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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Define development and the salient principles or characteristics of development


Development refers to the changes an individual goes through from conception to death.

  • Development refers to the changes that begins at conception and continues through the life span. 
  • Development refers to orderly durable changes in a learner resulting from a combination of learning, experience, and maturation.
  • Development refers to the, ways people grow, adapt and change during their lifetime. 
  • Development is a process in Which not only quantitative changes are observed but also it is an integrated process in which different structures and their fictions are tried to comprehend with reference to each other. 
  • Development refers to, the process whereby a living thing transforms itself from a single cell into a vastly complicated multi-cellular organism. 
  • Development means orderly and adaptive change we go through from conception to death.
  • Development means the process involving all the orderly changes that occur during progress towards maturity. 


Since development is orderly and predictable, it seems essential to know the principles of development and developmental patterns. Knowledge of the principles of development, it becomes possible to predict which behavior and which development takes place at what age. If a baby does not show a particular behavior as
per the norm of development, the parents may take necessary steps to improve his development. Following are the fundamental principles of development :-

Development is a continual process : 

Development is a process which continues from conception to maturity. Of course, there are some visible differences in the rate of development of different parts of the human organism. It takes place at a slow but regular pace rather than by leaps and bounds. We Should keep into consideration that it is not always smooth and gradual. There  are some spurts in physical growth and psychological functioning as increase in height and weight and sudden improvement in problem-solving abilities during adolescence. It is commonly
observed that due to illness or psychological disorder, children do not grow as per the general norm of development but after recovery they improve and reach the expected standard of development by compensating the deficiency.

Development involves change : 

The process of development involves Changes from conception till death of an individual. Development refers to qualitative changes while growth involves quantitative changes. These changes are concerned with the change in size and structure of the body and the mental conditions. All the changes bring about development and growth. Changes in height, weight and internal organs are concerned with the physical development. But changes in perceptual capacity, leaning, thinking, reasoning and creative ability are concerned with the psychological development. Due to the process of development, old features are
replaced with the newer ones.

Development follows an orderly sequence : 

Though the individuals vary in the rate of growth and development but even then the development follows the universal orderly sequence. A high degree of similarity can be observed in the order in which various developments appear. The developmental psychologists have reported several directional trends in development. ‘Cephalocaudal sequence’ ‘Proximodistal sequence’ and ‘Locomotion sequence’ are the main developmental trends which rule the process of development and growth.

Development is an individualized process : 

All the individuals grow and develop in their own way. All the children vary in the rate of physical, social,
emotional, cognitive and intellectual development. If we observed the children of seven-year age group, we may notice remarkable differences in their height, weight, social attitudes and learning readiness. The developmental psychologists hold that children have different rate of development at different stages of age. The rate of growth is high in infancy and childhood but it slows down in the later growth stages. To Summarize, development is individualized in nature. It varies from person to person in some respects despite there are particular similarities in the process of development.

Development is a cumulative process : 

The developmental psychologists hold that development is a cumulative process. There are changes Which draw the attention of the. observers with their dramatic suddenness but actually they do not emerge all of a sudden. The child’s first word, first step and first emotional response are the results of cumulative progression. A child has continuously been preparing for performing these functions. Each change is the result of previous growth and experience. An individual, is a cumulative whole. All of his developmental changes provide grounds for Other changes. The chain of changes do not end or stop.

Development proceeds from general to specific : 

According to this principle of development, a child exhibits general responses and learns to exhibit specific and goal directed responses afterwards. For instance, a baby starts moving his arms in a general random movement but these general motor movements are converted into specific responses like grasping and handling. Similarly, when a newborn infant cries, his whole body is involved in this action but as he develops, it is limited to the vocal cords, facial expressions and eyes impressions. In: the development of language, the child begins with generalized response such as by calling all men daddy and all women mom but as he develops, he begins to use these names only for his father and mother. In short, a specific activity emerges from a general activity. All the developmental activities are first general in nature and then they become specific.

Development is predictable : 

The researches regarding development tell us that development is predictable. With the help of uniformity of pattern and sequence of development, a developmental psychologist, to a great extent, can forecast the
general nature and future behavior of the child in one or more aspects at any particular stage of his growth and development. That is why; a developmental pathologist discusses the general nature of development at different stages such as infancy, childhood, neo-adolescence, adolescence and maturity. At every stage of
development there are certain developmental changes which can be expected or predicted.

Development is an interactive process : 

The process of development involves an active interaction between the individual and environment. An organism inherits at the time of conception in the womb of the mother. After birth, physical and socio- psychological environment influences the development of an individual. Therefore, at every stage of growth and development, the behavior and personality make up of an individual is nothing but an end-product of the Constant interaction between the hereditary environment and environmental set up. To summarize, both heredity and environment influence the development of the organism. It is difficult to distinguish the contribution either of the two forces. To me, the role of heredity and environment is the developmental process is unquestionable. That is why; development is an interactive process.

Development is a correlated process : 

It is generally observed that there exists positive correlation amongst various aspects of development. For instance, there is a correlation between physical and cognitive development. Usually a healthy child enjoys a good mental health. An intelligent child has good health and capable of good social adjustment. On contrary, an inadequate physical or cognitive development may result in socially or emotionally maladjusted personality. Development of sexual behavior largely depends upon the growth and maturation of the sexual organs. Likewise, language development depends upon the development of speech organs. Learning depends upon the maturational development of brain and various parts of the body. That is why; all educational efforts are directed towards achieving harmonious development in all aspects of an individual’s personality.

Development is similar to all : 

Every normal human being grows and develops through a similar pattern and process of development. An individual creeps, crawls, sits and stands before he walks and runs. The language development of a baby starts from meaningless voices and babbling. Then he learns to utter meaningful sentences and at last he speaks in a scholarly manner. Every normal human being is subjected to the similarity in the process of development. The researchers have found no deviation anywhere to the general principles of development. Though there are individual differences in the rate of development yet there is no deviation in the general principles of growth and development.

There is a lack of uniformity in the rate of development : 

Though, development is a continual process yet it does not exhibit steadiness and uniformity in terms of the rate of development in various dimensions of personality. There are periods of accelerated growth and decelerated growth as well. During the first three years of infancy, the rate of growth and development become rapid. Then the rate of growth slows down which is again accelerated at the adolescence stage. Different internal organs like heart and liver develop slowly in childhood but grow very fast during adolescence. Intelligence also develops at different rate in different stages of human life. Similarly, neither of the parts of body grows at the same rate nor all aspects of cognitive development progress equally. Various aspects of development reach their maturity at different times.

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