Social Class and Life Chances

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The aim of this assignment is to discuss the importance of inherited and environmental factors to human development and the role of a multidisciplinary team in rehabilitation using the case study of Genie. Resources from the library and textbooks will be used as well as internet searches, the aspect of human development, nature and nurture will be discussed in relations some theorists. The roles of different professional in a multidisciplinary team in rehabilitation process will also be discussed. The ways we feel, think, speak and behave are usually as a result of genetic or environmental factors. Our genetic inheritance and upbringing as well as the environment we live in determine to an extent what we are therefore our heredity and environment plays a big and important role in our growth and development. Piaget (1896 – 1980, cited in Hayes, 2000) believes that cognitive development depend solely on our genetic factors while Bandura(1977, cited in Barbara Woods,1997), believed that our behaviours and other part of human development is learned from the environment through the process of observational learning, this shows that people see human development from different perspectives.

There are different aspects of human development; these include physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social aspect. These aspects are all affected by our genetics and environment. Looking at the language aspect for example, when a child is born, naturally we expect the child to start using words at about 12months old. Chomsky (1959, cited in Barbara woods, 1997) argues that this was possible because children are born with a language acquisition device; this means that humans have an inbuilt mechanism to help them recognise and speak languages. He also said that human being has got innate abilities which help us make sense of language and use it. Vygotsky (1894 –1934, cited in Berk, 2009) on the other hand believed that language development was motivated by the experience of communicating with others; he believed that social interaction or provides the basis for both the development of thinking and language ability. This means that the environment a child is born or grows into determine or affect the language development. In Genie’s case, she was said to be relatively normal until the age of 14months (BBC 1994), that means she must have been born with the innate abilities but because of the environment she grew up in, because of her social deprivation, lack of attachment and positive reinforcement from her primary care givers which was her parents, she was not able to learn language at the early stage of her life. Skinner(1957),buttress this point when he put forward the idea that children learn language because of the influence of the environment. Skinner believed that parents would provide more attention and pleasurable reactions when an infant make correct sounds or words, this way, a child would gradually learn to speak and learn language. Genie did not experience this, she experienced horrible reactions, shouting and barking from her father, therefore, if Genie had ever learnt any language or behaviour at all, it was negative behaviours like spitting, sniffing and non vocal. Piaget (1896 -1980 cited in Hayes, 2000) identifies different stages of cognitive development and that a particular stage has to be reached before language would develop. Genie did not go through this stage at the right age. For example, Piaget argues that children learn to adapt to the world through assimilation and accommodation which means that the innate abilities of a child helps him to cognitively explore the objects and the environment around him. The child goes through different stages to accommodate the thing that has been assimilated. Genie started experiencing the sensor motor stage which is the first stage at the age of 13yrs, Genie did not go through the natural process of cognitive development but as soon as she was exposed to the...
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