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Arnold Gesell: The Maturational-Developmental Theory
Transcript of Arnold Gesell: The Maturational-Developmental Theory
Also known as Arnold Lucius Gesell
Born: June 21, 1880 (Alma, Wisconsin)
Died: May 29, 1961 (New Haven, Connecticut)
American Psychologist and Pediatrician
Gesell established the use of motion-picture cameras to study the physical and mental development of normal infants.
His books influenced child rearing in the United States
The Four Fields of Behavior
Kindergarten: Maturational Theory
Kindergarten and prekindergarten programs are partially result of the maturational theory. These programs were developed for children who were immature or “not ready” for school. Kindergarten and prekindergarten programs provided these children a school environment that allowed them more time to mature.
The Late Birthday: Maturational Theory
The “late birthday” phenomenon resulted from Gesell’s maturational theory. Children who are the youngest in their class have later birthdays and have been said to be less ready for school.
Present day American schools use birthdays to determine when a child should begin school.
Each state has a “cutoff” birth date for beginning school that typically requires a child to be 5 years old prior to the determined cutoff date.
Special Education: The Maturational Theory
The present day system for determining disability in American schools is based on the maturational theory.
Difficulties children experience in school are said to be within the child.
Once problems are identified, children are tested to determine and label their problem (e.g., Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders, learning disability, etc.
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