“Beginning to understand how we come to be the people we are is a critical step in understanding ourselves as we are today and who we may become as we grow older. From the moment of conception, each of us is headed down a pathway of change, influenced by our biology, environment, and social interactions, to a final destination that is the same for all of us. The twists and turns of the pathway are what make each of us unique individuals. Human Development is the scientific study of the changes that occur in people as they age from conception until death.” (Ciccarelli & White, 2013. Pg.228). The four major developmental phases that I will discuss are: Infant Development, Childhood Development, Adolescent Development, and Adult Development which all takes place before the final phase (death).
When you think about Infancy/Childhood Development what comes to mind? Do you believe that infants have the ability to realize what is going on around him/her? Surprisingly, infants are able to do a lot more than we think and a lot is taking place when it comes to the physical development of the baby that we sometime don’t even think twice about when babies are born healthy. Immediately following the infants’ birth, physical development is happening. The number one system that kicks in first is the respiratory system. The respiratory system is the number system because it determines the baby breathing. So, the respiratory begins by putting oxygen into the blood and filling the lungs with air so that the infant can breathe. Secondly the infants’ body learns to circulate blood on its own since the baby is no longer getting that support from the mother without the umbilical cord. The last and longest system that takes time for the infant to adjust to is the digestive system. Since this system takes the longest, the excess body fat that the baby had aids in support until the baby is able to get enough food/nourishment by its self. Infants have the ability to realize what is going on around them and also can respond to them differently. Babies have involuntary behaviors called reflexes, which helps them to survive and it a way for them interacting with others. Reflexes for infants include sucking, grasping, rooting, moro (startle), and stepping. The last contribution to an infant interaction is the five senses. In infants, touch, taste and smell are well developed and starts right away. Hearing is functional but not fully developed, which will develop over a short period of time. On the other hand, vision is least developed, because rods are functional but cones take about six months to fully develop and vision requires the two in order to be fully developed.
As a child grows physically development, the brain triples its weight which allows the process of more growth and knowledge, which contributes to cognitive development and psychosocial development. “Cognitive development is the development of thinking, problem solving, and memory”. (Ciccarelli & White, 2013. Pg. 240). The development of thinking, problem solving and memory contributes greatly to how an child will be socially, that is because how he/she communicates will be based on part of the cognitive development. There are two ways to look at cognitive development which is Piaget’s Theory and Vygotsky’s Theory. “Piaget believed, based on observations of his own children and others, that children form mental concepts or schemes as they experience new situations and events. He also believed that children first try to understand new things in terms of schemes they already possess in a process called assimilation”. (Ciccarelli & White, 2013. Pg. 240). Piagets Theory consisted of four stages of cognitive thinking. The first stage is sensorimotor(physical interaction with the world) which occurs from birth to two years of age. Second is the preoperational stage (language becomes a tool of exploration) which occurs anywhere from two years old to seven years old....
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