1. Why professionals should understand brain development
The early stages of child development play a pivotal role in the development of the cognitive skills of a child, which depends entirely on the development of the brain. The role of the professionals is to ensure that the child has the best environment to ensure that the child remains healthy while enhancing the development of the proper cognitive elements of a child. By understanding the brain, the professionals are able to modify and institutionalize practices as well as teaching methods that enhance healthy development of a child especially in learning and adopting new things.
2. Ways in which my classroom enhances child development
a. By providing illustrations/diagrams e.g. in the form of wall hangings that demonstrate the basic aspects of learning. This is essential for the brain development of a child.
b. Ensuring that there is order in the classroom between the pupils as well as in the physical setting. This provides a conducive environment for the learning processes. Pupils feel safe and free to interact with others.
3. Risk factors for developmental delay in children
Low birth weight is a risk factor as far as the development of a child is concerned. Compared with a child with the normal birth weight, a child with a low birth weight takes a rather long time to develop. Low birth weight is associated with partial development of some organs and the child takes time to have all his/her organs fully functional.
Difficult birth i.e. birth complications impair the functioning of some of the vital organs of the child among which is the brain. Any factor that affects the normal functioning of the brain reduces the ability of the child to learn effectively.
4. Environment and support for my children in enhancing good psychosocial development
During most of the lessons, I divide the pupils into five small groups with animal names. The layout of the classroom, with small clusters of groups sitting together emphasizes the importance of communication as well as collaboration. Pupils are able, both physically through the arrangement of the furniture, and by my permission, to move around, talk and discuss together during activities. I ensure that every day there is at least one or more group-based activity. During such activities, recognition is rewarded for group effort. The groups are usually heterogeneous in terms of interests, readiness and ways of learning. However, sometimes they are structured according to the task in question.
5. Theories that explain child development and their importance
Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development posits that a child must be able to resolve two psychosocial crises namely autonomy versus shame; trust versus mistrust and shame versus doubt. The crises of mistrust vs. trust is the basic aspect in the infancy stage of a child. If the infant learns that she can trust her environment including the caregiver(s), she understands that the world is safe place. This creates a good learning environment of the other aspects of life e.g. interactions between different things and people. It is important for infant and toddler professionals to apply this theory to enable them to learn how to handle the children. When a child feels safe and secure in their environments, they willfully and energetically explore the surroundings learning how they act upon their world and how it reacts to their influences an aspect, which is essential in good brain development.
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development also plays a pivotal role in understanding the brain development of a child. It postulates that the three initial years of child development are essential since it is the period when a child develops language, memory, increases her capacity for thought and exhibits a change from physical to cognitive problem solving. His theory begins with the sensorimotor stage (from birth to two years). This encompasses six sub-stages of increasing complex behaviors and different understandings of the world. It is important to the care and education of infants as it acts as a guide of the expected behavior of the child at different stages. This enables the teachers/professionals to tailor their lessons to meet the specific needs of the child at each stage/sub-stage.
6. My classroom cares and supports the two theories by ensuring that every child has all he/she requires for every lesson.
Additionally, I ensure that the classroom is safe and neat. I promote friendly interactions among the pupils.
7. Importance of play
Play enables a child to learn how to interact with others at a personal level i.e. when they play with other children. In most cases, infants and toddlers prefer to play with their toys. It is of significance to know that when a child attempts to tell one that he or she needs a toy, he or she is developing strategies to manage his or her expression of feelings with support from educators.