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Human Growth and Development Paper, Essay Example

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Essay
  1. The three domains of human development that occur in early childhood are cognitive, physical, and psychosocial growth.  Cognitive development refers to the development of skills pertaining to creativity, reasoning, learning, memory, language, and attention.  Physical development refers to the growth of a child’s body and brain and encompasses their health, motor skills, and sensory development.  The psychosocial domain refers to the development of relationships, emotions, and personality (Papalia, et al., 2008).

In developing his preschool curriculum to address the cognitive development of his students, Marcus would take into account his students’ ability to engage in preoperational thought.  This allows them to problem solve by reflecting on past, present, and future experiences (Papalia, et al., 2008).  To address the cognitive domain, he should provide opportunities for the children to utilize their new problem solving skills through puzzles, counting games, and simple science experiments.  A dramatic play centre would also facilitate cognitive development by allowing children to act out real life and imaginative experiences.  In regards to physical development, Marcus should develop a curriculum that emphasizes the development of small and large motor skills.  Physical development goes hand-in-hand with cognitive and social development and is a vital component of the pre-school curriculum.  Indoor  tossing games can help to develop hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.  Indoor and outdoor dancing encourages large motor skill development and creativity.

Nursery school is a great environment to encourage the development of the psychosocial domain, especially when teachers create a nurturing environment that allows children to freely explore their environment.  Activities that incorporate blocks, sculpting, and painting are open-ended activities that can help to support the development of a child’s initiative.  Teachers should also be cautious about overly praising one child’s work over another, as such an approach may teach children that there is only one correct way to do things.

  1. The eight periods of human development are the prenatal period, infancy and toddlerhood, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, emerging and young adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood. In middle childhood (ages 6-11), physical growth slows while memory and language skills increase.  Relationships with peers become a central concern.  In infancy and toddlerhood (birth to age 3), a child’s physical growth is more rapid than at any other period.  Comprehension and use of language develop rapidly and the child forms attachments to parents and other people.  In the early childhood period (ages 3 to 6), sleep problems are common, intelligence becomes more predictable, and gender identity develops (Papalia, et al., 2008).

Inherited influences refers to the genetic components that a child inherits from his or her biological parents.  Environmental influences refers to the impact of factors in the child’s external world, such as socioeconomic status, on the child’s development.  The difference between inherited influences and environmental influences is that the former is decided at conception whereas the latter is shaped over the course of a child’s life.

Although a combination of genetics and environment play a role in child development, there are a great many environmental factors that can impact on inherited traits.  Some of these include the mother’s behaviors while pregnant in terms of nutrition, avoiding smoking and drug use, and getting proper exercise, all of which play a positive role in the unborn child’s development.  The economic status of a child’s family can also determine whether they will receive the proper nutritional and educational opportunities crucial to development.

  1. The infant mortality rate in the United states is much higher than in other developing countries. This is due, in part, to the impact of poverty on prenatal development.  Other risk factors faced by babies in the first year of life include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and the congenital defects that occur while a child is still in the womb.

Although there is no known cause for SIDS, researchers suggest that allowing a child to sleep on his or her stomach can contribute to SIDS.  Some congenital defects can be detected early in pregnancy through genetic testing, giving parents the choice as to whether to continue the pregnancy or not.  This type of testing raises ethical and moral questions about the role that genetics plays in selective abortions and the devaluation of children with birth defects.

Children born with a low birth-weight have a much higher incidence of death than children who fall within a healthy weight range.  Serious medical problems are more common amongst low birth weight babies.  These include respiratory distress syndrome, a breathing problem in which babies’ lungs aren’t well developed enough to allow them to breathe without assistance.  Low birth-weight babies also may meet their developmental milestones more slowly, resulting in physical and mental limitations, due to not having fully developed in the prenatal period.   Low birth-weight babies are also at a greater risk for infection in the early months, which sometimes necessitates them remaining in the hospital for longer periods of time than babies who reached full term (Papalia, et al., 2008).

References

Papalia, D., Olds, S., & Feldman, R. (2008). Human growth. 11th ed.  New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

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