The modern form of developmental psychology has its roots in the rich psychological tradition represented by Heraclitus, Aristotle and Descartes. William Shakespeare had his melancholy character Jacques (in As You Like It) articulate the seven ages of man: these included three stages of childhood and four of adulthood. In the mid-eighteenth century Jean Jacques Rousseau described three stages of childhood: infans (infancy), puer (childhood) and adolescence in Emile: Or, On Education. Rousseau's ideas were taken up strongly by educators at the time.
In the late nineteenth century, psychologists familiar with the evolutionary theory of Darwin began seeking an evolutionary description of psychological development; prominent here was G. Stanley Hall, who attempted to correlate ages of childhood with previous ages of mankind.
A more scientific approach was initiated by James Mark Baldwin, who wrote essays on topics that included Imitation: A Chapter in the Natural History of Consciousness and Mental Development in the Child and the Race: Methods and Processes. In 1905, Sigmund Freud articulated five psychosexual stages. Later, Rudolf Steiner articulated stages of psychological development throughout human life. The first three of these stages, which correspond closely with Piaget's later-described stages of childhood, were first presented in Steiner's 1911 essay The Education of the Child; his descriptions have been taken up by educators (in the Waldorf Schools) and by psychologists (in biographical therapy; see the works of Bernard Lievegoed). By the early to mid-twentieth century, the work of Vygotsky and Piaget, mentioned above, had established a strong empirical tradition in the field.
The role of mothers
Traditionally mothers (and women generally) were emphasized to the exclusion of other caretakers. This has begun to change, with the emphasis now placed on a primary caretaker (regardless of gender or... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2006, 05). Developmental Psychology. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 05, 2006, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Developmental-Psychology-88542.html
"Developmental Psychology" StudyMode.com. 05 2006. 05 2006 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Developmental-Psychology-88542.html>.
"Developmental Psychology." StudyMode.com. 05, 2006. Accessed 05, 2006. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Developmental-Psychology-88542.html.