1-1.2 Connections between development and learning
There is a strong connection between development and learning as children need to develop certain skills in order to learn and also the motivation to learn something new can help a child develop further skills. For example, for a baby to learn to walk there needs to be a level of coordination and growth and therefore by learning to walk has improved both the child’s physical development and recognotion.
Variations in the rate and sequence of development and learning
All children develop at their own rates because of both genetic and environmental factors. Learning difficulties. Some children have difficulties which prevent them from learning in the same way and the causes can be medical conditions, chromosomal conditions and others are not yet understood. However, this doesnt mean that children with learning difficulties will have this problems in all areas of development. Some children will have develop some skills better than others: the ability to draw, to socialise etc. Giftedness. Some children are seen as inteligent very early. We may notice that some children tend to memorise easily and they can learn new skills very quick.
This is thought to be linked with a stimulating environment and a strong „ genetic component” ( Heinemann Book). Stimulating environment and the aquisition of language. Children whom are given stimulating experiences and more opportunities are likely to develop faster. Language aquisition is strongly linked to the time children spend around adults and quality interaction. Attachment. If a child feels loevd and safe it makes it easier to acheve their full potential. Strong relationships are the foundation for every childs development. Learning in different way. Children learn by copying from adults but also by learning from their own experiences. For todlers and babies it is actually most likely that they learn from doing rather then from being taught.
The importance of play
Play is an essential part of every childs development. Through play children develop skills in all ares of development. Good play helps them be happy and explore, but can also teach them about materials, social skills.” Play begins very early on in babies lives as long as they have an adult who can engage with them”. ( Heinemann book)
1-1.3 All children develop at their own rates, but some of them do because of difficultiess linked during conception, pregnancy and birth.
Pre-conceptual care. Even before a baby is conceived, the quality of their parents life style can have a huge impact on their development. Future parents should think about giving up on smoking, cutting down the alcohol, taking folic acid suppliments and avoiding recreational drogs. It is also advised not to start having a family to late cause it gets harder for some women to conceive. Conception. In the moment of conception the fertilised egg will have 23 chromosomes from the father and 23 chromosomes from the mother which determine the child’s development. This mixing is actually a nature’s lottery as some medical conditions are the result of genetic combination. Pregnancy. During pregnancy the baby can be affected by the health of their mother as well as by the lifestyle.
Factors that may affect the child are stress, diet and alcohol. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are when the „foetus is most vulnerable and during this time the foetus becomes recongnisably human”.( Heinemann Book) Substance abuse. The effects of drugs can be devesting for the baby especially in the first 12 weeks but even after. All pregnant women are advised not to take any drugs unless advised to do so by a doctor. Alcohol. Alcohol can enter a babies blood streem and can have serious effects. A special condition known as Foetal Alcohol Syndrome affect children’s cognitive development including their concentration. Infections. Some infections such as food poisoning, rubella, or sexual transmitted diseases can put the unborn at risk.
Maternal diet. The baby needs nutrients for his/hers well-being so the diet of the mother plays an important part throughout the pregnancy. Diet is particularly important during the first 12 weeks when the lack of mineral called folic acid can cause spina bifida. Overall women dont need a special diet when they are pregnant but they need to have a balanced one. They sould also avoid eating certain foods such as unpaasteurised cheese, soft cheese and Brie, blue cheesee which can contain the bacteria listeria which can cause miscarriage, premature delivery or severe illness in a new born baby. This can also be found in some pate and smoked fish., raw or partially cooked eggs, raw and undercooked meat.
Assisted birth. Most women give birth vaginally but sometimes a Caesarean section is given. A Caesarean may be planned or may have to be carried out at short notice if there are difficulties when giving birth. Birth trauma. The main danger for babies during birth is the lack of oxygen but this is relatively rare and most babies are born safely. Prematurity and multiple births. A baby’s development can be affected if they are born before the full term of pregnancy. Full term is considered to be between 38 and 42 weeks. Some babies may be premature as a result of medical intervention or mothers may go spontaaneusly into labour.survival rates for premature babies has increased as a result of technology and advances in medical understanding.the extend to which development is affected variesand is linked to how early the child is born.
The last few weeks are vital for the baby as they gain weight during that period and the baby’s oragns and nervous system matures. Babies born between 35 to 38 weeks are usually mature enough to feed and breath and so long term development is not affected but babies who are born much earlier will need significant medical support in order to survive and are usually place in the incubator that is designed to keep the baby warm and safe from infection. Premature babies are at higher risk of developing hearing or sight problems and also learning difficulties .
1-1.4 Current research
The latest research into the development and learning of babies and young children centres on the brains structure and function. Now it came to light that early stimulation are vital to the child’s healthy development of the brain. Along with stimulation it also seems that sufficient sleep and a healthy diet makes a difference in allowing connection to be made. The scientific discipline that looks at the brain development is known as neuroscience. This is a relatively new area of research and has been helped by the technology of brain scans. Brain development begins well before birth. Special brain cells are called neurons and are formed between tenth and twentieth week. These cells are very important as they will eventually join together to allow the brain to fubction normally.
Babies who enjoy and are stimulated and enjoy a rich environment of sensations and movement shoud develop strong and dense synapses ( „ network of connections which enable neurons to transmit electrical impulses, so passing information from one part of the brain to another” Heinemann Book) that will cope with prunning. On the other hand babies who are deprived of stimulation and language may lose out as prunning seems to take away synapses that are not used and it is now clear that these cannot be replaced later. As a result of all the research there is a strong emphasis on the early yeaars sector on creating an enabling and stimulating environament and providing good sensory opportunities for babies and toddlers.