What Is Development
Looking back at our lives, we have memories that remind us about the changes we have faced over time and it is a fact that humans grow and change throughout their entire lifespan. Change happens across many different aspects of a child’s life. Physical, cognitive, emotional, moral or psychosocial changes- all take place at the same time. These aspects are actually the various dimensions of development
According to E. Hurlock, “Development is not limited to growing larger; instead, it consists of a progressive series of changes towards the goal of maturity.”
According to J.E. Anderson, “Development is concerned with growth as well as those changes in behaviour which results from environmental situations.”
On the basis of given definitions, we can say that development is a term used to denote overall changes in shape, structure or form due to physical, mental, emotional, social or cultural transformation.
What Is Growth?
Growth is a term used for denoting physical change and exclude all other changes.
Differences Between Growth And Development
As we noticed in above definitions, psychologists described development in terms of growth or vice versa. But both terms are different from each other. Growth and development both terms are closely correlated with each other. However, both terms have a different meaning. Generally, growth is associated with quantitative alterations and development is associated with both, i.e., quantitative and qualitative alterations. In other words, growth is a part of development, which is also a comparatively wider process. The following table explains the major differences between growth and development:
|Growth is a term used for denoting physical change.||Development is a term used to denote overall changes in shape, structure or form due to physical, mental, emotional, social or cultural transformation.|
|Growth is quantitative in nature. In other words, changes that result into growth are measurable in nature.||Development brings modification and improvement in behaviour and functioning, thereby bringing qualitative changes.|
|Growth may or may not lead to any development.||Development is possible even if there is no growth. For example, some children do not gain standard weight or size, but they may develop in social, emotional or intellectual aspects.|
|Growth constitutes one part in the development process.||Development is comparatively a wider and comprehensive process.|
|Growth as a term can be used to describe changes in any body part.||Development describes changes as a whole and does not include changes in parts.|
|Growth stops when an individual reaches his/her maturity.||Development is a continuous process that continues throughout the lifespan of an individual.|
Factors Influencing Growth And Development
Major factors which affect human growth and development are as follows:
1. Hereditary 2. Environmental 3. Intelligence 4. Endocrine 5. Gender 6. Birth order 7. Nutrition 8. Race 9. Diseases and injuries
The classification of human development is as follows:
|Birth to 5 years||Infancy Stage|
|6 to 12 years||Childhood Stage|
|13 to 19 years||Adolescence Stage|
A brief description of each and every stage is as follows:
► Infancy Stage (Birth to 5 years): During infancy, a new born child remains dependent on his/her parents. Environment of the family affects the future thinking, reasoning, development and style of his/her life. This period starts from birth and remains till 5 years of age. In this period, a child is totally dependent on parental support for fulfilment of his/her needs. This is a period wherein a child experiences the most rapid physical growth and development. During infancy, a child learns to walk, run and communicate his /her needs in a few words.
► Childhood (6 to 12 years): In this stage, a child refines his/her skills acquired during the infancy period and learns new skills as well. During childhood, a child gets familiar with behavioural norms accepted by society. The child also starts realising his/her capabilities, which give him/her a sense of confidence. This stage is considered as an intervening stage between infancy and adolescence. It is also known as ‘Stage of Varied Experience of Objects and Persons.’
► Adolescence (13 to 19 years): This stage is considered as the period of development and adjustment during the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. It is considered as a revolutionary period of growing up during which the child develops into a man or woman.
