Gesell's Concept of Maturation

Topics: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Child development Pages: 3 (747 words) Published: May 24, 2007
AbstractThe concept of maturation presented by Arnold Gesell is central to developmental psychology. He said that childs growth or development is influenced by the environment and the action of the genes. He also indicated that the childs development occurred in a fixed order through a series of stages. He opposed any instructional efforts on placing a child ahead of schedule; when the time is right, the child will simply begin to master the task through his/her own inner urges. Two major criticisms to his concept are also presented in this paper.

Gesells Concept of MaturationIntroductionPioneered by the American psychologist Arnold Gesell (1880-1961), the concept of maturation, which is central to developmental psychology, stresses the role of nature in human development (Gale Group, 2001.)The purpose of this paper is to take a look at the major concepts of Gesells concept of maturation and to present and discuss two criticisms of his concepts.

Gesells Concept of MaturationGesell said that the childs growth or development is influenced by two major forces: The environment and the action of the genes. Gesell called this process maturation (Crain, 2005).

He observed that a childs development occurred in a fixed order through a series of stages. This is an outstanding feature in maturational development. (Gale Group, 2001).

By observing how an embryo adhered to a specific order in its own development, Gesell proposed that a child post natal neuromotor development also followed a strict specific order (Crain, 2005).

His concept of maturation allowed him to see that just like a baby learns to run by first sitting, then standing, then walking, the principles of maturation also have a rate of development that is controlled by internal genetic mechanisms (Crain, 2005). And the forces of socialization that are so important in the growing and developing of a child have a positive and direct effect only if they are in tune with the inner maturational...

References: rain, William (2005). Theories of Development, Concepts and Applications. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Gale Group, 2001.Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2nd ed.http://findarticles.com/
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