Overview of Development
What is development?
General view: Changes in height, weight, behavior, or other characteristics or traits
However, not all changes are development.
Key characteristics of developmental changes:
Systematic - not haphazard
Successive - interdependent increments with recent changes built on previous achievement for example, walking.
Example: Walking counts but not weight increase. Infants put on weight as a result of physical growth. That is part of development in infancy, toddlerhood, young childhood and adolescence. Adult weight gain is not about development. After reaching young adulthood weight should stabilize and not increase unless more calories are consumed than burned.
Why Study Infant, Toddler, Child and Adolescent Development?
Reason #1: Raising Children
Knowledge of child development can help parents and teachers meet the challenges of rearing and educating children
Researchers have identified effective approaches that caregivers can use successfully
Reason #2: Choosing Social Policies
Knowledge of child development permits informed decisions about social-policy questions that affect children
Research on children’s responses to leading interview questions helped
Reason #3: Understanding Human Nature
Child-development research provides important insights into some of the most intriguing questions regarding human nature
• The existence of innate concepts
• The relationship between early and later experiences
Children adopted from inadequate orphanages in Romania show that the timing of experiences often influences their effects
Historical Foundations: Early Philosophical Views
Contributed what became enduring ideas about issues in childrearing
Methods were unscientific
Plato and Aristotle believed that the long-term welfare of society depended on children’s being raised properly (so understanding the importance of...