I was born an innocent and harmless baby without any knowledge of what the world had in store for me. Raised in a dairy farm, I learned working in the farm at a tender age since my parents would go with me to the farm. At the age of eight, I was able to do simple activities in the farm. This was a result of exposure to farm work because everyone else concentrated on it therefore I had to adapt to the prevailing environment. At this age, I worked in the farm naively with my parents. Jean Rousseau, a great French philosopher who believed that children are born “noble savages”, explains this developmental stage. This means that children develop on their own positive natural tendencies if the "repressive society" does not corrupt them. I can recall how we used to help in cleaning milking cans. I could think and reason from concrete visible events such as ability to measure the amount of milk needed to feed the calves. This scenario presents an apparent example of the role of nature and nurture in child’s development. The nature influenced my personality, as I had to adapt to my environment. In course of adapting to my environment, I developed various skills related to farming. Surprisingly, my childhood farming experience made me develop interest in farming thus I treasure it even now despite taking a different career line.
Schooling was mandatory and I attended k-12 (Rossville Academy) a private school for a period of 13 years. This was elementary and high school. The world taught me many things especially the ability to think hypothetically about arising issues. Independence is a factor I acquired at an early age. Elementary school teachers who emphasized on systematic problem solving using abstract concepts stressed this idea. It was possible through rules such as reciprocity, identity, correlativity and negation that manipulate content of thought.
At school, I interacted with my classmates in class as well as during playtime. I could socialize with my age mates only, because I feared the elder ones would harass me. I never participated in field events although I took part in pom pom squad. Here we had a group of cheering squad where we used decorative balls that were fluffy made from a wide range of materials, including, paper, wool, plastic, cotton and feathers. They were in many sizes, colors, and varieties. We used them during spectator sports to entertain sports fans as well as cheer our teams. Through this pom pom squad, I learned to be social due to exposure to several social sporting events. My personality started being an outgoing one as evident in Erikson’s psychosocial theory where society influences ones personality and builds up through a sequence of crises from childhood through late adulthood. At the same time, Skinner, Pavlov, Watson, and Bandura proposed that people develop from a 'learning' perspective where we respond to the environment that controls our behavior. My mother used to be a pom pom squad during her teens as well as my sister. This trait expresses itself phenotyphically on us as siblings. This is because of a trait that we inherited from her.
Puberty came knocking at 11 a very conspicuous stage in my life. This is the most challenging stage of my lifetime. This is the stage I experienced serious physical and emotional development. In most cases, I got amazed at the numerous changes that were happening in my body. In essence, I witnessed increased growth in body size and structure. I can recall my Mum’s frequent comment that I was growing tall so fast that soon I would attain her height. The most astonishing physical development is the growth that led to the changes in my body structure. For example, I got very much disturbed when breasts started to bulge out since I failed to understand what was happening with my body. In consequence, I mostly frequented my mum with various questions attempting to understanding if something wrong could have been happening to me.
Social behaviorist highlights that cognitive development assumes various stages. Particularly, these theorists insist that human being has the ability of learning from what they perceive or sense from the environment. I believe this is a rational argument since I have been able to identify various things that I have learnt from what I hear, taste, see or touch. For example, at my adult stage, I presently have the ability of recognizing and categorizing things into different categories. I am now in a position of differentiating between sweet and sour tastes. Furthermore, I am currently able to identify and describe something by just touching or seeing it. This is in coherent with behaviorist theorists’ concepts of classical and operant conditioning. Piaget and Vgotsky explain the idea of people’s cognitive development by indicating that human beings witness various changes in their thought between childhood and adolescence and social interaction. Bowlby also proposes informed insight by noting that human beings present adaptive mechanisms for survival. This is apparent in my effort of learning various aspects that are characteristic to the humanity (Papalia Olds & Feldman, 2011). For example, I have learnt the language of my society to be able to communicate with others effectively. Psychologists argue that cognitive developments presents in dynamic and stable intelligence. The dynamic aspect of the cognitive development is presented by humanity’s ability of tackling new challenges with little aid of previous experience. In this respect, a person has the potential of engaging in rational evaluation and making inferences. On the other hand, the stable intelligence entails human being’s ability of recalling experiences to utilize the archived knowledge to describe the present situations. It is apparent that cognitive abilities related with the memory, problem solving and reasoning develop constantly throughout one’s childhood.
Comparing my actions as a child and an adult, I realize that I have undergone a comprehensive psychological development. I identify various differences between my actions or behavior as a child and an adult. When I was a child, I was incapable of engaging in rational thinking. However, I am capable of making rational and informed decisions presently. These inabilities provide an evidence of variations in mental development of a child and an adult. Essentially, the child lacks ability of utilizing previously acquired knowledge or contemplating on the implication of acting in a particular way (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2011). For example, when I was a child, I often engaged in wrong actions without thinking of the consequences of my actions. However, this changed as I developed to an adult, since I presently evaluate a situation from diverse perspectives before making a decision on which action to take. Piaget explains the idea of human psychological development by arguing that a specific mental operation stretches over various levels of development and on course of mental growth, the passage from one stage to the next mainly happens in the same sequence. It is also apparent that despite the fact that child’s mental growth presents a network in which internal and external factors are related, one can easily identify their differences irrespective of their roles (Papalia Olds & Feldman, 2011).The internal factors are essentially responsible for defined sequence of developmental phases that principally control the development of organs. Hormonal elements are essentially responsible for the roles performed by the internal factors. Furthermore, an adult presents high levels of emotional development than a child. For example, I am in a better position of managing my emotions than I was during my childhood. Adolescent presented the most dynamic period when I witnessed high emotional imbalance. I remember clashing with many people frequently during this age because of my attitude.
I have learnt that learning occurs when one constructs his or her own understanding of a situation by often referring to previous experiences. For example, I mainly learn by linking the new information or ideas with my views or believe. However, Erickson notes that effective learning mainly needs more just the simple act of making multiple connection of novel concept to the old ones. This is because learning often requires one to reorganize his or her thinking. This is a rational observation because I have realized that in some cases, I am obliged to change the connections made regarding my previous experience in order to learn. Surprisingly, I have discarded some of my strong beliefs about some situations on course of learning new ideas.
I have faced various barriers on course of my development. I have mainly faced barriers in situations where the society or individuals expect me to conduct myself in a particular manner that may deem challenging to me. Bandura notes that the society expects us to conform to certain norms and practices. However, this fails to account to for the diversity characterizing each personality. This means that a person who presents habits that the society consider “deviant” is likely to face barriers in course of pursing his or her desires. For example, I faced various barriers during my adolescent stage in the quest of establishing my identity. Psychologists explain the dilemma that faces most persons during this stage by arguing that during the adolescent, children have the potential of making judgment about their capabilities in various activities, but they are not able to rank them according to their degree of relevance (Papalia, Olds & Feldman, 2011). In consequence, one my focus on pursuing something that is of less priority in the context of the society, which attracts resistances.
I moved from one development stage to the next after undergoing psychological, emotional, physical and cognitive growth. This also mainly happened after learning new concepts or ideas. In essence, I moved to the next development stage after maturing from one stage that was characterized by the increase in awareness. During a particular development stage, I felt complete and knowledgeable than others. It is amazing to learn that even at my childhood stages, I hardly accepted that I knew less than the adults, yet it is apparent that the adults were skilled than I was. I only realized this after maturing from one stage to the next. After moving from one developmental level to the next, I could clearly identify the weaknesses that I presented while in my previous stage.
Papalia, D. E., Olds, S. W., & Feldman, R. D. (2011). Experience human development. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.