Understand Child and Young Persons Develpment

Understand Child and Young Person Development. Core 3. 1 1. 1 The term “Sequence” of child development refers to the how we expect a child to develop from the day it was born to the age of 19. Child Development is the biological, physiological and all the emotional changes that happen during these formative years as the child goes from dependency to autonomy. These changes could be hugely influenced by genetics, events that occur whilst in the womb and during prenatal development and are usually included in most studies of child development.
Developmental changes are different. They occur as a result of a genetically controlled process called maturation or as a result of environmental factors and learning (home life and school for example) but these changes most commonly happen as a result of a combination of them both. It can also be a result of “human nature” which is the ability of the growing child to in fact learn from their environment. Human beings and especially children have a keen sense to adapt to their surroundings and this is what child development covers and includes.
A child’s development is continually happening and can be measured in many different ways and although the child will develop at different rates and in different ways, the sequence in which this happens will follow the same sort of pattern . This is because in most examples they need to learn one skill before they can move onto the next. An example is walking. The child will need to learn to walk before they can run or jump etc. Development in children is more rapid in the early stages with many milestones happening in quick succession.

This slows down as the child becomes a young adult with the milestones becoming further apart. (Cache children and young people’s workforce p49) The table below looks more closely at the aspects of child development. THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES CHART Age| Intellectual| Social / Emotional| Language| Gross motor| Fine Motor| Infant – Birth to one year| Uses hands and mouth to learn| Forms a bond with parents, will begin to recognise faces and smiles, at about 6months will recognise parents and be fearful of strangers. | Starts being ocal and using terms such as “mammy and daddy”| Lifts head first then chest, rolls over, pulls to sit, crawls and stands alone| Reaches for objects and picks up small items, clutches onto toys, e. g. Rattle | Toddler 1-2 years| Begins to learn words for objects and people| Learns that self and parent(s) are different or separate from each other, imitates and performs tasks, indicates needs or wants without crying| Can follow simple instructions and say more words than just “mammy and daddy”| Can walk, stop, jump and throw things like a ball. Unbuttons clothes, builds tower of 4 cubes, scribbles, uses spoon, picks up very small object| Preschool2-5 years| Understands things such as tired, hungry and cold, recognises colours, becomes aware of numbers and letters| Begins to separate easily from parent(s), dresses with assistance, washes and dries hands, plays interactive games like tag. follows directions, can make simple sentences of two or three words, vocabulary increases Names pictures| Runs well, hops, pedals tricycle, balances on one foot| Buttons Clothes, builds tower of 8 cubes, copies simple figures or letters| School age 5-12 years| Develops understanding of numeracy and literacy concepts, learns relationship between objects and feelings, acquires knowledge and understanding| Acts independently, but is emotionally close to parent(s) dresses without help, join same sex play groups and clubs| Defines words, know and describes what things are made of, vocabulary increases| Skips, balances on one foot for 10 seconds, overestimates physical abilities| Draws person with 6 parts, copies detailed figures and objects| 12-18 years| Understands abstract concepts like illness and death, develops understanding of complex ideas| Experiences rapidly changing moods and behaviour, interested in peer group almost exclusively, distances from parent(s) emotionally, concerned with body image, likely to have first sexual relationship| Uses increased vocabulary, understands more abstract concepts like grief| May appear awkward and clumsy while learning to deal with rapid increases in size due to growth spurts| Fully developed| 18 +years| Continues to develop the ability to make good decisions and to understand the complexity of human relationships| Becomes independent form parent(s), own lifestyle, and career, social and economic changes, develop interests, chooses a partner, becomes a parent. | Continues to develop knowledge and vocabulary of different styles of language used| Fully developed| Fully developed| (Cache Children and young people’s workforce p51-66) 1. 2
Child development is the term used to describe how the child will grow through a progression of developmental milestones. All children are believed to follow the same sequence of growth (the child will crawl, then stand, then walk for example) this is called the normative pattern. What we need to know is that not all children follow this pattern and for example some children will miss out stages altogether. One example of this is blind children and some children may decide to bottom shuffle and not bother with the “crawling phase”. The traditional approach to monitoring this is to use this normative measure which as I have mentioned already is the milestones in which we measure our child’s development.
