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Early Childhood Stage Critical Stage Of Human Development Psychology Essay


The review of human development targets the changing behaviours and levels and types of maturity over living. Changes in behavior occur quickly in the early many years of life theories. Thus, empirical research into early on human development pull typically on the willpower of developmental psychology. Other disciplines have a contribution to make to a fuller knowledge of the processes included. The complexness of the field of review is illustrated by the common understanding that the kinds of behaviour within disturbed children are frequently quite not the same as the behaviours found in disturbed people. Also, different methods are being used to treat children instead of adults. To build up a critical knowledge of occurrences of behaviours, how they may be prevented and treated, a thorough overview of research and evidence gathering in neuro-scientific child mindset is vital

Recent evidence points to the actual fact that it is not always the intrinsic character of children that decides individual development. It shows that the way they have been nurtured and their sociable and financial circumstances is also highly influential. The individual development will not only occur only during formative years, but is a continuing process extending throughout the life cycle.

For the goal of this essay, I'll focus on the first childhood stage as a crucial phase of individuals development. Ideas of eminent psychologists, namely Piaget and Bowlby, will be mentioned as these have different perceptions of early childhood. Their ideas of Cognitive Development and Connection, respectively have value although they have been subjected to intensive criticism.

Piaget's Cognitive Development theory emphasises the critical importance of the assessment of any child's current degree of maturity, 'or readiness' prior to starting the instructional process. While, Bowlby's Connection Theory endeavors to explain the way the relationships that are formed in the early years shape the complete life span and subsequent development. Descriptive research keeps a significant put in place development studies. This research endeavors to explain the entire phenomenon of human being development. Developmental psychology is divided roughly between those who review personal-social (emotional) development and those who study intellectual and linguistic development.

Psychological development theories concentrate on personalities of people, associations and behaviours and discuss the changes that happen in an individual's life during his/her development throughout his/her life. (Wilson et al. , 2008). On the other hand, the attachment theory created by J. Bowlby and long by M. Ainsworth, the study of intellectual development by any means age groups is dominated by Piaget's theory of cognitive constructivism.

This debate will be contextualised with a brief history of the analysis of child development.

Key the different parts of Development:

Theories of development can be broadly categorised into natural, sociological and internal perspectives. Biological ideas underline the value of physical changes such as the change in proportions, shape and physical characteristics. This area also encompasses the changes in which individuals sense and perceive the physical world. Sociological theories focus on the importance of communal and monetary factors in determining the average person development. In particular, these ideas explore the individual interactions with the surrounding social composition, encompassing issues of category, income, contest, gender and culture and deprivation. The 3rd stream of subconscious theories focus on personalities, marriage and behavior of a person (Wilson et al. , 2008). The cognitive domain name includes the changes in thinking, memory space, problem solving and other intellectual skills. Experts in this website try to analyze how memory deteriorates with later years (Bee and Boyd, 2002. )

Study of individuals development:

Human development is a study old related changes in behavior, thinking, emotions and personality. Inside the 17th century, John Locke suggested an empirical philosophical methodology, stating that the kid is a blank slate, without innate tendencies. This view considers the child as a unaggressive recipient of external environment. (Boyd & Bee, 2002)

In the 18th century, Rousseau argued that coverage and nurturing was all that's needed is to build up children with their fullest probable. He also assumed that humans are delivered with innate goodness and experience helps them increase. Poor outcome is because the frustration that a child goes through while making initiatives expressing the innate goodness. (Bee and Boyd, 2002. )

In the 19th century, Charles Darwin suggested that a wide selection of life forms changed as a steady interplay between your environmental factors and hereditary techniques (Bee and Boyd, 2002).

Defining Child Development

"Child development is a multifaceted, crucial, and continual procedure for change where children become in a position to handle ever more complex degrees of moving, thinking, being, and associated with others. " (Inter-American Development Loan provider: Sustainable Development Division, 2005).

Theoretical perspectives on Child Development

There are several ideas on child development which focus on different periods of development from infancy to adolescence. These ideas add the child's physical development to stages of words development in children, cognitive development, cultural mental development and moral development. There have been major contributions in the development studies field by Jean Piaget, John Bowlby, Freud, Erik Erikson and Vygotsky. Each of them draw on the different physical and cognitive stages of years as a child (Bee and Boyd, 2002).

Jean Piaget in the cognitive development theory propounded that the education/learning should be imparted to children depending upon their own level of understanding and reasoning. The aim of learning is never to supply them with indigestible information when their heads are not prepared to take it. The key ideas of Piaget's theory of Cognitive Development have been 'Assimilation' and 'Adaption' to the environment/culture, which are two factors of adaptation. Uncooked minds should be given opportunities to shop around, think and consequently accept or reject ideas. Children should be allowed to take part in activities that interest them and work to their level of development, that is, 'readiness'. Based after his observations, he figured children aren't less brilliant than men and women. Children simply think differently. Albert Einstein called Piaget's finding "so simple only a genius would have thought of it" (Cherry, 2010).

