Why is it necessary to study child development?
The more you learn about children 's physical development then you are in a position to deal with their physical needs.
We want to gain an insight into our own past and remind us to see how it shaped us in to adults. This is a provocative area of inquiry and as a teacher you can be interested in the wellbeing of the children in your class. It is also an interesting area for policy makers and implemeters like teachers to have an insight of child physical abuse and mental retardation.
Development is the growth and change of pattern forward movement that begins at conception and continues throughout the entire lifespan. It is quite complex and a product of several processes get involved.
Human physical development involves ,genes,environment ,motivation,gradual differentiation of the body and it influences other areas of human development.
Therefore physical development is the simple changes in the child's size,weight and quantitative changes that bring about other physical and anatomic changes.
Physical development hence involves weight gain ,height change,growth of limps ,head ,enlarging size of the brain ,lungs,heart,feets and hands .
This occurs in a predictable pattern,therefore any deviation to this pattern it is a cause of concern. The periodic phases of physical growth:
Infant 0-24 months,
Early childhood 24 months- 5/6 years,
Middle childhood 6- 11/12 years,
Adolesence 12-20 years
Adulthood 20 years++
Conception and prenatal development starts at the fusion of male sperm and woman ovum. When the two united then this is the conception in the fallopian tube.
Geminal period is then the multiplication of cells and the attachment to the embryo.
Embryonic (6-8 weeks) is characterised by differentiation and growth of anatomic featus.
Changes during this 8 weeks ,14 grammes to 3,2 kilogrammes on average at birth.
Physical after birth is characterised by periods relative attitudes and periods of busting growth of different components to human's general development -growth of muscles,liver ,kidney,heart etc.
Infancy and adolescency are the most fastest periods of growth and relative slow growth is ranging from 4-10 years old.
Body parts like brain and head growth are very sharp growth changes between birth to 3 years.
Reproductive organs growth are very little at infancy and very rapid at adolescence. This is influenced by hormones called androgens and estrogens.The growth of lympoid tissues ,for example apendics are relatively slow at birth to 6 years and very rapidly at adolescence.The physical development growth is sharply influenced by environment,nutrition,diseases and genetic formation.
The implications to the primary teacher is to give children enough physical activities to influence their growth. Naturally children are readly in need physical activities, which the teacher is required to plan in rhythmic patterns that improves the control of their muscles and the body. The activities must be varied to provide wide range to suit the loco-motor processes. In addition the the teacher should give children guidance and and counselling on areas of sex related attitudes.
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