One of the topics that I found to be most interesting was human development. The topic covered many areas of research, each seeking to explain how people develop. Many people have attempted to find out the process of development and the factors that influence the development process. While some have focused most of their research on the initial stages of infancy, childhood, and adolescence, others have chosen to highlight the development process from birth to death. Some of the factors that influence development include parental upbringing, life experiences, culture, education and socioeconomic status, and biological factors. The theories aimed at explaining human development look at the interactions between humans and their environment. Such approaches include cognitive and psychosocial theories. Other theories such as learning and social role tend to focus more on the environment as an important factor contributing to the environment. Evolutionary, psychosexual, and cognitive development theories concentrate more on the biological factors (Shaffer and Kipp 42).
Theories are important as they help to explain things that cannot explain themselves. This is important in psychology, especially because it deals with human nature, which is often unpredictable. Many things concerning human nature can be explained better with theories instead of facts (Green and Piel 3). Understanding human development from different perspectives is important as it helps to find out why some people tend to develop more quickly. It is a way of recognizing any emerging problems that may hinder healthy child or adult growth. For instance, parents who are aware of some of the learning theories will be able to tell when their children are advancing more slowly compared to their peers. By doing this, they can take action quickly. They can be able to offer the necessary assistance that will help that child to develop well. Such interventions are important and necessary for children to lead normal and healthy lives. For instance, children with learning difficulties or those who display difficulties in speaking and walking can get the necessary assistance as early as possible.
The fact that human development theories focus on many diverse factors is important as it helps to identify the necessary changes that need to happen in the social environment of a person. Theories are important in guiding interventions as they contribute to the acquisition of knowledge (Newman and Newman 2). The environment has an enormous influence in determining how children will grow. People may find that they need to change their environmental context for proper growth. Individuals may find that they might need to change internal factors that can hinder proper growth. Teachers understand the importance of creating environments that are conducive to development and learning. They change the environment to fit the needs of the children. Through such knowledge, they can guide parents on the proper action to take.
The study of human development is critical. Despite the many theories that have been developed today, it is not possible to find a single theory that has all the answers concerning human development (Green and Piel 24). This is because of the multifaceted and complex nature of the situation. Every individual is unique, and all people have different growth and development needs. One of the most important elements of theories is that they enable one to generalize situations (Green and Piel 8). Therefore, the development of the many theories helps to put in perspective the growth needs of large groups of people. Many changes occur during development. Recognizing such changes is important because it helps in identifying the best response. For instance, parents understand that they cannot continue treating their children in the same manner throughout their lives. They have to adjust based on the changing needs of the child. Therefore, the parental strategies used during infancy and early years change when a child becomes a teenager.
The self-exploration projects were a way of reflecting upon the experiences and knowledge we acquired in the class. They were important as they helped me to understand many concepts concerning myself. I was able to focus on issues concerning the self. This led to a greater understanding of diverse areas of my personality, attitude, thinking, and reasoning. I was able to recognize some of the factors that guide and direct my thinking as well as the decisions I made. I was also able to determine the areas that I find the most interesting. Acquiring knowledge concerning self-interests was essential in my studies. I was able to identify the areas of weaknesses and limitations, especially concerning bias and subjectivity. Most academic work requires a person to be objective in his approach to a particular subject.
The self-exploration projects helped me to acquire relevant and useful knowledge that will help me in life outside academics. Since I was able to identify my areas of weakness and limitations, I can determine the best way to deal with them. I can form better relationships with people since I have acquired knowledge that will help me to do so. My communication skills have improved, and this has contributed to greater understanding. The improved communication skills have contributed to enhance the relationships I have with other people.
Green, Michael G., and John Piel A. Theories of Human Development: A Comparative Approach. New York: Psychology Press, 2015. Print
Newman, Barbara M., and Philip Newman R. Theories of Human Development. New York: Psychology Press, 2015. Print
Shaffer, David, and Katherine Kipp. Developmental Psychology: Childhood & Adolescence. New York: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print
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