Meaning of Growth and Development

Table of Content

Hurlock (1982) distinguishes growth from development, stating that they are separate concepts.

Growth is the progression of both physical and mental development, including quantitative changes such as increased size and structure.

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Development is a gradual progression that involves interconnected and organized quantitative changes, with each stage maintaining an orderly and coherent relationship to the preceding or subsequent stages.

The connection between maturation and learning is closely intertwined.

Maturation and learning both have an impact on development.

Maturation is the progressive display of characteristics that can be naturally present in a person due to their genetic composition.

To acquire knowledge, one needs dedication and determination.

Cox (1970) provides the following definition for the principles of maturation: 1. Learning necessitates a biological foundation and an opportunity for practice.

To teach a child how to walk, they must have the physical ability to bear weight on their legs and the motor control to coordinate those legs.

Although chronological age and maturational age share similarities, they are not exactly the same.

Despite being the same age, two children can have different abilities. One child may be able to walk with support while the other is still sitting.

Although maturational development generally proceeds without interruption, parents should expect that their child’s development may go through phases of stability and occasional setbacks.

Children often take a few independent steps but then revert to sitting and refrain from walking for several weeks.

Learning a given task is easier for a child who is more biologically mature.

The child usually displays indications that mirror their maturity level for a specific task.

Once the child’s legs become strong enough to support his own weight, he will start pulling himself up.

According to a pattern, the child’s development begins with displaying generalized behavior before transitioning to more specific behavior.

Usually, children aged two are primarily engaged in activities such as running, climbing, and developing their larger muscles. It is not until they are six or seven years old that they acquire the ability to perform more intricate tasks.

Training provided after achieving maturity readiness might be less effective.

The idea of maturation becomes insufficient when attempting to explain the wide range of human behavior. It is uncommon for human behavior to solely develop through maturation. Instead, most behavioral developments are a combination of maturation and specific learning.

Definition of Growth and Development

Hurlock (1982) defines growth and development as two distinct concepts. Growth refers to an increase in size and structure, including both physical and mental aspects. Development, on the other hand, involves a progressive series of organized changes that are purposeful and build upon previous stages.

Maturation and learning are closely connected processes.

Development is a result of both maturation and learning. Maturation includes the expression of inherited traits and plays a vital role in development. Principles of maturation highlight the importance of having a biological basis and engaging in practice to improve learning.

Chronological age and maturational age are related but not interchangeable.

3. Despite the forward and continuous nature of overall maturational development, the parent should anticipate periods of plateau and regression in the child’s development.

4. Learning a given task becomes easier for a child as they become more biologically mature. 5. Typically, a child displays signals that indicate they are ready for a particular task.

6. The child’s development progresses from general to specific behavior, with maturational readiness being a factor. 7. Training provided after the child is ready for maturation may be less efficient.

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Meaning of Growth and Development. (2016, May 23). Retrieved from

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