Lifespan Studies

Topics: Childhood, Child development, Infant Pages: 6 (1555 words) Published: July 9, 2013
Lifespan studies B131

Renee Kerr

This essay will describe the developmental domains, physical, cognitive, language, socio-emotional, and spiritual and how Te Whariki supports each of these domains in an early childhood sector.

Physical development begins from time of conception and continues from birth throughout life. There are many contributing factors that help with physical development, factors such as genetic, love and nurture, nutrition, active environment full of experiences, a healthy environment and regular exercise and there are also many influences that can delay physical development, such as substance and alcohol abuse well in the womb, inheriting a genetic disorder, physical and mental abuse and neglect. There are milestones in physical development that you achieve from birth to adulthood such as, grasping, crawling, walking, talking and many more. Meggitt(2012) states that, “physical development is the way in which the body increases in skill and becomes more complex in its performance. There are two main areas, gross motors skills and fine motors skills; physical development also includes sensory development by which we receive information through senses, vision, hearing, smell, touch and taste”. Te Whariki supports physical development with each of the five strands


Lifespan studies B131

Renee Kerr

Contributing skills that help challenge and enhance the physical development of children. In Te Whariki we see the strand exploration, goal two “children experience an environment where they gain confidence in and control of their bodies” (Ministry of Education,[MOE],1996) this goal relates to children in early childhood settings, ie a child who has just learnt to roll over or crawl or take his/her first steps, a child who has been struggling to climb to the top of the playground and then achieved this goal. These children are learning what their bodies are capable of and how to advance what they already know or can do. Cognitive development is the process through which we become knowledgeable and it brings changes to the way we interact with the world around us. Cognition includes remembering, perception, knowing, thinking, reasoning and problem solving. Cognitive development is important for children’s comfort in the world and for the process of settling into their first five years. Many theories relate cognition to the environment and the interactions that a child endures. Infants do not develop without interactions, and it is the quality of interactions with others and their environment that will affect how they turn out. Drewery(2010) Te Whariki supports cognitive development in many ways, such as providing children with a stimulating and active environment, having


Lifespan studies B131

Renee Kerr

resources that challenge children’s thinking, reasoning and problem solving skills. If a child is struggling to complete a puzzle on the mat, educators will sit with the child and encourage the child to continue trying, prompting rather than doing the puzzle for the child, using our knowledge to support and scaffold the child in his/her thinking, reasoning, remembering and problem solving. Language development begins also from the time of conception, with an unborn child hearing voices, sounds and rhythms, once born the newborn can then recognise these sounds and start to piece together the connection, knows mum and dad’s voices and hears music. We learn language from hearing and speaking it, therefore it is important to engage the child in an actively verbal environment with lots of communication and repetition. We learn language by hearing and speaking it, an environment rich in verbal communication is crucial for language development” (Santrock, J W,1973) Children who have opportunities to engage in discussion and communicate with families, educators and friends are able to further their language development, opposed to a child with very little interactions with people in...
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