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Paper Topic:

Arnold Gessells Maturational Perspective

Arnold Gesell 's Maturational Perspective


The psychologist , Arnold Gesell (1880-1961 , is one of the first psychologists to comprehensively associate the components of physical social , and emotional achievements among children most especially ages five . Gesell has focuses in his theoretical approach on developmental norms derived from other developmental theoretical foundations (e .g psychoanalysis - stages of development , Piaget 's theories of development , etc . According to Piek (2005 , Gesell 's theoretical propositions on development and maturation are founded using his experiences and studies in directing the Clinic of Child Development (p .34

. During his studies , Gesell has focused in the children 's process of achieving physical and psychological development . Maturational characteristics and developmental variations are carefully observed during the process of Gesell 's observations . According to Haywood and Getchell (2004 , Gesell has centered his attention on developmental milestones in ten major areas , specifically (1 ) motor characteristics (2 ) personal hygiene (3 ) emotional expression (4 ) fears and dreams (5 ) self and sex (6 ) interpersonal relations (7 ) play and pastimes (8 ) school life (9 ) ethical sense , and (10 ) philosophic outlook (p .17

Gesell 's focus in these developmental milestones has resulted to his theoretical proposition of maturational perspective of child development , which connotes the idea of child development based on planned , naturalistic and predetermined patterns of life . As for the study , the main emphasis is on Arnold Gesell 's maturational theory which tackles the issues based on (1 ) historical significance of Gesell 's maturational theory (2 ) application of the theory , and (3 criticisms of the theoretical perspective


Overview on Arnold Gesell 's Maturational Theory

The most notable achievement of Gesell is his proposition of the "normative " approach in studying children . Gesell has formulated his normative perspective pertaining on the maturational milestones of children , which implies a fixed and pre-plan of development . Researchers who have studied the development of young children from a maturational perspective most often describe similarities in the behaviors of typically developing children (Slentz and Krogh 2001

.17 . According to Piek (2005 , the work of Gesell has been considered as one of the most influential theoretical concepts in the 21st century pediatric principles . Arnold Gesell has investigated the development of both movement and cognition , dividing them into the functional categories of (1 ) motor (2 ) adaptive (3 ) language and (4 ) personal-social behavior (p .34 . The theory of Gesell explores the developmental changes the child 's body or behavior as a result of a normal physiologic development he termed as maturation . The aging process or so-called maturational perspective is his idea of child 's patterned development being dictated by the pre-planned natural maturational course

According to Slentz and Krogh (2001 , Gesell has observed thousands of young children , especially during his experience in directing the Clinic of Child Development at Yales in 1915 , and documented the precise timing and sequence of milestones according to the functional categories of his analysis (p .17 . Gesell 's perspective of maturation is evidently derived from the biological , physiological , and evolutionary fields of child development . Hence , Gesell proposes a...

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