What is the Definition of Early Childhood Development?


Definition of Early Childhood Development


According to Werner cited by Monks, the notion of development refers to a process towards a more perfect and not just repeatable. Development refers to changes that are permanent and cannot be reversed. In growth, psychologists do not distinguish between development and growth, some even prioritize growth. In fact, the term growth is meant to denote an increase in body size and purely physical function. According to many psychologists, the term development can better reflect the specific nature of the psychological symptoms that arise.

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Development according to Berardo cited by Santrock is a pattern of movement or change that starts from manufacture and continues throughout the life cycle. Most development involves growth, although development also includes decay (as in death and the dead). Patterns or statements from highly vocal pressure groups. Policymakers often get caught up in hotly debated ideological and moral issues, such as family planning and abortion, or child care and maternity leave laws. At this point, there is no clear indication that sharp differences about the roles of family and government will be resolved according to a rational solution in the near future.

So human development can be defined as something that refers to certain changes that occur throughout the human life cycle, from the time of conception to death, cannot be repeated, cannot be reversed, and are permanent. The changes in question can be in the form of quantitative changes and qualitative changes. Quantitative changes such as changes in height, mastery of the number of vocabulary, changes in body weight , and so on. While qualitative changes, such as changes in the structure and organization of thinking skills, changes in the ability to coordinate gross and fine motor movements, changes in managing emotions, changes in social skills and so on.

According to the life span development expert, Paul Baltes, as quoted by Santrock, the development of the human life span includes seven basic ingredients: development is lifelong, multidimensional, multidirectional, plastic, historically inherent, multidisciplinary, and contextual.

Development is lifelong, which means that there is no age period that dominates development. Researchers are increasingly studying the psychological experiences and orientations of adults at different times in their development. Development includes gains and losses, which interact in a dynamic way throughout the life cycle.

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Development is multidimensional, meaning that development consists of dimensions in the form of biological, cognitive, and social dimensions. Even in one dimension such as intelligence, there are many components, such as abstract intelligence, nonverbal intelligence, social intelligence, and others.

Development is multidirectional. Some or components of a dimension may increase in growth, while other components decline. For example, older adults may become wiser by being able to use experience as a guide for intellectual decision-making, but perform worse at tasks that require speed in processing information.


Development is flexible (plastic), meaning that it depends on the individual's living conditions, development can take many paths. A key developmental research agenda is the search for flexibility and its constraints. For example, researchers have demonstrated that adults' reasoning abilities can be improved through training.

Development is historically embredded, which is influenced by historical conditions. The experiences of 40-year-olds living during the Great Depression are very different from the optimistic experiences of 40-year-olds living at the end of World War II. The career orientation of most 30 year olds in the 1990s is very different from the career orientation of most 30 year old women in the 1950s.

Development is studied by a number of disciplines. Psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists, health researchers, and educators all study human development and issues to unlock the mysteries of development throughout life.

Development is contextual. Individuals consistently respond and act based on context, which includes biological make-up, the physical environment, as well as one's social, historical, and cultural context. In the contextual view, individuals are seen as changing beings in a changing world.

Early Childhood according to NAEYC (National Association Educational Young Children) is an individual figure who is undergoing a development process that is rapidly and fundamentally for the next life, is in the age range of 0-8 years. While early childhood is abstracted according to Law Number 20 of 2003 concerning the National Education System, it is stated that they are children who are in the age range from birth to six years. And if it is adjusted to international opinion, early childhood in Indonesia are those who from birth (age 0 years) to enter the early elementary school level.

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Based on the definitions above, it can be concluded that early childhood development is something that refers to certain changes that occur throughout the life cycle of children from birth to the age of eight years, changes that cannot be repeated, cannot be reversed. , and is permanent.

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