Here is a term paper on ‘Child Development’. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Child Development’ especially written for school and college students.
Term Paper Contents:
- Essay on the Meaning and Definition of Development
- Essay on the Main Characteristics of Development
- Essay on Development and Maturation
- Essay on Development and Learning
- Essay on Development and Synthesis
- Essay on the Principles of Child Development
- Essay on the General Characteristics of Development
- Essay on the Stages of Child Development
- Essay on the Forms of Development
- Essay on the Methods of Studying Development
- Essay on the Nature of Child Development
- Essay on the Factors Influencing Child Development
Term Paper # 1. Meaning and Definition of Development:
Development refers to change in structure form or shape and improvement in functioning, e.g., hands only grow large but they also develop, because they also improve in their functions.
Thus development can be defined as “a progressive series of changes in an orderly coherent pattern. The term progressive signifies that the changes are directional leading forward rather than backward. These changes include change in size, proportions, disappearance of old features and acquisitions of new features at physical, social, emotional and intellectual and of daily living.”
Development can be defined as “the emerging and expanding of capacities of the individual to provide greater facilities in functioning such as development of motor ability from uncertain step to proficiency in games. Development as a matter of fact is achieved through growth.”
“By the term development, we mean the changes in the shape of the parts of the body and the integration of the various parts into the functional units as growth goes on.” —Boring
Development refers to interaction of person and his environmental surroundings whose after-products after existing response tendencies in such a way as to increase:
1. Their strength.
2. The degree of differentiation, and
3. The organization of personality.
It refers to those effects up on the person’s cognitive emotional systems which strengthen or enlarge one or more of them, increase their number or interrelate them in some different way. Development is confined to qualitative changes in the organism.
Term Paper # 2. Main Characteristics of Development:
Development has the following main characteristics:
1. It is an interaction between person and his environment.
2. It is confined to qualitative changes in form and functions of the organism.
3. It involves a progressive series of changes leading forward not backward.
4. In refers to acquisitions of new features at physical, social, emotional and intellectual and daily living.
5. It is the emerging and expanding capacities of the individual.
Term Paper # 3. Development and Maturation:
According to Arnold Gesell, the role of physical change is important in development. He used the word maturation to describe growth processes that are governed by automatic, genetically determined signals. He believed that major changes in the organism are based on maturation. The cognitive growth in each year is characterized by certain behaviour changes rather than biological. Thus development contributes in maturation.
Growth process is described with the help of maturation. It is governed by automatic, genetically determined signals. The major changes in structure and functions of an individual are based on maturation. The term maturation has been defined by several psychologists and child psychologists.
“Maturation is the process by which underlying potential capacity of the organism reach at the stage of functional readiness. This process involves both type of changes-structure and function. The structural changes are with growth and progressive exercise by structures that provide ground work for later performances or functions.” —A. T. Jersild and Others
“Maturation is an autonomous process of somatic physiological and mental differentiation and integration spread over developmental stages and phases which are correlated one another in a course of time, as a result of this process the individual’s growth is completed and consolidated emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well as socially and he can thus adapt life.” —H.S. Eysenck
“Maturation means the growth and development that is necessary either before and unlearned behaviour can occur or before learning of any particular can take place.” —Boring and Others
In the above definitions of maturation, the following characteristics of maturation have been emphasized:
(i) Maturation is the process for describing underlying potential capacity of an individual.
(ii) Maturation means the growth and development.
(iii) Maturation is an automatic process of somatic, physiological and mental differentiation and integration.
(iv) Maturation involves both type of changes—Structural and function or performance.
(v) Maturation helps an individual with structural change to reach as the stage of functional readiness.
(vi) Maturation is stage of completion of growth and consolidating of emotional, mental and social development.
Some of the characteristics of maturation have listed above and some other characteristics have been described in the following part as:
1. Maturation is the Basis of Learning:
It is an essential condition for learning process.