These actually only show what most children can do and in reality many factors such as genetic, cultural and social factors will all have an effect on the child’s development and it is important we take this into account before labelling children “advanced or backward. ” The sequence of development refers to the stages of which a child develops; the rate of development is how fast the child is expected to achieve these developmental milestones. It is important to realise that the normative measurements can only indicate general trends and cannot be taken as “normal” . It is very important to realise that while the sequence of development may be somewhat the same in most children, the rate or speed in which the child develops can vary in many ways.
Things that have a massive effect on the rate of a child’s development can include environment (home life) culture (religious beliefs), ability, the amount of stimulation a child receives and input (from parents for example). It is important to understand the difference between the rate and the sequence of a child’s development as this will equip you with the knowledge you need in order to plan effectively with your child and will help you identify any concerns which you may have within the developmental process. (Cache Children and young people’s workforce) 2. 1-2. 2 A child’s growth and development can be affected by many factors, with some having more of an affect than others.
They can be split into two categories which I will go into more depth later. These are Personal factors (such as genetics and health related issues) and External factors (such as poverty, family life, personal choice and social interaction. ) Below is a diagram illustrating things which can affect a child’s development? Disability or special needs. Inherited (downs) or chronic (Autism) Disability or special needs. Inherited (downs) or chronic (Autism) Finances (living in poverty) Finances (living in poverty) Education (home schooled, private or state) Education (home schooled, private or state) Cultural background (Religion or beliefs) Cultural background (Religion or beliefs)
Health status, Antenatal issues (smoking, drinking, drugs) Health status, Antenatal issues (smoking, drinking, drugs) Social class (lower, working, upper) Social class (lower, working, upper) Genetics, Birth problems Genetics, Birth problems Family Environment and background (loving or divorced parents) Family Environment and background (loving or divorced parents) Gender Gender Interpersonal Relationships Interpersonal Relationships Personal Factors influencing development. Genetic Influences Many studies believe it is both our environment and our genetics which will mould us into the person we ultimately become. Our chromosomes are where we find our genes.
Parents pass these onto their children via their cells (the sperm and the egg). Alleles are different versions of the same gene and it’s this which can determine distinctive features such as eye colour, but also it is this which could lead to the inheritance of disorders such as cystic fibrosis. A baby’s development is also affected during pregnancy(before the birth) ,at the time of the birth and after the birth. Examples include a woman not knowing she is pregnant in the early stages and carrying on with all her bad habits (drinking, smoking, drug taking and diet. ) It’s at these crucial first 12 weeks in the uterus when all the essential organs are being formed. This is called the antenatal period.
A child being born before term (37 weeks) and therefore is born prematurely may need intensive care and this could affect development. Health Status A child’s health status can have a great effect on how it develops. This is determined by genetic inheritance but can also be affected by factors such as diet, environment, and what health care they receive. Some children are born with conditions which affect their development (these include Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and heart defects). Other illnesses which may develop over time( including asthma and diabetes) will also have an effect on the child’s development if for example they have frequent visits to the hospital and miss school or their activaties are restricted because of their condition.
External Factors Influencing Development. Poverty This is the single biggest thing that threatens the healthy development of children and young people in Great Britain and can have an effect on all areas of a child’s development (Physical, Intellectual, Language, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual. ) This threat is part of the “cycle of deprivation” where poorer families will tend to live in poorer housing; they may also have a poor diet which will not provide all the right vitamins and minerals which will affect the child’s immune system which will have a knock on affect to the increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Other things which are linked to poverty are:
Accidents and illness: Children from poorer backgrounds are four times more likely to have an accident than those from higher up the social ladder. Quality of life: many children from lower classes have none or little toys, meals and clothes Poor diet: As I mentioned above a poor diet comes hand in hand with low income families as they more times than not have to buy the cheaper brands or processed convenience foods. Space to live and play: poorer children are more likely to be limited in their play space as the housing which they live will is more likely to be small and substandard. Growth: Poorer children are more likely to be smaller at birth and shorter in height. Education: Children from the lower classes are more likely to have poor attendance and less likely to do well.
