Biologists' social development concept stands on the difference on how people feel about themselves and get along with others to get moral cautions which are controlled by their parents. Bandura (1963)says ,difference in the social behaviour are acquired through observational learning and immitations . Psycho-analysts view personality diferences as resulted from complex interplay of biological ,maturation forces and experiences. The great emphasis is on the early childhood development.
Woolfolk (1995) refers Social development to changes in the way an individual relates to others. Whilst Cole and Cole (2001) regards Social development as involving changes in interaction patterns in relationships with others.And Power cited in Sharma(1992) defines Social development as the progressive improvement of individual in the comprehension social heritage and the formulation of flexible conducts of reasonable conformity with the heritage ,that's acquiring behaviours habits ,values ,attributes ,interests and so on.
These authorities implies that Social development is also included in the acquisition of ability to behave in accordance with the social expactations. In addition it improves the ability to get on well with others and ourselves. The child's culture is the bases of his/her social development and it is acquired as individual grows. Therefore social development is an ongoing process from infants through adulthood to old age.
Stages of Social Development:
♦Infants (0-3 years old)Social life begins with the child's mother ,sibblings and other member found within the family.
When the child communicate with others ,the response may be in the form of body movements and sounds such as rocking and laughing. But the baby's attachment with his/her mother or caretaker as outlined by Schickedaz et al (1993)who say attachment is the emotional tie between the mother and her baby which is crucial in the social and emotional development of the child.
After 12 months of age a child might begin to reflect signs of empathy ,for example by responding to distress of others by showing distress themselves.
Around the age of two to three years the child learns to follow simple commands and instruction and is able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviours.
♦Early childhood (3-6 years old) social interaction goes beyond the family extending the children in the neighbourhood. Their behaviours influenced by their social cognition values they have acquired from their parents biologically and socially . The child is now exposed to new situations ,problems,ideas and roles as he/she explore the immediate environment independently.
Usually toddlers and young pre-scholars tend to be more physically aggressive than school aged children who use more verbal aggression. Adults significantly train their young ones to exercise self control to acquire pro -social behaviours.
♦Middle childhood is the period when most children are at school and these children are now influenced into three categories at home ,school and peer group. At this age they understand others' emotions ,intention and thinking. They also capable at discrimination between accidential and deliberate in tension and are responding accordingly.
♦Friends and peers become increasingly important as they spend more time as peers.
Peer group is formed by children of the same age group who play together influenced by interests to each other and share the same values. The influence of peer group is more absolute during adolescence.Teenagers are at the adolescence phase where they rely on peers to help them to become emotionally independent from their family and discover a dear sense of identity.In other words they prefer their peers like themselves whom they seem to match with for a moment before being autonomous. They also engaged in gestro sexual relationships and contradict frequently with their teachers ,parents and involve in violent of rules and regulations with some of them tried and abused drugs or alcohol.Girls mature faster than boys as characterised by sexual maturity and begin to socialise with older boys.
Adolescents are grouped as:
(1)Conformist group of teenagers who agree and abide by the school ,social rules and means to attain goals.
(2)Innovaters group accepts the goals of the school and social rules ,but not the means prescribed by these institutions to achieve them.
(3)Rebels don't accept both goals and needs and they ended up drop out of school and abandon their homes.Most of this group are alcohol and drug abusers and commit crimes.
Therefore the teacher should coach children on life skills to adopt social skills and techniques to suit effectively. The anti-social distructive children should be helped to change their interaction. Teacher can then counsel pupils to correct their unrealistic thinking especially teenagers who are at crisis phase of changing into adulthood. Teenagers should avoid away from dangers of alcohol and drug abuse and sexual relationships which results in STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Hence it is the role of the teacher to be good models and assist learners to identify a real life model to emulate and create an opportunity for them to learn from some people's experiences and reinforce positive behaviours.
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