John Bowlby's work is psychodynamic and profoundly inspired by Freud. His Connection theory synthesises the communal, psychological and cognitive aspects. He pulls intensely on Freudian ideas of infant-mother relationships and adult-adult romantic relationship of the same kind. Attachment is an emotional bond to some other person. He explained connection as a "lasting emotional connectedness between humans" (Bowlby, 1969: 194). His major empirical finding was that to increase up emotionally healthy, "the infant and youngster should experience a warm, intimate, and continuous marriage with his mother (or permanent mom substitute) where both find satisfaction and entertainment" (Bowlby, 1951).

Freud saw newborns as needy because these were mounted on the mothers instinctively and required their mothers to feed them, engage with them and so on. Infants were also seen by him as clingy and dependent, since the presence of mom around the infant is seen such as a safety net for the newborn. Bowlby regarded that emotions play an important organizing role in secure platform relationships (Lay et al. , 1995).

Erickson was affected by Freud and he gave a psychosocial energetic point of view to the psychosexual periods listed and defined by Freud. In Erikson's view, each level has experience by each individual in the course of normal ageing, only the time and era might vary for every stage depending after several circumstances in individual's life. Complete maturity in later years can only happen through the successive image resolution of these successive 'turmoil' stages. Predicated on both nice and malignant experiences at each stage, an individual develops into a whole mature being (Place et al. , 1995).


The work of socio-cultural theorists such as Vygotsky therefore, adds to our understanding of the multiple factors which impact child development for Vygotsky, connections between people and the socio-cultural framework where they respond and interact in distributed experiences are key to understanding human being development. Vygotsy, unlike Piaget, suggests that adults should not wait for 'readiness' but extend children beyond their current developmental level through the provision activities and other stimuli (Vygotsky, 1896-1934).

The key tenet of Vygotsky's communal development theory is that a child learns and advances by 'doing' and by coming in contact with population. Hence, his major theme is a child's interpersonal development must include cultural interaction as the essential element in cognitive development. The child learns through advice from more knowledgeable people, be it the peers, educators, mentor or even- in the present day age- a computer, though do it yourself and independent learning is also recognized by him (THE GREATER Experienced Other) (Vygotsky, 1896-1934)

The place where children increase their social and cognitive learning and acquire a more substantial repertoire of skills alongside being able to help and encouraging 'others' was termed as 'The Area of Proximal Development' by Vygotsky. (Vygotsky, 1978).

The theory views the kid as the key protagonist in the storyplot, i. e. s/he has a central role that can be played in his/her learning and producing process, unlike the traditional mode of instructor pupil and child parent type of instructional relationship. Both Piaget and Vygotsky were thought to be constructivists (Crawford and Walker, 2008).

However, recent facts gathered also show that poverty is the greatest risk factor for impacting children's effects in the early years both positively and negatively. More than 2. 9 million children in the united kingdom are affected by it and those from ethnic minority backgrounds are disproportionately symbolized.

A child's upbringing and socialisation is largely influenced by the family's origin of ethnic, religious, social and financial backgrounds. Top quality early learning has a positive impact of all children whereas children from disadvantaged backgrounds show negative trends in health, education and overall development (Anon, 2009).

The Mamrot review survey, commissioned by the Team of Health post 2010 has recommended early years spending should be prioritised above other children's services, including models of intensive home browsing by nurses and communal workers to all individuals with children under the age of three as needing additional support. The survey also recommends making sure disadvantaged children were enrolled in high quality pre-school programs, which have been which can promote mental health more than high quality major education, and bringing out a full 12 months of paid parental leave, after having a baby was born, to increase bonding between parents and children and stop family breakdown in future years. (Murali and Oyebode, 2004)

The next section talks about the key periods and key tenets of development by Jean Piaget and John Bowlby to increase understanding on the subject

Piaget's promulgated the idea of Cognitive Development, wherein he suggested that the thinking process advances through each one of the stages until a child can think logically. According to Piaget, it was not appropriate (?) to commence the instructional design process before assessing a child's level of maturity. Piaget's level theory represents the cognitive development of children, that involves changes in cognitive process and talents as time passes. In Piaget's view, early on cognitive development consists of processes based in the beginning upon activities and later advances into changes in mental procedures (Cherry, 2008).

Piaget's development theory was based on the main element tenets of assimilation and accommodation in the surrounding environment. Assimilation is the procedure of consuming new information into our previously existing knowledge or experience. The process is somewhat subjective, because we tend to modify experience or information somewhat to squeeze in with this pre-existing beliefs. For instance, young children are taught to identify with pets and their brands at their nursery levels. The child then learns to assimilate using what is trained and relates to it on experiencing the real dog s/he had researched in the literature (Bee and Boyd, 2002).

