Gesell's Concept Of Maturation Essay

836 words - 4 pages

AbstractThe concept of maturation presented by Arnold Gesell is central to developmental psychology. He said that child’s growth or development is influenced by the environment and the action of the genes. He also indicated that the child’s development occurred in a fixed order through a series of stages. He opposed any instructional efforts on placing a child ahead of “schedule”; when the time is right, the child will simply begin to master the task through his/her own inner urges. Two major criticisms to his concept are also presented in this paper.Gesell’s Concept of MaturationIntroductionPioneered by the American psychologist Arnold Gesell (1880-1961), the ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, he opposed any instructional efforts on placing a child ahead of “schedule”; when the time is right, the child will simply begin to master the task through his/her own inner urges. Until then, teaching will be of little value and will only create tension between the child and the caregiver (Crain, 2005).As an evidence of his concept of maturation, Gesell and Thompson conducted a study with twins. One twin was trained on activities such as stair-climbing and the grasping and manipulation of cubes. The twin that was trained showed some superior skill when compared with the untrained twin. But the untrained twin soon caught up, with much less practice, and at the age that he was supposed to perform those activities. Then, there is a timetable that determines the child’s readiness to do things and the benefits or early training and teaching are relatively temporary (Crain, 2005).Discussion of Criticisms on Gesell’s concept of maturationThe interplay of nature and nurtureThe interplay role of nature and nurture, rather than the importance of one over the other, has gained a greater emphasis in the work of more recent figures, such as psychologist Jean Piaget, whose theory of cognitive developmentin children has been a model for much subsequent work in the field. Going beyond simplistic dichotomies, scientists have been able to gather...

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