Major Characteristic Features Of Different Stages
|learns||Crawl, stand, walk, climb, etc. ► Eat and drink ► Communicate ► Get psychological stability ► Explore the environment surrounding him/her ► Play with toys ► Recognise objects and persons near him/her ► Imitate behaviour and actions of others ► Relate emotionally to parents and siblings||Major characteristics of childhood are as follows: ► Formation of morality by public opinion at this stage ► Maturity, mental stability and seriousness set within the behaviour of a child ► Developments of feeling of ego and concept of ‘I’ and you||This stage is considered as the period of development and adjustment during the transitional period between childhood and adulthood. It is considered as a revolutionary period of growing up during which the child develops into a man or woman|
|Physical development||eeth ► nervous system ► size and weight ► digestive system ► bones and muscles||sex organs ► sensory and motor nerves||Change in voice ► Increased pulse rate ► Increased blood pressure ► Increased size of genital organs ► Rapid development of height and weight|
|Intellectual development||eeth ► nervous system ► size and weight ► digestive system ► bones and muscles||Development of concepts ► Development of power of thinking ► Development of sensory equipment ► Import of reality into the world of imagination||Development of memory ► Development of intelligence ► Development of imagination ► Increase in span area of attention ► Widening of interests such as: ► Social interests ► Personal interests ► Religious interests ► Vocational interests ► Recreational interests|
|Emotional development||anger ► emotions of discomfort and happiness ► All emotions are spontaneous and children enable to control them||Development of jealous emotions ► Development of stability and control ► Child’s behaviour is guided by rational expression ► Ability to express his/her emotions by facial expressions||Development of memory ► Development of intelligence ► Development of imagination ► Increase in span area of attention ► Widening of interests such as: ► Social interests ► Personal interests ► Religious interests ► Vocational interests ► Recreational interests|
|Social development||desire for friendship ► willingness to play with other children||Child tends to play in small groups ► Child likes to take part in team games ► Children learn to make their separate groups ► Child learns to adjust himself/herself within a group ► Child shows consciousness about the socio-economic status of the parents||Gender consciousness ► Interest in social services ► Interest in social consciousness ► Interest to gain group loyalty|
Stages Of Child Development
Above given is a general Classification of Human development more specific Classification of child development are given below. The classification of child’s development by some most popular psychologists is as follows:
|Stage-I||Infancy||1 to 3 years|
|Stage-II||Early Childhood||3 to 6 years|
|Stage-III||Late Childhood||6 to 12 years|
|Stage-IV||Adolescence||12 to 18 years|
|Stage-I||Infancy||1 to 5 years|
|Stage-II||Childhood||5 to 12 years|
|Stage-III||Adolescence||12 to 18 years|
In the field of child development, there are many psychologists, scientists, and scholars who have propounded their theories and principles to understand a child’s development in a better way. All these principles are very helpful to a teacher while teaching in a classroom.
These principles of child development are as follows:
1. Principle of uniqueness: In words of famous psychologist Hurlock, “Every species, whether it is animal or a human being, follows its norms of development. It becomes clear that human development takes place according to definite norms.” In other words, Hurlock described that all same species of the world have same development characteristics. For example, if a child is born in India and another is born in any other part of the world, then according to the principle of uniqueness, both children have same development characteristics.
There will be no change in their development stages because both children belong to same species, i.e., human being. This principle is applicable to animal species as well.
2. Principle of growth direction: In terms of growth direction, psychologists have propounded a theory and proved that there is a proper direction of growth and development within a child. This development takes place from head to feet in a child (human being). It means head develops first, then torso and in the last stage legs develop.
3. Principle of progressiveness: In words of Skinner, “The principle of progressiveness development focuses on this fact that no change occurs gradually or suddenly in human being; it is a continuous process.” Other psychologists also propounded the same concept in this regard. According to this principle, growth of a child (human being) increases gradually with respect to time and age. It never changes suddenly in the context of child development.
4. Principle of integration: This principle of child development is influenced psychologists of Gestalt school who propounded the theory of perception. We can easily explain this principle with the help of this example; in childhood when a child lifts up a toy, he/she puts his/her whole palm on it instead of using fingers and thumb. But after some months when he/she learns about how to pick that toy with the help of fingers, he/she can easily pick up it. In the same way by observing others, he/she comes to know many other things and learns them. Here, the first attempt by child and after development of learnt behaviour, both are integrated with each other.