Piagetian Development theory talks of the four phases of development. The phases are: Sensorimotor Level (0-2 years), where an infant 'believes only by doing' and profits physical knowledge; Preoperational Level (2-7 years), where in fact the level whereby a child perceives, details and discovers about an subject. Decisions of children at this time are governed by their understanding; Concrete Operational Phases (7-11 years, where children figure out how to think logically and the operational thought is reversible; and Formal Operational Level (11 years and beyond), where in fact the children's ability to understand things from more than one dimension enhances and the kid learns to think abstractly. They are able to solve intricate and hypothetical problems concerning abstract businesses. They be capable of use likely to think ahead (Bee and Young man, 2002).

According to Piaget, the environment in which the child develops has a profound impression on child's psyche. Children notice and adapt themselves to the prevailing norms and systems of the environment they inhabit. Hence, a kid acquires rational thinking after crossing total the above mentioned stages in life and attains maturity. The Piagetian theory of development attaches importance to the surrounding environment, which might lead a kid to develop by building different replies to it. Another part of adaptation will involve changing or changing our existing knowledge, ideas in light of new information or new experience, a process known as Accommodation. New knowledge may also be developed during this process (Piaget and Inhelder, 1969).

As a kid gradually advances though the varying stages of cognitive development, it's advocated that he/ she becomes better prepared to solve problems of increasing complexity. It should be mentioned that Piaget viewed each child with regards to individual techniques of development and didn't attempt to explore the impact of exterior environmental and cultural factors in interaction with intrinsic factors, on child development.

On the other palm, we have John Bowlby's theory of Attachment, which has tried to explain relationships that are formed in the early years of a kid, which designs up the complete life and understanding of a kid towards his/her life. Attachment is an mental bond to some other person. Bowlby detailed attachment as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969, p. 194). His work is psychodynamic and therefore heavily affected by Freudian theory.

Borrowing from Freud's (1905/1953) notion that mature human sexuality is made up of part instincts, Bowlby suggested that babies', especially I-2-month-olds' connection behaviour with their moms and vice versa, is composed of various natural components reactions including sucking, clinging, and pursuing, as well as the signalling behaviours of smiling and crying. These component behaviours mature relatively separately through the first year of life and be increasingly built in and focused on a mother shape during the second six months. Bowlby noticed clinging and following more possibly more very important to connection than sucking and crying. ( Bee and Boyd, 2002).

The basic premises of Attachment theory comprise (i) personal psychological bonds between individuals have a primary position and natural function; (ii) the way a child is cured has a robust influence on a child's development and later personality performing; (iii) Attachment behavior is usually to be viewed as part of organizational system that utilizes 'internal working model (s)' of self applied and other to guide expectations and the look of behavior; and (iv) while attachment behaviour is protected to change, there always prevails a potential to improve. ( Crawford and Walker, 2008)

Attachment theory differentiates between Secure and Insecure parts. Insecure connection is further put into Ambivalent and Avoidant parts, each having an enduring effect on a child's psyche and development. In secure attachment, the child seems secure in his/her romantic relationship with the caregivers and therefore, shows minimum distress due to their dependency on caregivers, who is there to aid and protect them. Such a child sometimes appears to be accomplishing well academically and in other co-curricular activities. While a child undergoing Insecure-Ambivalent connection would be distressed due to the absence of caregivers when required by him/her. Such a kid will develop an argumentative add intense disposition to the elders or caregivers who make an effort to guide them and instruct them with their activities, and is also disorganized and disoriented. Children with Insecure-Avoidant connection reject caregivers or parents, turning or leaving them (Crawford and Walker, 2008).

Piaget's theory of Cognitive development leads us to the attachment model. Sociable and mental development that takes place in the babies' first calendar year results into the formation of connection between them and their caregiver. Both Piaget and Bowlby thought that the quality of connection varies depending after the grade of care received. That they relate with their attachment figures is critical because of their emotional well-being, how they experience themselves, how secure they feel and how ready they are really to explore the world around them (Wilson et al. , 2008).

Limitations of Piaget's theory of cognitive development

Problems with Research Methods

Piaget's theory attained a lot of criticism due to research methods he hired. Piaget's observations of his own three children were a major source of inspiration for his theory. Furthermore, the other children in Piaget's small research sample were all from well-educated professionals of high socio-economic position. Since this sample was unrepresentative, there is bound generalisability.

Problems with Formal Operations

Research has disputed Piaget's debate that children will automatically proceed to the next stage of development as they mature. Some data suggests that environmental factors may play a role in the development.

