Principles of Human Growth and Development
There is a sequence to human growth and development. Just as you need to crawl and then walk before you run, all growth follows a pattern. Human development looks at five areas. They are physical growth, motor skills, language, cognition, and social and emotional skills. Each area represents a stage of rapid change in physical and cognitive growth, with important milestones to pass before moving ahead. The patterns of growth and development are usually the same for all children. However, the rate of growth and development can vary. There are accepted age ranges during which particular skills can develop, and for some children, one area may develop more quickly than another. A child may develop communication skills quickly, but stay uncoordinated with poor motor skills for a time. A different child may excel at sports, but have poor social skills. Using general knowledge of human growth and development helps support the stage the child is in. Human development is a lifelong process of physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional growth and change. In the early stages of life from babyhood to childhood, childhood to adolescence, and adolescence to adulthood- enormous changes take place. Throughout the process, each person develops attitudes and values that guide choices, relationships, and understanding. Development, therefore, encompasses all of the changes (quantitative and qualitative) that a person may go throughout his lifetime. Growth or physical growth is referred to as a quantitative change. This change includes change in height, weight, and change in proportion. Other authors include change in the quantity of the person‘s vocabulary. Development is a qualitative change which may include increase in the skills and complexity of function resulting to increased specialization. It is the gradual and orderly unfolding of the characteristics of the succession stages of growth. It is a progressive series of changes that occur as a result of maturation and experience. This means that learning goes with development. For example, when a child experiences or learns a new vocabulary, he is said to have developed his language ability. Growth, development, and learning are intertwined. Generally, they go together as the person accumulates years in his life. There are five (5) established aspects of human development that are inherent in every individual. Although these are common to human development, differences with regard to how an individual advances exist. 1. Physical development – As physical development proceeds, the child acquires various skills such as: a) motor skills which require coordination between muscles and brain. This often require a great deal of practice before becoming automatic. b) gross motor skills use the large muscles of the arms, legs, hips, and
back such as when sitting, walking, climbing, kicking a ball, etc. c) fine manipulative skills – involve the coordination of the smaller muscles of the hands and fingers for pointing, drawing, using spoon and fork, writing, etc. 2. Intellectual Development refers to how a person perceives, thinks and gains, understanding of his world through the interaction of genetic and learned factors. Among the areas of intellectual development are information processing, intelligence, language development and memory. 3. Personality and Social Development is the development of the organized pattern of behaviors and attitudes that makes a person distinctive. This occurs by the ongoing intervention of temperament, character, and environment. 4. Moral Development. Piaget concluded that children begin in a heteronymous stage of moral reasoning, characterized by a strict adherence to rules and duties and obedience to authority. This means that children view right or wrong according to their relative social relationships with older people. They expect that punishments automatically follow acts of wrongdoing. 5. Spiritual Development...
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