5. Principle of proper sequence: In terms of development of sequence, the work which was done by Gesell and Shirley has a remarkable place in the field of child development. According to both psychologists, child development has a proper order or sequence. For example, the linguistic development principle in which four language skills are developed within a child in its proper order, i.e., first of all development of Listening (L) skill, then Speaking (S) skill, then Reading (R) skill, and in last Writing (W) skill. This is the proper and appropriate order of linguistic development.
6. Principle of individual differences: According to this principle, development is also affected by individual differences. It means that development has variation in any two persons. Twins are the best example of this principle because they are same in birth time, date, and so many other things. But both acquire different types of development individually. There are variations in their weight, IQ level, learning capability, adjusting ability, etc. In the same way, development has a variety in term of any two persons.
7. Principle of different rate of development among children: This principle emphasises the fact that the rate of development within a child varies according to the age of a child. Some psychological researches show that rate of development is as follows:Age group Rate of development Birth to (3 years Most rapidly) (3 to 6 years Slow) (6 to 9 years Speed up again) (9 to 12 years Once again slow) (12 to 18 years Normal )(This table shows that there is a major variation in the rate of child development in the initial years of his/her life. We can also say that there is a particular chain of development, i.e., rapidly, then slow, again speed up and slow and at last normal or constant rate of development.
8. Principle of interrelation: According to this principle, various types of development within a child takes place at the same time. These types of development are as follows: social development, physical development, emotional development, linguistic development, etc. All these developments are correlated with each other. It means, one of the development affects other development. For example, physical development of a child affects his/her social, emotional and linguistic development too. As child grows, he/she learns new things in respect of development. This shows the interrelation of different development.
The area of development is divided into five categories. These include Physical Development, Social Emotional Development, Cognitive Development, Fine Motor Development and Gross Motor Development. Let us discuss these developments in detail:
1. Physical Development: This refers to change in the shape and size of the body, functions of the body, structure and appearance and physical health. Children from 5-9 years usually have slow growth with girls being comparatively lighter than boys. By fourth grade they show a spurt in growth till puberty. Girls appear rangy and bigger built compared to boys.
2. Social-Emotional Development: This refers to how a child deals with the world around him, his ability to interact with himself and others. It also deals with how a child expresses emotions, deals with friendships, interpersonal skills and behavioural changes. For a primary child, it reflects group bonding, playing with the same gender and participation in competition.
3. Cognitive Development: This deals with the child’s ability to solve problems, reasoning and learning. It includes changes in the intellectual ability, memory, creativity, speech and language development, reasoning and thinking. The child begins to comprehend the world around him by conjuring mental images. The children bond with their friends by using secret codes, word meaning, etc.
4. Fine Motor Development: This refers to the child’s ability to use small muscles of hands, feet and fingers. His ability to do hand-eye coordination also comes under this category. The primary grade child takes keen interest in a lot of drawing, colouring and craft work.
5. Gross Motor Development: This refers to the child’s ability to use his larger muscles, body control during play, etc. The child of 5-8 years can play games like cricket, football and kho-kho requiring muscle movement and dexterity.
Knowledge about the development principles of children is important for a teacher because of the following reasons:
1. Knowledge of development principles enables a teacher to prepare a hypothesis about the child by observing his/her development. If the development of a child is affected by some factors, the child’s future is affected. For example, if a child’s mental development is inappropriate according to the stages of mental development, a teacher can assume that child’s IQ level and problem-solving ability is not satisfactory. In such cases, a teacher can also help as a guide and counsellor.
2. Knowledge of development principles enables a teacher to evaluate or observe the behavioural aspect of a student. Behavioural aspects mainly include the social and emotional development of a student. If a student’s behaviour is rude or aggressive, it means that there is a problem in his/her social development or surroundings.
3. Knowledge of development principles helps a teacher to determine the future of a child.
On the basis of above principles and their implications, a teacher can provide career guidance to the student. A teacher can assume the nature of child, cognition level, individual differences, etc. with the help of these development principles.