Limitations of Bowlby's Connection Theory

Nature versus Nurture

Bowlby's connection theory was also not free from criticism. One of the primary critics of Bowlby's connection theory is J. R. Harris. She disapproved of this assumption that kind, honest, and respectful parents will children with the same traits, and parents that are rude, liars, and disrespectful will have children that are the same way. Even though children are raised in the most caring and respectful individuals, the probabilities are that if indeed they connect with delinquents, they will become one, just because a child's peers have significantly more influence about them than their parents. Children make an effort to fit in with their peer group and in a bid to make themselves acceptable to their peers, they are doing what their peers want these to do (Harris, 1998).

Harris also disagrees with the assumption that lack of nurturing can trash nature's best work, i. e. the kids (Harris, 1998:2). She organised that people needed to recognize that a great deal of personality attributes result from their genes, not their parents nurturing. For example, identical twins segregated at delivery and brought up in split homes will have the same practices, pastimes, and styles than similar twins lifted in the same household. This shows the power of nature however, not of nurture. Children understand how to behave, for the most part, from other people in their public group. Adults do the same; they act more like folks in their interpersonal groups somewhat than their parents. Children from the same parents reared in the same home are forget about alike than if indeed they were raised in distinct homes (Harris, 1998).

Another criticism originated from Field, who assumed that behaviours aimed towards the connection figure during departing and reunion times cannot be the only real factors used when defining connection. A broader knowledge of attachment requires observation of how the mother and child interact and what they provide for one another during natural, no stressful situations" (Field, 1996).

In the attachment model the mom is viewed as the primary connection amount, whereas, a daddy or sibling can have the same type of attachment with the newborn at exactly the same time. This relates to adults having more than one primary attachment, such concerning their partner and child. "Attachment is restricted to the infancy and early on childhood period, concluding, as known by Bowlby, during puberty. It does not consider parts that take place during adolescence (the first love), during adulthood (spouses and addicts), and during later life (the strong accessories mentioned between friends in old age)" (Crawford and Walker, 2008:45).

How these theories help social employees in providing services to children?

Social workers work hand-in-hand with other experts in safeguarding the welfare of children as well as for enhancing their health. A knowledge of theories helps social personnel in communicating effectively and skillfully (Wilson et al. , 2008). Social workers have to be sensitive to all aspects and levels of development and the power of the child to cope with concepts of differing kinds. Dealing with children demands the building of relationship of trust and commitment. New ideas are required to build on what the child already recognizes (Crawford and Walker, 2008).

These theories place the building blocks of development studies. Sociable workers may then ensure the welfare of children in real sense by developing the capability to comprehensively determine the needs of different children and consequently. They need to plan their interventions centered towards promoting the basic safety and wellbeing of children. It really is comprehended that the advertising of the welfare of children and young people is a multi professional and multi firm task in which social personnel have a key contribution to make.

Which theory is most relevant to the duties of social workers working in complex, multi-cultural societies?

This discussion of individuals and child development has tackled the varying ideas of development propounded by eminent psychologists and others who made significant contributions to our understandings of the factors that impact child development. With regards to the key target of this essay, it is relevant to ask which theory is most readily useful for public work practice.

In applying Jean Piaget's theory of development to my very own experiences, while working with children, the following observations arise. Within my BSW in India, I had been located in a Boy's Children Home run with a voluntary company and certified by the Government of Delhi. Children surviving in the home were in need of care and security according to the Juvenile Justice (Good care & Safety of Children) Work, 2000. This category comprised children who were victims of some natural calamity or equipped conflict, abandoned, lacking, try to escape children etc. I used to see the counsellor interact with these children who hailed from across the country. Each child possessed a different temperament and problems, and appropriately, the counsellors and educators designed their activities and non formal education curriculum. It had been important to maintain the confidentiality of the child's history before other children, as it might make the kid insecure and hostile also, in some instances, as I witnessed within my field work.

However, it is vital to recognize that both Piaget and Bowlby surely donate to my knowledge of individuals development in their own ways. Both elaborate on crucial areas of child development by emphasising on the value of self applied learning, cognitive development and emotional stability. One cannot be subtracted from another. If I read both and follow both Piaget and Bowlby, then I see a alternative view of child and human being development unravel before me.


Growth and development within early on childhood are rapid and entail a complex connection of 'inside' process recognized with 'exterior' arousal. Understanding the nature of development will guide the public personnel in their diagnosis, intervention and review in children's and families' lives. Children live in a good environment amid all the required facilities as opposed to those that are in adversities. The development needs of the kid have to be designed in the analysis, i. e. health, identity, education, family and sociable relations, emotional and behavioural development and home good care skills.

Human development is a wide sensation and in it to handle child development, it's important to comprehend different child development levels and their particular characteristics. It is only then that public workers and specialists can intervene with different children and their own families in coping with the issues involved with the growing children, with differing temperaments, environment, frame of mind and gender.

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