It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes.
Nature versus nurture Although developmental change runs parallel with chronological age,  age itself cannot cause development.
Environmental factors affecting development may include both diet and disease exposure, as well as social, emotional, and cognitive experiences. Plasticity of this type can occur throughout the lifespan and may involve many kinds of behavior, including some emotional reactions.
Genetic-environmental correlations are circumstances in which genetic factors make certain experiences more likely to occur. In all of these cases, it becomes difficult to know whether child characteristics were shaped by genetic factors, by experiences, or by a combination of the two.
What relevant aspects of the individual change over a period of time? What are the rate and speed of development? What are the mechanisms of development — what aspects of experience and heredity cause Understanding learning and development in children change?
Are there typical individual differences in the relevant developmental changes? Are there population differences in this aspect of development for example, differences in the development of boys and of girls?
Empirical research that attempts to answer these questions may follow a number of patterns. Initially, observational research in naturalistic conditions may be needed to develop a narrative describing and defining an aspect of developmental change, such as changes in reflex reactions in the first year.
Such studies examine the characteristics of children at different ages. Some child development studies examine the effects of experience or heredity by comparing characteristics of different groups of children in a necessarily non-randomized design.
Child development stages Milestones are changes in specific physical and mental abilities such as walking and understanding language that mark the end of one developmental period and the beginning of another. Studies of the accomplishment of many developmental tasks have established typical chronological ages associated with developmental milestones.
However, there is considerable variation in the achievement of milestones, even between children with developmental trajectories within the typical range. Some milestones are more variable than others; for example, receptive speech indicators do not show much variation among children with typical hearing, but expressive speech milestones can be quite variable.
Prevention of and early intervention in developmental delay are significant topics in the study of child development. An example of a milestone would be eye-hand coordination, which includes a child's increasing ability to manipulate objects in a coordinated manner.
Increased knowledge of age-specific milestones allows parents and others to keep track of appropriate development. The Heckman's chart shows that the highest return of investment in education is maximum during the early years age 1 to 3 years old and decreases to a plateau during the school-aged years and adolescence.
Here are descriptions of the development of a number of physical and mental characteristics. As stature and weight increase, the individual's proportions also change, from the relatively large head and small torso and limbs of the neonateto the adult's relatively small head and long torso and limbs.
Speed and pattern[ edit ] The speed of physical growth is rapid in the months after birth, then slows, so birth weight is doubled in the first four months, tripled by age 12 months, but not quadrupled until 24 months. At birth, head size is already relatively near to that of an adult, but the lower parts of the body are much smaller than adult size.
In the course of development, then, the head grows relatively little, and torso and limbs undergo a great deal of growth. However, genetic factors can produce the maximum growth only if environmental conditions are adequate.
Poor nutrition and frequent injury and disease can reduce the individual's adult stature, but the best environment cannot cause growth to a greater stature than is determined by heredity. Some of these differences are due to family genetic factors, others to environmental factors, but at some points in development they may be strongly influenced by individual differences in reproductive maturation.
Motor[ edit ] A child learning to walk Abilities for physical movement change through childhood from the largely reflexive unlearned, involuntary movement patterns of the young infant to the highly skilled voluntary movements characteristic of later childhood and adolescence.
Definition[ edit ] "Motor learning refers to the increasing spatial and temporal accuracy of movements with practice".
Speed and pattern[ edit ] The speed of motor development is rapid in early life, as many of the reflexes of the newborn alter or disappear within the first year, and slows later. Like physical growth, motor development shows predictable patterns of cephalocaudal head to foot and proximodistal torso to extremities development, with movements at the head and in the more central areas coming under control before those of the lower part of the body or the hands and feet.
Types of movement develop in stage-like sequences;  for example, locomotion at 6—8 months involves creeping on all fours, then proceeds to pulling to stand, "cruising" while holding on to an object, walking while holding an adult's hand, and finally walking independently.
The dorsolateral frontal cortex is responsible for strategic processing. The parietal cortex is important in controlling perceptual-motor integration and the basal ganglia and supplementary motor cortex are responsible for motor sequences. Intra-limb correlations, like the strong relationship and distance between hip and knee joints, were studied and proved to affect the way an infant will walk.
There are also bigger genetic factors like the tendency to use the left or right side of the body more, predicting the dominant hand early. Sample t-tests proved that there was a significant difference between both sides at 18 weeks for girls and the right side was considered to be more dominant Piek et al.Learning to Talk and Listen An oral language resource for early childhood caregivers.
literacy practices to promote children’s language development. 1 understanding. Learning to listen while others talk is another important avenue for learning.
4. Play is essential to development because it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth. Play also offers an ideal opportunity for parents to engage fully with their children.
Despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents. This Understanding children's development and learning module from The Open University UK is for people working with children and young people and looks at children's development and learning in cultural, educational and social contexts.
The following points are important to understanding the nature and course of children's development. The course of children's development is mapped using a chart of developmental milestones These milestones are behaviors that emerge over time, forming the building blocks for growth and continued learning.
More on Early Child Development Renowned Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget developed a theory based on the idea that the developing child builds cognitive structures, or mental “maps” or schemes for understanding and responding to physical experiences within his or her environment.
Positive stress is a normal part of learning and development. As children learn to cope with frustration, overcome obstacles and confront challenges, they will experience a certain amount of stress.
This level of stress is usually safe and manageable, especially if a child has the support of a .