Select a developmental period in your own life such as toddlerhood, childhood, adolescence
or any other period and analyse it with reference to at least two major theorists in developmental
psychology. Include all of the following:
§ an overview of your selected developmental period ‐ please discuss the key events
or milestones experienced at this time.
§ a discussion of the key aspects of each of the theories you have chosen to discuss
§ an analysis of the period you have selected in light of each of the two theories
§ following this analysis and discussion, write a reflection on your personal responses
and experiences in relation to the significant period in your own life.
Your Reflective Essay should:
1. Name the period you are choosing and include an overview of this time.
2. Discuss key aspects of each of the major developmental theories
3. Analyse the period or event with reference to the major developmental period.
4. Reference to current literature and integration of relevant theory into your discussion
The Key Events or Milestones Experienced At Middle Childhood
According to Thies, Travers, & Thies (2014), middle childhood is a critical development stage as the child can develop interpersonal relationships, motivation, personality, and cognitive skills. Children at the middle childhood phase get to learn the values and norms of their societies in addition to their development both within themselves and within the society. According to Berk (2016), the middle childhood age is less dramatic compared to early childhood and adolescents since there is less physical development as growth is steady and slow. The children start a faster growth rate when they at their puberty which may start at varying ages.
Wehmeyer et al. (2017) state that cognitive development of the child is also steady and slow as they build their skills that they learned during the early childhood phase. Furthermore, they are preparing for the adolescent phase which has more cognitive development. In their learning skills, the children are seen to be more mature as they learn classification and forming hypothesis skills. However, they still need concrete, hands-on learning activities (Crain, 2016). According to Santrock (2011), this stage is the time when children gain more interest in work and learning as they find their life achievement as a motivating factor and they strive towards building self-esteem and competence.
Berk (2016) writes that middle childhood stage is the development stage in life when the children can develop their capability in both interpersonal and social relationships. There is a growing orientation towards their peers, and they are on the other hand influenced by the people around them such as family. The children are prepared for the next stage through the foundations in learning the social skills from their families and their peers and through their improved ability in participating in the important interpersonal communication. They form best friends who are an important part of their life at this stage as the relationships built to provide the building blocks for healthy adult relationships.
The Key Aspects of Each of the Theories
In recent years, there has been continued study and research on the human development stages by psychologists. Some available theories have greatly contributed to the human development. Thies, Travers, & Thies (2014) define a theory as a principle that is proposed, researched, and accepted as an explanation of an idea or concept. The theories in development are important as they provide insights into how children learn and grow and they are helpful for guiding and understanding the processes of development. According to Crain (2016), the theories are important as they help form personal beliefs, values, and help learn how to promote the development of children. There are some theories based on experiences and observation developed during the 20th century by theorists such as Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget. This paper has mainly focused on two developmental theories.
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