Physical and Motor Development
Physical development refers not just to the growth in height and weight of the child. Although height and weight are important in the physical development, physical and motor development refer to other aspects like increase in muscle size, precision and control of muscular coordination, hardening of bones, growth in the brain cells, appearance of permanent teeth, etc. The child at this stage has developed a number of physical skills and is eager to try them out. Over-enthusiasm at this stage often leads to trouble many times.
This refers to the child’s growing understanding of one-self and the outer world. It refers to the child’s interaction with the environment based on this growing understanding. Environment refers to both the physical things as well as the people in the environment. Social development refers to the way the child learns to interact with other through speech or physical contact. It is the confidence the child develops in reaching out for things and people around. Social development also refers to the way in which the child learns the ways of the society, and to be its part. This stage is also characterized by the increase in the child’s ability to understand others and their points of view. Another feature at this stage is the development of a work ethos.
This aspect deals with the emotions of the child – anger, fear, love, hate, affection, jealousy, shyness, tantrums, aggression, dependency, etc. This aspect of development (emotional development) traces the emergence of different emotions in the child; the predominant emotions present at different ages and the ways in which these are expresses. The elementary school child is much in control of emotions than the pre-school child. At this stage, there are fewer emotional outbursts, the child is more reasonable and can appreciate other’s point of view. The duration of the outbursts is also found to be less. At this stage, the child can understand other’s point of view and is in a better position to empathise with the other person and to express concern. This also enables the child to make lasting friendships.
Cognition refers to the human capacity to understand the environment, to solve problems, the capacity of both logical and abstract thought. Memory and creativity are also part of cognition. When we speak of cognitive development we mean the orderly changes that occur in the way the children understand and cope with their world.
Language development refers to the progress the child makes from birth onwards in acquiring language. Apart from learning of words, language development includes the learning of rules of framing sentences of various complexities (syntax). Acquiring language transforms the child’s world greatly. The child is now able to put thoughts (which were only visual images earlier) into words and can also now remember things more easily as words are used to represent things, and words are easier to remember than a series of images.
Moral development is the way the child learns to distinguish between right and wrong. It is the process by which the child develops conscience and learns to judge for one-self what is right and what is wrong. This requires the child to understand the situation and other people’s point of view before making any kind of judgement. This ability to make a judgement however comes only gradually. Younger children are unable to do so.