Lifespan Development, also known as human development, is the scientific study of psychological changes that occur in human beings as they age. It refers to the ongoing process that we go through while growing up, which includes, infancy, early childhood, late childhood, adulthood, late adulthood, and old age. The study of human development is a science that seeks to understand how people change over time and why? Their change may be small or large, caused by something insignificant. Development is neither static nor localized; it is the result of interactions among all the systems (microsystems, macrosystems, and exosystems) that are in each person. To understand development, it is necessary to compare many cultures and use research from many disciplines. Nevertheless, because each person had unique genes and experiences, contexts do not determine an individual’s development—but they always influence it.
Why is this Lifespan Development important to understand?
It is important to understand child life from the child's point of view. This means understanding how the way we see and make sense of the world is affected by cognitive-developmental factors. The same applies to understanding adolescents and adults of all ages. Development is profoundly affected by social context (culture and social institutions).
Understanding human development deeply and in context can help us better appreciate human wisdom and human fallibility. This, in turn, can help us become more creative, innovative and effective teachers.
Learning about human development should give me a deeper understanding of the many different pathways humans can take as they grow and develop through the lifespan. I hope that my studies will help me become a more perceptive, thoughtful person. Also, by understanding lifespan development, I hope it helps me better understand my own life experiences and life course. Overall, I hope it can foster enhanced self-understanding and personal growth.