Long Term Effects: As adults they are more likely to be homeless, be unemployed, and become involved in drug abuse, offending or be in abusive relationships. Social Interaction There is a lot of research to show that social isolation or a lack or opportunity’s to socialise ( playgroup, family members, mother and baby groups, toddler groups) can lead to early child development issues such as speech problems , the inability to share or in fact the ability to socialise with people in a civilised manner. The social environment in which a child is raised can have a dramatic effect on their development. An example of this would be a child who has had no contact with neighbours, family members or classmates.
Family Environment and background The situation at home will have a huge effect on a young person or child’s development. A child may seem physically healthy but if they are unhappy and are not enjoying their time at home this is will most definitely be affecting their development. Things a child needs include: Love and affection: A child needs unconditional love and affection from their primary carers whoever this may be (Parents, Grandparents, Foster Parents etc. ) A child needs to feel safe and secure. Stimulation: a child needs the right amount of stimulation for healthy growth and development. Too little or too much will result in unhealthy development
Opportunities to play: It is common sense that all children need to play to develop, then on from that, young people need to be given the opportunity to socialise and have leisure opportunity’s (such as learning an instrument or joining a sports club). A child’s social and emotional development is majorly influenced by the foundations which the family unit creates. Most parents will provide a nurturing unconditional loving family environment where their child will embrace and flourish within it. There are some carers or parents who, for a lot of different reasons will not provide this nurturing platform which all children need. Examples of this include carers with mental health issues, drug misuse, marital conflict and violent behaviour.
Theories Regarding Child Development. Theories of child development can be said to be a set of principles that are designed to explain or predict some things. There have been many theories over the years by many scientists and psychologists and they have come up with a multitude of different perspectives as to why a child will do certain things within their development. Theories not only provide an extended outline of understanding, they also allow educated guesses or hypotheses about some parts of a Childs development that are not clearly understood yet. These theories can provide a bounce board for other research but they also have some practical benefits.
They can be useful (if you are a parent, teacher, therapist or carer) as a reference point when you need to make important decisions within the Childs lives and a well-founded theory can provide valuable information in making responsible decisions. On the flip side though, some child development theories can be limiting and misleading and can in fact hinder or jeopardise a Childs development if the primary carer follows this theory to the letter. It is with this in mind that it is vital to compare and evaluate a lot of theories before acting upon them and it is with this comparing and contrasting that you will find that a lot of theories strengths and weaknesses will be highlighted. There are many theories out there and underneath I will be going into a few of them in more detail. Alfred Bandura (Social learning theory) Main theory: Learning takes place by imitation.
The social learning theory suggests that people will learn from one another through observation, imitation, and modelling. This theory has been renamed “the social cognitive theory” this is to accommodate later developments of this theory. Albert Bandura found that children tend to copy people they hold in high status (parents etc. ) especially so if these people are warm or have powerful personalities. This theory could lead us on to the fact that we should very aware of our behaviour in front of children and the effect this could have on them. Things to think about: * If children are smacked by adults will they be more likely to smack other children? * If children are shouted at by other adults, are they more likely to shout at other children? If children are given explanations, are they more likely to explain things to other * If children are comforted when they fall, are they more likely to do the same to others? How this affects practise * You will have to be very wary of the language and behaviour you use in front of your children. * It could a useful theory to use if you want your children to experience role play. * Being a good role model can only help the child. * This theory allows learning without direct experience. * Promotes positive behaviour. If you are positive this will rub off on the child. Transmission theories There are three main theorists involved in transmission theories.
John Locke: He thought that the child was an empty vessel and that they can be shaped by the adult and that children can be shaped by external factors and these are greater influences than any genetic involvements (nature v nurture) Ivan Pavlov: (classical conditioning): Pavlov’s theory was his famous conditioned Reponses in dogs experiment. Pavlov likes to be known as a physiologist rather than a psychologist as he believed the two were linked and were useful and scientific. Classical conditioning is the way in which responses are under the control of new stimulus. In his case the “conditioned” stimulus was a church bell and the “unconditioned” stimulus was food. His experiment involved feeding the dogs every time the church bell rang. This eventually produced an “unconditional” response from the dogs which was saliva flowing from the dogs mouth when the food appeared.
