Child Development Essay

2930 words - 12 pages

“The path of development is a journey of discovery that is clear only in retrospect, and it’s rarely a straight line” (Kennedy-Moore & Lowenthal, 2011). Because development happens this way, it can have many implications for teachers. There are multiple factors and processes that contribute to the variability of individual development of children, however, these differences can be overcome and teachers can give every child the support they need to achieve. Factors specific to the middle childhood years include vocabulary development, differing temperaments, development of attention, fine motor coordination, gross motor skills development and concrete operational development, including ...view middle of the document...

Visser (2003) described many theories that attempt to explain cause of DCD, such as the atypical brain development hypothesis. However, the common trait in these theories is that DCD is caused from a deficit in an area in the brain that could be either hemispheres, but has been predicted to be in the prefrontal cortex and its connections (Visser, 2003). Children with DCD or any child that problems with fine motor skills will struggle with handwriting and sports, which can severely affect their self-esteem and school performance (Dunford, Missiuna, Street, & Sibert, 2005). Based on Dunford, Missiuna, Street and Sibert’s (2005) research, to assist children with this problem, a teacher could work with the parents and encourage them to seek therapy to improve their finger movements. As well as this, the teacher can discuss DCD with the rest of the class, so to avoid the child’s self-esteem being lowered by bullying for not being able to tie their shoe laces and similar tasks. These small, but effective strategies will help improve DCD children’s school performance improve and social interactions.
Not only does fine motor coordination develop during middle childhood, but children’s gross motor skills also improve (Hoffung et al., 2013). Sporting abilities such as agility, flexibility, the amount of force they can produce, balance, information processing and reaction time all advance significantly (Haywood & Getchell, 2001). This allows for children to engage in many more sports which they would have struggled with at younger ages, such as ball games and bike riding (Hoffung et al., 2013). Particpiation in organised games also increases, as children have developed the skills to be able to participate (Huston & Ripke, 2007). Inconsistencies can occur, however, if children were not as active or involved in sport in early childhood, since this would mean their basic sport skill would not be developed enough to gain these new ones in middle childhood (Hoffung et al., 2013). If there are children from colder countries in the classroom, they may be at more of a disadvantage than Australian and New Zealand children, since the climate in these countries allows for sport to be played all year round, giving these children the opportunity to develop their skills more (Hoffung, et al., 2013). As well as this, obese children may struggle to keep up with their gross motor development, and hence, are at risk of low perceived competence in sports, physical appearance, and peer engagement (Franklin, Denyer, Steinbeck, Caterson, & Hill, 2006). Teachers need to make sure everyone is included in playground games, no matter their sporting ability or size, to ensure no child feels excluded or has their self-esteem lowered (Elling & Knoppers, 2005). In an attempt to reduce the amount of obesity in the classroom, having nutritional themed or exercise promoting lessons will make the children more aware of the issue, as well as working with parents if a particular child’s...

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