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Child Development Essay

976 words - 4 pages

Child Development

Have you ever wondered how a baby grows into a child then into an adult? I never really thought about it myself until I had a child of my own. It is amazing to see all the psychological stage she has gone through already in her short life. Before she becomes an adult she will go through may more stages. Some developmental psychologists believe that all children go through the same stages in the same order. That is not to say that all children do things at the exact same time in their life, because some environmental factors can speed up or slow down a child’s development. A child’s psychological growth depends on the child’s environment. Environment consists of everything that a child comes in contact with on a frequent basis. It simply means that a child can not achieve a later stage without achieving an earlier one first. Psychological growth is also affected by physical factors. For example, advances in learning ability are influenced by the development of the nervous system. A child is a person between the age of eighteen month’s and thirteen years of age. Childhood, which is one of the major stages in a person’s development, can be divided into four stages based on the periods of major psychological change. These stages are the Toddler Stage, the Preschool Stage, the Early School Years and the Preteen Years. Throughout the developmental stages, there are things called critical periods and sensitive periods. Critical periods are periods in development were specific events must occur for a person to develop normally. I can give you an example of a critical period for the proper development of vision. If a child is born with cataracts and they are removed before the age of seven, that child’s vision will develop normally. If these cataracts are not removed then they can create extensive damage to their vision for the rest of their life. A sensitive period is a period in a child’s development that is very important for particular kinds of development.

If a certain behavior is not learned during this “sensitive time” it just may not develop to its full potential. For example, if a child is not exposed to language before the age of seven, he or she may fail to acquire it all together. These “preschool years” are significant in a child’s intellectual development. There are many Psychologists with different views and theories about this subject, but I will only talk about the view of one. This theory of the development of a child is outlined by a Swiss Psychologist by the name of Jean Piaget. Jean Piaget was known to be one on the century’s most influential thinkers. Piaget thought of children as mini scientists who conduct experiments on the world just to see what will happen. He categorized development into four different stages. They are Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational,...

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