Child Development Principles and Theories

Chapter 4
 Development
 Proximodistal principle
 Infant
 Maturation
 Toddler
 Neurons
 Preschooler
 Synapses
 Physical development
 Windows of opportunity
 Gross-motor development
 Theory
 Fine-motor development
 Schemata
 Cognitive development
 Sensorimotor stage
 Social-emotional
 Preoperational stage
 Cephalocaudal principle
 Concrete operations stage
 Multiple intelligences
 Development – change or growth that occurs in
 Infants – birth through the first year
 Toddlers – children from age one up to the third
 Preschooler - children ages three to six
Physical development
Physical body changes that occurs in a
relatively stable, predictable sequence
These two are put together because
learning to relate to others is social
development. Emotional development
involves feelings and expressing
 Trust, fear, confidence, pride,
friendship and humor are all part of
social – emotional development.
Gross motor development –
improvement of skills using the large
muscles in the arms and legs. Includes
activities such as running, skipping,
 Fine motor development – involves the
small muscles of the hands and fingers.
Includes grasping, cutting, holding.
Cognitive development
AKA intellectual development
Processes people use to gain
 Includes language, thought, reasoning
and imagination
Social – emotional development
All three are linked to the other.
Development in one area can greatly
influence another.
Example: Writing words requires fine
motor skills (physical). It also involves
language and thought (cognitive).
Language is needed to communicate
with others and is also necessary for
growing socially and emotionally
(social – emotional).
 Cephalocaudal principle
 Head downward
 Child first gains control of the head, then arms, then legs.
 Proximodistal principle
 Development proceeds from center of body outward
 Spinal cord develops before other parts of the body
 Arms develop before hands, hands and feet develop before
toes and fingers
 Maturation
 Sequence of biological changes in children
 Depends on changes in the brain and nervous system
 These changes assist children to improve their thinking
abilities and motor skills
 Specific spans of time for the normal development of
certain types of skills
 Vision
 Birth to 6 months
 If a child is kept in a dark room for the first few months
of life, vision will not develop properly
 Needs little stimulation to develop
 Infants need interesting objects to look at
 Emotional Control
 Birth to 3 years
 Includes the abilities to
identify feelings, manage
strong emotions and
develop empathy.
 Severe stress or early abuse
can damage a child’s
emotional development
 Children need caregivers
who can read their cues,
respond promptly and
meet their needs in a
nurturing manner
 Vocabulary / Speech
 Birth to 3 years
 Infants must hear
language to learn it
Speak in full sentences
Talk to children often
Tell them what you are
doing, what they are doing
and what will happen next
Read stories
Play music
Engage in social
interactions that require
 Math / Logical Development
 1 to 4 years old
 Give children chance to work on materials that offer an
appropriate level of challenge
 Motor Development
 Prenatal to 8 years
 Stable, long lasting structures can be created
 Young children need a variety of gross – and fine –
motor activities to support motor development
 Feral children
 Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
 Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
 Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory
 Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences Theory
 Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust
 Birth to 18 months
 To develop trust, infants need warm, consistent,
predictable and attentive care
 When distressed, they need to be comforted
 Need loving, physical contact, nourishment, cleanliness
and warmth
 They will devel0p a sense of confidence and trust that the
world is safe and dependable
 Mistrust occurs if an infant experiences an
unpredictable world and is handled harshly
 Stage 2: Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt
 18 months and 3 years
 Autonomy = Independence
 Objective is to gain self – control without losing self –
 Children need to learn to choose and decide for
 Children need positive opportunities for self-feeding,
toileting, dressing and exploration
 Overprotection or lack of activities results in self-
doubt, poor achievement and shame
 Stage 3: Initiative vs. Guilt
 3 to 5 years of age
 Children need to develop a sense of purpose. This
happens when an adult directs the child’s urges toward
acceptable social practices.
 If children are discouraged by criticism, feelings of
incompetence are likely to emerge.
 Stage 4: Industry vs. Inferiority
 6 – 12 years old
 Planning and carrying out projects
 Helps children to learn society’s rules and expectations
 Realistic goals and expectations enrich children’s sense
of self
 Children can develop a sense of incompetence and
insecurity if they are discouraged, criticized or
parents demand too much control
 Schemata – mental representations or concepts
 Assimilation – process of taking in new information
and adding it to what the child already knows
 Accommodation – adjusting what is already known to
fit the new information.
 Sensorimotor stage
 Birth to 2 years old
 Infants use all their
senses to explore and
 Object permanence –
children learn that
objects still exist even if
they are out of sight
 Preoperational stage
 2 to 7 years old
 Children are egocentric
 Assume others see the
world as they do
 Language, symbolic play
and drawing is learned
 Conservation
 Even if the physical
appearance changes, the
amount does not change
 Classify groups of
 Concrete Operations stage
 Formal Operations stage
 7 to 11 years old
 11 years to adulthood
 Children develop the
 Think abstractly
capacity to think
systematically, but only
when they can refer to
actual objects and use
hands-on activities
 Capable of reversing
operations (1 + 3 = 3 + 1 )
 Beginning to understand
others’ POVs
 Problem solving
 Reasoning
 Vygotsky believed that children learn through social and cultural
 While interacting with others, children learn customs, values,
beliefs, and language of their culture
 Private speech
 Self – talk or “thinking out loud”
 Helps guide child activity and develop their thinking
 Zone of Proximal development
 Presents learning as a scale
 One end of the scale are tasks within child’s current development
 Other end of scale are tasks too difficult for children to accomplish,
even with help
 Middle of scale are tasks children cannot accomplish alone
 When children receive help from a knowledgeable peer or adult it is
called scaffolding. This person provides a structure for the child to
learn, such as giving clues or demonstrating.
 Emphasizes that there are different kinds of
intelligences used by the human brain.
 Believes intelligence is the result of complex
interactions between children’s heredity and
 Each intelligence functions separately but are linked.
 Bodily – kinesthetic
 Ability to control one’s own body
 Use body to solve problems, handle objects and express
 Children benefit from creative-moment experiences and role
 Musical – rhythmic
 Recognizes musical patterns
 Appreciate and create music
 Background music helps stimulate thought
 Logical
 Ability to use reason and logic to solve problems
 Ability to explore categories, patterns and other relationships
 Benefit from using blocks and storybooks
 Verbal – linguistic
 Ability to use language for expression
 Children learn best by talking, listening, reading and writing
 Interpersonal
 Communication and social skills
 These skills are nurtured in your children when caring
behaviors are modeled for them
 Intrapersonal
 Ability to understand the inner self
 Children can best learn this when sharing emotions that all
children experience such as joy, sadness and disappointment.
 Use storybooks that contain emotional examples
 Visual – spatial
 Allows people to use their vision to develop mental
 These children need unstructured materials such as
building blocks and puzzles
 Also use visual aids, charts and labels
 Naturalistic
 Ability to classify objects in nature such as animals and
 To build on this, children need to be able to sort and
classify items