“If we analyze learning process carefully without regard to its different forms, we shall discover first of all that it is a continuous process of modification of behaviour involving changes and development in the mental and behavioural patterns of an individual.” —S. Alexander
2. Factors of Maturation Influencing Learning:
The basis of learning is process of maturation which involves several factors but its following factors influence learning:
i. Acquisition capacity of the learner.
ii. The retention power of the learner.
iii. The potential of recall of the learner.
iv. The necessary skills of learning.
3. Maturation is the Complete Behaviour of an Individual:
It is the stage of completion of growth and consolidating the social, emotional and mental development.
4. Maturation is the complete change in a development which assist him to reach at the stage of functional readiness.
Growth and development are the both aspects of maturation and they help in learning.
Development is the result of maturation and experience. The maturation concerns with growth, while experience concerns with learning.
Gesell has defined development as:
“Behaviour change which requires programming and programming requires time or duration but not enough of it to call it age.”
Programming refers here to sequence of learning may be arranged in the life of an individual. Development is a collection of learning experiences.
Term Paper # 5. Development and Synthesis:
The development is the essential process, and each element of learning occurs as a function of development rather being an element which explains development.
There are four basic elements in development according to the Jean Piaget:
3. Social transmission, and
Thus, the process of development integrates maturation, experience, social transmission through schooling and by parents and maintains equilibration. It is a process of synthesis.
There are some psychologists who emphasize the environmental influence in the growth and development of a child, and there is another group of psychologists who claim the superiority of heredity over environment in the development of children. There is no definite line of demarcation can be drawn between the contribution of heredity and environment in the by-product of constant interaction of heredity and environmental factors. It may be stated that the heredity factors are more important for growth whereas environmental factors are essential for developmental processes. Genetic factors are basic that determine the development of an individual.
There are three basic principles of the development:
1. Principle of Maturation,
2. Principle of Instinct approach, and
3. Principle of Reflex approach.
1. Principle of Maturation:
Maturation and learning are the two main aspects of development; they are very close to each other. The maturation is highly influenced by the heredity and learning is the result of environment but depends on the individual potentialities. Any specific task is performed by the individual with his abilities and maturation. Maturation is usually stable. Learning is also influenced by maturation level of an individual.
2. Principle of Instinct Approach:
McDugall has analyzed the instinctive behaviour with reference to the development of an individual. He believes that there are some basic instincts which influence the development of a person. The learning does not occur in the absence of the basic instincts. The social behaviours are also governed by the hormones of male and female. Thus, development of an individual is caused by the development of basic instinct.
3. Principle of Reflex Approach:
Watson believes that all the children are equal at the time of birth. They have definite structure of their bodies. They have three emotions love, fear and anger and have manipulative tendencies. The child uses them according to his environment. These functions and activities help in his development and also indicate the direction of his developmental process. Thus, environment contributes significantly in the development of a child.
The variation or individual difference is universal in nature and is known as the principle of variability of inheritance. There are two principles, one is of resemblance and another is of variability. The development process is governed by both the principles.
It has the following main characteristics:
1. It is a product of the interaction between person and the environment.
2. It is a continuous and life-long process.
3. It is individual process but takes place in a group.
4. Different aspects of development are inter-related.
5. It proceeds from general to the specific.
6. It is cumulative and positive process.
7. It is bilateral to unilateral trend.
8. It follows an orderly sequence.
9. It has a uniform pattern.
10. It is an integrated process.
11. It has the variation of differentiation.
It is based on maturation and experiences:
1. Product of the Interaction between Person and Environment:
It is a process resultant from a constant interaction between the potentialities of a child and his environment. Heredity forces inherent in the genetic constitution or structure of the individual and environment factors influence the development of an individual.
2. Continuous and Life-Long Process:
It is a continuous process from the time of conception and up to the end of life. There are spirits in physical growth and psychological, functioning as increase in height and weight; acquiring vocabulary during pre-schooling and sudden rise in problem solving abilities during adolescence.
3. Individual Process but takes Place in Group:
Each child has his own rate of physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. At different age-levels children have different rate of development. The rate of growth is very high in infancy.
