Child Development

BOOK 1 Chapter 1                             Children and Development

  * UNCRC ( 1989)   United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

  * James and Prout, 1997   “The immaturity of children is a biological fact but the ways in which that immaturity is understood is a fact of culture…childhood is…constructed and reconstructed both for and by children”

  * Charles Darwin Origin of species, 1859 ;   Theory of evolution; he challenged beliefs about creation and the relationship of humans to other species

  * G.Stanley Hall -child researcher influenced by Darwin’s theories and scientific approach, he believed that infancy, childhood and youth are three bunches of keys to unlock the past history of the race.

  * Mussen et al. 1984   Development :” …these changes usually result in new improved ways of reacting- that is in behaviour that is healthier, more organised, more complex, more competent and more efficient”.

Four historical views on Development  

  * Development as control and discipline

Puritan view:   children are sinful

Thomas Hobbes ( English philosopher) -children have natural tendency in expressing dangerous impulses which need to be curbed through discipline and strict training;   nature   seen as negative force, internal forces

Sigmund Freud – infant is driven by instinctual impulses ( or “id”), these are only regulated by the development of conscience (or “super-ego”) through parental control becoming internalized.

  * Development as natural stages

Jean-Jacques Rousseau – opposite to Hobbes: nature as a positive force, the child is inherently good, with natural sense of right and wrong, born with the potential to develop reason and moral judgement, society has a corruptive rather than a positive influence, children are different than adults, , he offered developmental account of childhood; emphasized maturation and stages of development., His book “ Emile or On Education” 1762   about: how children should be...