PRINCIPLES OF DEVELOPMENT

1. Development is a product of interaction : Development is a process which is the result of constant interchange of energy within the organism and his environment. Thus hereditary forces interact with environmental forces and the process of development goes further. These two forces are so closely interacted that it is very difficult to isolate the contribution of either of them. The contribution of gene may be 10% as compared to 90% contribution of environment in the process of development.

2. Development follows an orderly sequence :The rate of growth and development is different in different individuals depending upon a number of factors but it does follow an orderly sequence in all the individuals. The psychologists have reported three important directional trends in the process of development:

(a) Cephaulo caudal : Development starts from head and proceed toward heel. We see that development of head of a child is well advanced as compared to other parts of the body.

(b) Proximodigital : Development starts from the central part of the body. Then it spread to other outer or more distant parts of the body. We see that an infant uses his shoulders and elbows first to reach an object and then he uses his fingers and wrists.

(c) Locomotion : Locomotion develops in a sequence in all the individuals belonging to different cultures of the world. The rate of development for different infants may be different but every infant wili have to pass through these stages at all cost. For example, an infant first learns to crawl, then to sit, then to stand and finally to walk. No infant can walk directly in the first stage.

3. Development is a continuous process : Development is a continuous process which begins from the time of conception in the womb of the mother and continues till death. But this process is not always smooth or gradual. Ups and downs are most of the time seen in every stage of development. There are spurts in physical growth and psychological functioning. Sharp growth rate is seen at the time of spurts. For example, a sharp increase in height and weight in the early adolescent period, a fast rise in vocabulary during pre-school period sudden improvement in problem solving abilities during adolescence and so on.

4. Development goes from bilateral to unilateral trend : Infants up to the age of 2.5 years use both of their hands with equal ease. Then they learn to use any of their hands preferably. Similarly, in the beginning of cycle learning we use both the hands to control it but when we become fully experts in cycle learning we can control the cycle single handedly. Thus, development is a process of specialization also. Inter-relationship of different aspects of development: Different aspects of development are interdependent and inter related. For example child’s social behaviour is interrelated with his physical development. If child is physically handicapped his emotional development may also be slow with aggressive development in some emotions. Similarly, if social development of an individual is poor, his mental or physical development will also be slow.

6. Development is individualized process : All individuals develop in their own way depending on their genetic characteristics and the training received from the environment. Thus, each child has his own rate of physical, social, mental or emotional development. If we observe ten years old children in a society, we find that there are great differences in their height, weight, sociability, emotional expressions and learning readiness. Similarly, the rate of growth is very high during infancy or pre-adolescent period as compared to other periods of life. Thus, rate of growth also changes with the change in stages of life.

7. Development is positive and negative both : Up to a certain period of human’s life all the faculties of the individual develop but after that retardation starts specially after the age of 70. Physical and emotional retardations are seen during this age with zero social development. Mental development still continues but it too ultimately starts diminishing with the increase in age. Death is nothing but the collapse of all these processes of development.

8. Development is cumulative : Development is a cumulative process. Certain changes impress the observer and it looks as these changes are sudden but actually they are not sudden. They are the cumulative effect of all the changes in the individual. The child climbs the steps of the development one by one and then he reaches the zenith. The child first of all learns the words, then he learns the phrases, then sentences and finally he comes to know how the stories or essays are written. Thus, each change in the child is the culmination of his prior growth and experiences.

9. Development proceed from general to specific: In all types of development we find the principle of mass differentiation and integration. At the time of birth, the world is like big blooming confusion for the child. Then by and by his behaviours are refined and become goal directed responses.

10. Rate of development differs with sex : There is slight difference in the process of development between boys and girls. Girls mature earlier than boy’s at least emotionally. Girls are taller and heavier than boys in pre adolescence period but by the end of this period boys surpass them. 

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