This would then gradually change into saliva being produced with any bell noise thus producing a “conditioned” response from the dogs. Food will produce salivation, but it’s this change in stimuli using classical conditioning which means that saliva is being produced with the sound of the bells and not the actual food. Pavlov’s Experiment Burris Frederick Skinner: (operant conditioning) Skinners main theory was one of that reinforcement and punishment moulds behaviour and children are conditioned by their experiences. Skinner maintained that learning occurred through responding to the environment and he coined the term “operant conditioning” to describe this phenomenon.
He did extensive research with animals, notably with rats and pigeons. I t was skinner who invented the famous box in which a rat learns to press a lever in order to obtain food. He gave rats a reward of food if they pressed the lever. This was positive reinforcement. The desired behaviour was rewarded. Conversely, undesired behaviour could be negatively reinforced. The rats would receive an electric shock every time they went near one area of a maze and they would then begin to avoid that area. The undesired behaviour was got rid of and the desired behaviour was encouraged. How this affects Practise. Positve reinforcemnet includes * Special helper Kindness awards * Points * Stickers * Special jobs * Star of the week * Trips out * Priase or golden time. Negative reinforcement includes: * Lines * Detention * PunishmentThings taken from or kept from the child. The effects this has on practise is that it will provide motivation for the child to behave and also to put that lirttle bit more effort in than they would normally if they have something to aim for at the end of the week or day. It will give the child encouragement to repeat the good behaviour or effort upon recieving their treat or reward. Social constructavist theory Jean Piaget: This is the theory where all other theories are judged.
His main theory is that the development of children take place in distinct stages of cognitive development. The adult does have an influence but the child is building their own thinking systems. Piaget believed that nature and nurture interact to create cognitive development. He claims that children when learning: * Go through stages and sequences in their learing * Are active learners * Use first hand Experiences and prior experiences in order to learn. * Imitate and transform what they learn in to symbolic behaviour. He devolped four stages of cognitive learing. 1: Sensory motor stage (0-2 years) the child explores using its senses( sucking ,grasping etc) : Pre operational stage (2- 7 years) The toddler understands the use of symbols and language and this can be understood. 3: Concrete operational stage (7-11 years) the child can now conserve and begin to reason logically. The child can now solve problems but their sucessful reasoning is largely limited to concrete situations. 4. Formal operational years (11-16 years) the child is now developed and can show logical thinking and be able to work through abstract problems. Piaget view on a child as an active learner. Piagets three process: 1. Assimilation: this process is where people translate information in to a form they can understand. 2. Accomodation: This is where people adapt current knowladge in reponse to new experiences. 3.
Equilibration: this is where people balance assimilation and accomodation to create a stable understanding. Implications in practise. Piagets theory suggests that childrens distictive ways of thinking at different ages need to be considered when deciding how best to teach them. In addition beacuse children learn by mentally and physically interacting with their environment, relative phsical activites are important in educational practise. How they influence current practise: * The language we use with the children * The resources you provide for the children * The need to incorporate role play * Activities( what to do with the resources at hand) * The way in which we chack for understanding from the child * We can question certain techniques
What are social constructivists? A social constructivist feels that the adult will play an active role in helping the children through their stages of development. Lev Vygotsky: He was a russian psychologist who died prematurely. His theory dates back to 1924 and he developed ideas that there was relationship between language and thinking and cognative development. His theory empahsised the roles of historical, cultural and sociual factors in cognition and argued that language was the most important symbolic tool provided by society. He said that the ZAD (the zone of actual develpment) is where the child will develop naturally with out the adults help.
He then says that the ZPD( the zone of proximal devlepment) is where the adult helps and he believes that adult intervention is crucial for the child to move between actual and proximal development. Jerome Bruner: he belived that learning was an “innate” function. He believes that children “do “ “imagine” then “translate” them into sense through schemas and that older children create symbols to imterpret what they have done. Bruners three stages of development are: * Enactive (0-1 yrs) Doing * Iconic (1-7 yrs) Imagining * Symbolic (7+) Using symbolic representations Bruner also has his theory of “scaffolding” where he does recognise the importance of adult support.
