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The development of a child is dependent on many different factors such as the heredity of the child, the culture of the child, the amount of nutrition they receive, and also the amount of parental affection they receive, these can have a direct influence on the "three developmental domains" suggested by McDevitt and Ormrod (2010 p.5), these are physical development, cognitive development and social-emotional development. The effect of the developmental process can have on the child's ability to learn are dependent on varying aspects or experiences that the child will endure such as "Biological changes" (p.5) within the students mind and physical appearance, the changes in the child's "reasoning" (p.5), and changes in their "self-concept" (p.5).
McDevitt and Ormrod (2010) state that the child's "context" (p.5), which refers to the surroundings a child is exposed to, can greatly influence the way each child responds to and deals with the changes that occur at each developmental stage or domain. If a child's home life and school arenas are positive, the outcomes the child receives are more likely to mirror that atmosphere.
Heredity or "nature" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 28) is a main factor for social-emotional development and can be described as the passing of "characteristics from one generation to the next" ("Hereditary and genetics,"). It is the reason why children may resemble parts of their parents, this includes the child's "stature, eye color, and facial appearance" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 6) and is known as "uniform genes" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 114). Rothbart and Bates (2006) suggest that a child's temperaments, referring to the way in which they respond to emotional stimulating events, and also their own impulses; are affected by the genetic makeup of the child.
These genetic traits can influence the way students respond to the "context" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 5), due to their "inherited tendencies" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 7). McDevitt and Ormrod (2010) argue that although genetic makeup has a great influence on the child's development, the direct effects of heredity are essentially dependent on how the child interprets their own "exposure to environmental substances" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 6) despite their inherited tendencies. Hereditary instructions, for example, the child's sex, influences the child from the very beginning and provides a path to which the child is able to mature over the course of their development. This may result in the child having a slower or quicker reaction, or none at all to the instructions or everyday experiences they endure, due to the lack of maturation, this can shape and influence the way a child learns and interprets new information (Petrill, 2004).
Nutrition is an important factor in the development of children. McDermott, Durkin, Schupf and Stein (1993, suggest that a severe lack of nutrition during the early stages of development may limit the neurological development of the child; influencing long term on the cognitive ability of the individual and also limiting their capacity to retain and understand new knowledge. The attention span, ability to memorise new information, and the ability to be a high achiever within school settings, are likely to suffer as a result of "inadequate nutrition" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 290).
Vitamins and nutrients that are naturally produced by an individual's genes can "create life sustaining reactions" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 290). That, accompanied by a suitable diet that meets the needs of the individual, together with an environment which is nurturing, may in due course provide the necessary physical characteristics for a developing child (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010). Medically approved vitamins and food supplements have been developed to contest the effects of deprivation on children and young infants, who are generally more exposed to environments with poor nourishment and an inadequate supply of nutrition (Sigman and Whaley, 1998). These supplements have been known to aid in the development of general motor skills, and in some cases improve cognitive development (Sigman & Whaley, 1998).
Parental affection can play a major role in the development of a child, and it is an occurring factor within the individual's environment that influences their "self-concept" (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010 p. 5). McDevitt and Ormrod (2010) suggest that affection from teachers and parents, allows the child to "gradually gain confidence" (p. 22), this may influence the way in which the child's social-emotional skills, traits and or characteristics are developed. Although this may be the case many parents tend to express affection in many different ways as they develop their own "characteristic parenting styles" (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 77), which can be shaped and influenced by different instructions they obtain from teachers and other professionals' opinions.
As a result of varying parenting styles, the raised attitudes of the child are merely perceptions that can influence the parents or role models, to act either in a positive or negative way towards a child (Grusec, 2006). This forces the child to eagerly soak up as much affection as possible (McDevitt & Ormrod 2010 p. 68), from anyone who can provide a sense of trust or guidance that is emotionally appealing to the developmental stage that the individual is currently at.
Culture is an important foundation for the development of an individual's self-concept and refers to specific "behaviours and beliefs" (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010 p. 65), of minority groups of people. There are a variety of cultural behaviours, many of these include customs that help in maintaining a household, ease work related tasks, the use of native tools, and also how they communicate and relate to other members of that group (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010). Some cultural behaviour's may also include pre-determined ceremonies or sacraments, for example, cultural holidays, rights of passage and worshipping.
Cultural differences can lead to many different developmental issues for a child. Some cultures for example, demonstrate differences in meal practices, like what the eat, and whom they eat with, they divide the responsibilities of the families, allowing different individuals of that family to discipline children, prepare food, earn a living, and can also decide on different social practices, ranging from who children are allowed to associate with and how marital partners are chosen for that family. Cole (2006) and Rogoff (2003) suggest, many cultural groups do not allow children to part in discussions with other adults of that household; this may divide the confidence children can have with other members that are not of their cultural belief.
Consequently, varying cultural beliefs and behaviours allows "individualistic" (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010 p. 65), or "collectivistic" (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010 p. 65), approaches to aid in the development of children. An individualistic approach allows children to become independent, become self-asserted individuals, and promote competition between siblings and other members of the same cultural background (Markus & Hamedani, 2007). Collectivistic approaches to culture promote core ideas such as obedience, honour, and co-operation, and they tend to praise the accomplishments of a group of people rather that of an individual (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010).
Educators need to take into consideration the many factors that affect the development of a child when creating lesson plans, this is to ensure all children can receive a high quality of teaching and be exposed to a learning environment that is not only positive, but also allows the child to strive and succeed in all content areas of the curriculum through effective educational instruction that may only occur within the "zone of proximal development" (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010 p. 44). This allows the teachers to stimulate the students' internal developmental processes and can be achieved by adding a "variety to teaching strategies" (McGlynn & Provitera, 1999).