Child development refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence, as the individual progresses from dependency to increasing autonomy. Because these developmental changes may be strongly influenced by genetic factors and events during prenatal life, genetics and prenatal development are usually included as part of the study of child development. Related terms include developmental psychology, referring to development throughout the lifespan, and pediatrics, the branch of medicine relating to the care of children. Developmental change may occur as a result of genetically-controlled processes known as maturation, or as a result of environmental factors and learning, but most commonly involves an interaction between the two. It may also occur as a result of human nature and our ability to learn from our environment. Human beings have a keen sense to adapt to their surroundings and this is what child development encompasses. Every child would struggle to find their culture and identity in child development. There are various definitions of periods in a child's development, since each period is a continuum with individual differences regarding start and ending. Some age-related development periods and examples of defined intervals are: newborn ; infant ; toddler ; preschooler ; school-aged child ; adolescent . However, organizations like Zero to Three and the World Association for Infant Mental Health use the term infant as a broad category, including children from birth to age 3. The optimal development of children is considered vital to society and so it is important to understand the social, cognitive, emotional, and educational development of children. Increased research and interest in this field has resulted in new theories and strategies, with specific regard to practice that promotes development within the school system. In addition there are also some theories that seek to describe a sequence of states that compose child development. Theories
Ecological systems theory
Also called "development in context" or "human ecology" theory, ecological systems theory, originally formulated by Urie Bronfenbrenner specifies four types of nested environmental systems, with bi-directional influences within and between the systems. The four systems are microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem. Each system contains roles, norms and rules that can powerfully shape development. Since its publication in 1979, Bronfenbrenner's major statement of this theory, The Ecology of Human Development has had widespread influence on the way psychologists and others approach the study of human beings and their environments. As a result of this influential conceptualization of development, these environments — from the family to economic and political structures — have come to be viewed as part of the life course from childhood through adulthood. Piaget
Piaget was a Swiss scholar who began his studies in intellectual development in the 1920s. Piaget’s first interests were those that dealt with the ways in which animals adapt to their environments and his first scientific article about this subject was published when he was 10 years old. This eventually led him to pursue a Ph.D. in Zoology, which then led him to his second interest in epistemology.] Epistemology branches off from philosophy and deals with the origin of knowledge. Piaget believed the origin of knowledge came from Psychology, so he traveled to Paris and began working on the first “standardized intelligence test” at Alfred Binet laboratories, this influenced his career greatly. As he carried out this intelligence testing he began developing a profound interest in the way children’s intellectualism works. As a result, he developed his own laboratory and spent years recording children’s intellectual growth and attempted to find out how children develop through various stages of thinking....
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