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Human Development: Meaning, Concepts and Approaches

Meaning of human development
 The pattern of movement of change that begins at conception and continues
through the life span
 Includes growth and decline
 Can be positive or negative
Basic concepts of development
1. Growth and development
 Difference between growth and development
o Growth is quantitative and development is qualitative in nature.
o Growth refers to physical aspects only; whereas development refers to all
aspects such as physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social etc.
o Growth is limited to height and weight but development refers to all
changes leading towards maturity.

2. Maturation and Learning

 It means that the potential traits (for different activities like sitting, crawling,
creeping, walking etc.) are present at birth in the individual and are
controlled by heredity.
 Acquiring new skills due to environmental stimulation and training

3. Heredity and Environment

 It is a specific combination of genes we inherit and is shown in
characteristics like height and certain habits.
 includes all aspects of the surroundings human and non-human

Major Principles of Human Development

1. Development is relatively orderly
 Cephalocaudal Pattern
- Development proceeds from the head downward
 Proximodistal Pattern
- Development proceeds from the center of the body outward
2. The outcomes of developmental processes and rate of development are likely to
vary among individuals
3. Development takes place gradually
4. Development as a process is complex because it is a product of

Prepared by: Christine C. Rizado CPE B

 Biological process
 Cognitive process
 Socio-emotional process
Approaches to Human Development
1. Traditional Perspective
• Believes that individuals will show extensive change from birth to adolescence
• Little or no change in adulthood
• Development declines in late old age
2. Life-span Approach
• Believes that even in adulthood, developmental change takes place as it does
during childhood

What are the Characteristics of the Life-span perspective?

 Development is LIFELONG
 It does not end in adulthood.
 No developmental stage dominates development
 Development consists of biological, cognitive and socio-emotional
 Development is PLASTIC
 Development is possible throughout the lifespan
 Development is CONTEXTUAL
 Individuals are changing beings in a changing world
 Development involves GROWTH, MAINTENANCE and REGULATION
 Growth, maintenance and regulation are 3 goals of human development.
The goals of individuals vary among developmental stages.

Prepared by: Christine C. Rizado CPE B