skills. It also requires cognitive development. Language, a part of cognitive development, is needed to communicate with others. It is also necessary for growing socially and emotionally.
Principles of Development
Although each child is unique, the basic patterns or principles of growth and development are universal. predictable and orderly. Through careful observation and interaction with children, researchers and those who work with children understand the characteristics of the principles that follow:
1. Development tends to proceed from the head downward. This is called the cephalocaudal principle. According to this principle, the child first gains control of the head, then the arms. then the legs. Infants gain control of head and face movements within the first two months after birth. In the next few months, they are able to lift themselves up using their arms. By 6 to 12 months of age, infant start to gain leg control and may be able to crawl, stand or walk
2 Development also proceeds from the center of the body outward according to the proximodistal principle. Accordingly, the spinal cord develops before other parts of the body. The child’s arms develop before the hands and the hands and feet develop before the fingers and toes. Fingers and toes are the last to develop
3. Development also depends on maturation. Maturation refers to the sequence of biological changes in children. These orderly changes give children new abilities. Much of the maturation depends on changes in the brain and the nervous system. These changes assist children to improve their thinking abilities and motor skills. A rich learning environment helps children develop to their potential.
Children must mature to a certain point before they can gain some skills. For. for instance, the brain of a four-month-old has not matured enough to allow the child to use words. A four-month-old will babble and coo, However, by two years of age, with the help of others, the child will be able to say and understand many words. This is an example of how cognitive development occurs from simple tasks to more complex tasks. Likewise, physical skills develop from general to specific movements. For example, think about the way an infant waves its arms and legs. In a young infant, these movements are random. In several months, the infant will likely be able to grab a block with his or her whole hand. In a little more time, the same infant will grasp a block with the thumb and fore finger.
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