The easist way to get your head round this is to imagine the adult as the “scaffold” round the child, a bit like the scaffolding on a building. The adult moves and grows with the child offering them “ support “ and reinforcement on the way. How this effects current practise * We can use this to observe the children * We can look at the prefered learnign styles considered * This theory basically sums up the role of a teaching assistant “ supprort and reinforcement” * Intorduce new concepts to expand learning * Will influence the way in which you question a child Humanistic Approach. Abraham Maslow and Mia Keller Pringle. Maslow created a theory of human needs that was relevant to all ages not just for children. This was known as the humanistic approach.
He said that there was five levels of need and his theory suggested that each level had to be “met” before you could progresson to the next one. Maslow also said that it was almost impossible to reach your full potentiol if the lower needs were not sufficiently met. Maslows Hierachy of needs. How this may impact on current practise. There are many ways this theory could impact on practise: * Keeping an eye out for the childs basic needs( Hungry, clothing, tired,) * Awareness of bullying and social exclusion * Having a homework club (where the older children could help the younger ones. ) * Praise( Give praise when a child Produces a good piece of work) * Having a “Get to know you” activity or activities Understanding problems with a child( enabling you to asses the need of the child so he/she can progress) * Promote a positive learning environment which is individual to the children. * Devolop a “Culture” where the child feels comfortable to come forward and say they have a need that is not being met. Mia Kellmer Pringle Pringle suggested that there are four primary needs that have to be met from birth. Love and security: this is probably the most important one of the four as this provides the basis for all future relationships. A child will also have objects as “security blankets” ie a favorite toy which they will use when they feel threatened or upset.
The child will want routine which helps with their development and also they will need attachment which comes in the form of a caring a stable family. New experiences: this is a fundemantal requirement for cognitive development. In ealry life the act of playing and using new language as well as revisiting previous experiences and accesing new and demanding phsical and mental challenges all help in the childs cognitive development. This goes with them through to adolecence where they will start experimenting with boyfriends/ girlfriends and get involved in team roles etc. Praise and recognition: Strong incentives are vital for a child who is going through a difficult time.
If a child is constantly put down or told they are useless it becomes a self fullfilling prophecy where the child has low expectations leads them onto low achievement. This will eventually lead onto the child never getting into any situations where they feel they will fail. Responsibility: It is also very inportant to structure the childs environment so he/she have challenges which reflect their interests and ability levels, this will encourage independance and co operation. Pringle goes along the same lines as Maslow so their impacts on practise are similar. Produce a routine the children are familiar with Plan trips out( get them interested in a musical instrument or have a themed week) Recognise cultural norms
Make a child feel valued and Individual Have a School council( Promoting responsibilty) Welcome the child to his/her new setting( name on the peg, “get to know you activites) Give them jobs( registor monitor,handout milk etc) Leave it to nature Theories ( laissez faire model) Rousseau: was an 18th century philsopher who thought that the child will ”learn naturally” and they were genetically engineered to learn certain things at certain times. He thought that a childs learning unfolds like a flower and that babbling leads onto talking which leads onto writing and reading, the same way kicking the legs and crawling leads onto walking and running.
This theory suggests that adults mould the childs development through the environment they create and this “environment” will support the childs learning and help it to unfold. One example being speech. If a childs environment is all English speaking, the child will speak english, if a child hears both chinese and English it will become multi ligual and speak both languages. This view suggests that the child will do what they need to devolp and learn naturally. It sees the child as “active” in their own learing and as the adult do not need to act this is sometimes reffered to as the laissez faire view of how children learn. Rousseau mapped a set of developmental norms charting expected development.
He believed that development followed a sequence and identified ‘normal’ age ranges of achievement. A depressing approach for children with special needs. Gessel: In the 1930s he mapped out a set of developmental norms which charted expectent development in children. These norms mapped out the childs expected development and this followed a sequence which identified the normal age ranges of achievement. This was also a very depressing approach for any children who have disabilites or learning needs. Gessels spiral of development. How this approach impacts on current practise. You will have an understanding that you can observe and not always intervene in a childs behaviour.

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