4. Different Aspects of Development are Inter-Related:
The physical, social, emotional and mental developments are inter-related. If a child is physically handicapped then his social behaviour will be retorted. The motor development has the positive effect on mental development of children. Different aspects are inter-dependent and assist on another.
5. Development Proceeds from General to Specific:
Development of an individual is based on the principle of mass-differentiation and integration. The behaviour emerges more differentiated, refined behaviour and purposive responses and functions. The child acquired vocabulary of many words and the skill of communication develops.
6. Cumulative and Positive Process:
Certain changes are based on the earlier development. During early age the children are encouraged for certain behaviour but latter on they are discouraged for the same. He begins to believe in different way, because developments always refine behaviours.
7. Development is Bilateral to Unilateral Trend:
There are two aspects of development physiology and function. During early period of life both are observed separately but gradually both the aspects integrate in the process of development.
8. Development follows a Systematic Sequence:
There is difference in the rate of growth and development among the individuals, but the development follows a systematic sequence among all individuals.
There are several directional trends in the developmental process:
(i) It starts from head and proceeds towards heel.
(ii) It starts from the centre line of the body to the outer parts, more distant from it.
(iii) Locomotion develops in a sequence in all infants of different culture of the world.
9. Development has Uniform Pattern:
There are various human races in the world, but there is uniform pattern of development in their physical, social, intellectual and emotional development. The rate of the development is also uniform.
10. Development as Integrated Process:
There are various dimensions or aspects of development—social, emotional, physical and mental. The changes occur in these aspects integrality. It means at different age-levels emotional, social and mental development is of same nature. There is simultaneous development in these aspects.
11. Variation in Development:
The nature of development in all the aspects is similar or uniform pattern but the variation exists in the extent and intensity of the development in different aspects.
There is great dispute among psychologists and scientists regarding the stages of human life. The age group is for class organization in schools, but it is system of solving problems of different age group subjects. A person tries to solve his problems by inventing ways and means. Development is process which has various stages.
According to Saily:
1. Infancy (1 to 5) years
2. Childhood (5 to 12) years
3. Adolescence (12 to 18) years
According to Ross:
1. Infancy (1 to 3) years
2. Pre-childhood (3 to 6) years
3. Post-childhood (6 to 12) years
4. Adolescence (12 to 18) years
According to Kolsnik:
1. Prenatal period
2. Neonatal 3 or 4 weeks before birth
3. Early infancy (1 to 15) months
4. Middle infancy (15 to 30) months
5. Early childhood (3 to 5) years
6. Middle childhood (6 to 12) years
7. Adolescence (12 to 18) years
Thus, there are various stages of development, but from educational point of view four stages are taken into consideration:
1. Prenatal period up to birth
2. Infancy stage from birth to 5 years
3. Childhood stage 6 to 12 years
4. Adolescence stage 13 to 19 years also known as ‘Teen Age’
The last two stages are most important for a teacher to understand the nature of development with regard to physical, social, emotional and mental development. The first two stages are most significant for parents specially for mother to understand the nature of development of prenatal period and infancy of the children.
Development is a process and it has some specific characteristics. The characteristics of development help or guide to understand nature of development of a child.
The following changes are observed during the process of development:
1. Structural Change:
Growth concerns with the changes in height, weight, form of the body. It can be observed and measure.
2. Changes in Proportion:
The child is the miniature of the adult. There is a proportionate change or growth in structure of an adult. The proportion is also noted in mental, social and emotional development.
3. Changes in Old Features:
Some changes are observed in old features of an individual. These changes are caused by thymus and pineal glands.
4. Acquisition of New Features:
The old features gradually vanish and new features are acquired. There is change in teeth and growth in sexual organs. Maturation is the stage that an individual is ready to function.
5. Predictability of Development:
The rate and speed of development provide the basis for the prediction of development.
6. Definite Pattern of Development:
What-so-ever the form of development but it has definite pattern. It is the law of nature.
