The Nature of Child Development

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Human development has been a subject of interest since ancient Greece and Rome. Different approaches derive from two basic directions: the nativists` and empiricists` ones. The latter method is to regard human development as a gradual change which has been influenced by the individual`s experience .On the other hand, the former approach has found its roots in the biological structure of the human organism which considers our development as a series of stages. However, referring to human development only as continuous or gradual would produce inconsistent and insufficient understanding of the developmental process .As a result, combining ideas of both viewpoints(continuity and phases) will provide a more explicit of understanding of the developmental processes and their final aim which is to create individual`s integrity within the social norms. Jean Piaget(1929), widely known as one of the pioneers in investigating child development, has developed his theory on the basis of cognitive stages. He presents four aspects of the child `s concept formation: sensorimotor ,preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. All of these stages suggest the emergence of development precedes the ability to learn. Moreover, It is emphasised on the intellectual development regardless of the cultural influences and specific individual differences. Therefore, human cognitive development is regarded as universal for all human species. On the one hand, Piaget sees the human internal conception in interaction with external world messages conveyed. On the other hand, a child`s ability to perceive cognitive information in an effective way is not clearly defined. Resulting from this, old experiences receive new names. According to Piaget th... ... middle of paper ... ...Tavistok Publishers. Vygotsky L.S. (1978), Tool and Symbol in child development(p.19-31),Problems of method(p.58-79),Interaction between learning and development(p.79-92).In Mind in society :the developmental of higher psychological processes. Harvard university Press , Cambridge, Massachusetts, London Sandstrom C.I.(1966).The psychology of childhood and adolescence. Methuen and Co Ltd, London Erikson E. H. (1965) Eight ages of man(p.239-261),The theory of infantile sexuality(p.43-91) In Childhood and society: Piaget J.(1929) Problems and Methods(p.1-33),The notion of thought(p.33-61),The concept of `Life`(p.194-206),The origin of the sun and moon(p.256-270)In Child`s conceptions of the world. Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd, London Jerome S. B. , Goodnow J. J. and Austin G.A. (1967) Overview ( p.231-247):In A study of thinking . John Wiley and Sons Ltd, USA
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