My undergraduate study was in exercise science, so I had taken several classes on the human motor development. One class in particular was called motor control and learning which focused on childhood motor development. Similar to the Pressley and McCormick’s (2007) textbook, the one which I had used in college covers like materials but in much greater detail. A thing that I specifically remember from that class was the importance of reflex development from birth to the first few months of age (Payne, & Isaacs, 2005). For example, a few primitive reflexes seen in early childhood are sucking reflex, moro reflex, and the search reflex (Payne, & Isaacs, 2005). Each is very instrumental in their development process. These are just a few examples of the types of reflexes infants develop and use. Since my major focused on exercise, the majority of this course was on the landmarks in motor development. Pressley and McCormick (2007) illustrate the types of motor skills children has as they progress in age. Younger children when throwing tend to only use their arm, and as the child progresses in age, coordination, and strength they begin to throw utilizing a whole body motion (Payne, & Issacs, 2005; Pressley, & McCormick, 2007). Another area of importance in child/adolescent development is their fine motor skills. Such as holding a writing implement – where younger children tend to grasp the instrument and as their fine motor skills progress they begin to hold and efficiently use the writing implement (Payne, & Isaacs, 2005). These are just a few of the things I remember and stand out from my college courses in the realm of child/adolescent development.
I feel that my current knowledge of development plays an important role in my philosophy of instruction. By understanding the developmental process of children, I am able to recognize and realize skills which they should have already developed or needs continual practice. This understanding will allow me to not set up expectations that far surpass their development level. It is important to note that instruction and lesson materials should not only help children learn new topics but should challenge them as well. Additionally, I know that importance of their childhood development as it relates towards their later school year learning. Creating an environment that is of high-quality has been shown to increase measured intelligence (Pressley, & McCormick, 2007). There are many factors that can affect the development of a child, and understanding these issues will help better equip me as an educator.
Payne, V.G., & Isaacs, L.D. (2005). Human motor development: a lifespan approach. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies.
Pressley, N., & McCormick, C.B. (2007). Child and adolescent development for educators. New York, NY: Guildford Press.