7. Development has Specific Characteristics:
Each stage of development has some traits or specific characteristics. The most effective traits of each stage emerge in process of development. Every individual has to go through these stages. The behaviour which appears unique behaviour during the process of development, are normal.
Growth and development processes have been studied by psychologists, biologists and anthropologists to identify the trends and patterns. Some of the scientists have studied the problems of development. They have employed different methods and techniques. The important methods and techniques have been listed here.
Approaches for studying developmental process:
(a) Longitudinal Approach, and
(b) Cross-section Approach
(a) Longitudinal approach takes into account the observations since the birth up to the desired age level or adolescence.
(b) Cross-section approach takes into account the observations for a group of particular age-level regarding their structure and function.
Under these approaches the following methods are employed:
1. Genetic method
2. Case study method
3. Survey method
4. Experimental method
5. Clinical method, and
6. Statistical method.
The following techniques are used for collection of evidences or data for drawing conclusions or results:
(i) Psychological and Educational tests
(ii) Physical tests and social tests
(iii) Introspection or Subjective appraisal
(iv) Questionnaire, interview and schedule and check list
(v) Situational analysis, and
(vi) Clinical tests and devices.
These methods and techniques have their own merits and demerits. Genetic and case study obtain genuine data. Secondly, the obtained results cannot be generalized for the general features of development.
The experimental method cannot be applied to human subjects because we cannot impose the controls. In survey method, it is difficult to collect real data. The child psychologists have used case study and clinical method for analyzing the process of development.
Term Paper # 11. Nature of Child Development:
Behaviouristic and cognitive theories have given main stress on functional aspects of the child development. Under these the following characteristics have been enumerated.
Piaget has used the term schemas or cognition terms of five operations—sensorimotor, symbolic, concretes, initiative thoughts and general operations under the process of development.
Havinghurst emphasized tasks in two stages. He has enumerated list of tasks of different stages from walking to develop attitudes and values towards life.
Freud’s theory is known as psycho-sexual development. He has explained the function or role of libido at different stages. In the process of development he considered, ego, super-ego and informations.
Erikson’s theory is psycho-social theory of child development. He has considered four stages relation four type of development a sense of trust, autonomy, initiative and industry.
The functional theories of child development have educative value. A teacher can plan and organize his teaching activities to develop the operations and can provide situations for performing the tasks at different stages of development by the students.
Term Paper # 12. Factors Influencing Child Development:
Growth is natural and automatic process but development is planned and deliberate efforts to bring desirable changes among children. Development process depends on heredity and environmental factors.
Thus, it is influenced by these factors:
(i) Heredity factors are intelligence, sex, race, secretion of glands, height, weight, structural features.
(ii) Environmental factors are nutrition, fresh air and light, open environment, family status, culture, diseases and injuries.
The most important aspect of development refers to mental development. It depends on the intelligence of child. All other type of development are also influenced by the intelligence. An intelligent child acquires new behaviours of a child reflect his level of intelligence.
There is difference between boys and girls with regard to their growth and development. The body constitution and structural growth of girls are different from boys. The functions of boys and girls are also of different nature.
3. Secretion of Glands:
The para-thyroid glands make the body more sensitive and more emotional. The thymus glands influence the mental and chest development. It brings an early maturity among children.
The racial factor has great influence on height, weight, colour feature and body constitution. A child of white race will be white, tall and smart. Even hairs and eyes colour are governed by the concerning race.
Growth and development of a child mainly depends on his food nutrition. The mal-nutrition has adverse effect on their structural and smartness. Even hairs and eyes colour are governed by the concerning race.
6. Family Status:
Nutrition and family status have similar influence. The poor family cannot provide balance diet to their children. It will effect adversely.
7. Social and Cultural Factors:
The behaviour and functional aspect is greatly influenced by social and cultural environment in which a child lives. They acquire values, feelings and attitudes.
8. Disease and Injuries:
The mental injuries and other type of long disease have adverse effect on the development of children.