Child development is a process that every child goes through. This process involves learning and mastering skills like sitting, walking, talking and skipping.
A Childs development is ongoing and can be measured in a number of different ways.
Although all children develop in different ways and at different speeds, the sequence in which they develop will be usually be the same as they need to have developed one skill before developing another, for example a child would need to be able to walk before they move on to develop another skill such as running and jumping.
Development is often referred to on a timeline and is broken down in ages and stages. As a baby’s development is more rapid in early years the milestones start by being relatively close together and then becoming further apart as a baby progresses into a child and then a young adult.
A child’s development is split into four groups physical development, social and emotional, speech and language and intellect.
Theories of Development and Framework That Influence’s Current Practice
The theorist who theory is language development is B.F. Skinner. His theory is that children use cognitive behaviour when understanding and giving communication. They will use trial and error to get the right words out until they succeed. He believes that children observe adults and other children for the correct way to communicate and repeat the actions they have seen until they get it right.
We support this at school by speaking clearly and nodding or praising a child for getting a word, sentence or request correct. This is to encourage them to use the correct terms when they wish to communicate.
The theorist whose theory is Social Development is Bandura. His theory is that children learn by observing how the main people in their life behave and imitating them. People they will observe are parents/cares/siblings/friends/etc. A child will repeat the behavior they have seen if it is rewarded with attention or praise.
We support this in school by using calm and quiet communication to settle any disagreements. Inappropriate behaviour or language is not permitted, as children will copy this.
While Maslow’s theories have been called into question they have however formed as a basis for other theorists who expanded on his hierarchy of needs to build their own 5-level and 8 –level models. His explanations and interpretations are still useful today when trying to understand the behaviours and motivations of humans.
This can be extremely useful in childcare when addressing a child’s personal needs, ensuring that their basic needs are met to help them develop.
Physical development is usually very rapid in the early stages of a child’s development. Within the first few months of being born a baby will usually start to smile and respond to sounds and environments around them. By 6 months their muscles begin to develop and they will reach out for objects and they will also start putting things into their mouths.
By one year old they are now sitting without any support and beginning to move by shuffling or crawling. Also around now they will start to pull themselves up using the furniture and taking steps with support.
They are now beginning to become inquisitive with toys, passing them between hands, handling them in different ways and looking for things that are hiding. Their hand to eye co-ordination is improving as they begin to pass objects from one hand to another hand. They have now also been introduced to solid foods and have possibly cut their first tooth.
Between one and two years they will take their first steps and gradually progress to walking. Objects will now be picked up and banged together and they will start building towers. A preference for one hand may now be noticed as they