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Arnold Gesell

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Mikayla Garrels

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of Arnold Gesell

~Arnold Gesell~
By: Mikayla Garrels

Accomplishments
Determined to become a doctor, he spent some time studying at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Later he served as an assistant professor at Yale University while studying medicine in 1915.
His Theory
Through his research, Arnold Gesell developed some of the first milestones that children should meet. These milestones are called the Gesell Developmental Schedules. This was the beginning of the idea that child development happens in stages. The Gesell Developmental Schedule was able to compare a child’s development to the standard norm. The norm was established through extensive studies of children. The schedule is supposed to be able to give a measure of possible intelligence. Children who show early development were likely to have high intelligence according to the schedule. The schedule has fallen out of favor in regards to studying intelligence over the years. There is not enough proof to show that the schedules accurately measure intelligence potential. The scale is used to this day to measure an infant’s intellectual development in which the infant may have developmental issues (exposure to mercury, abnormal brain formation).
Gesell was born in Alma, Wisconsin and was the eldest of five children.Watching his younger siblings learn and grow helped to establish in him an interest in children.
Gesell attended Stevens Point Normal School after he graduated from high school in 1896. Here, a spark in interest of psychology developed.
Background History
-June 21, 1880 - May 29,1961
In 1903 Gesell served as being a teacher and high school principal. Then Gesell received his Ph. D. from Clark University in 1906.
He wrote several books, including "The Preschool Child from the Standpoint of Public Hygiene and Education" in 1923, and "The Mental Growth of the Preschool Child" in 1925.
The Arnold Gesell theory of child development also has roots in the study of evolution and genetics. Arnold Gesell believed that child development was mostly biological, not environmental. According to Gesell, a stable environment is important to a child, but only so that they can develop naturally according to their genetics. This idea that children develop only according to their biology is called the Gesell Maturational Theory. According to Gesell’s Maturational Theory, a child or teenager will develop only according to what they have programmed in their genetics. A stable, nurturing environment helps this along by encouraging growth, much as fertile soil helps a plant grow and develop. This was a revolutionary idea. The Gesell Maturational Theory implies that all environmental factors such as experiences or injuries play only a small role, if any, in child development. Gesell believed that our bodies had all the information to develop as we needed due to generations of evolution. The best thing a parent can do is be sensitive and patient, since they cannot affect development and only offer guidance according to the Gesell Maturational Theory.
http://www.thekidscave.org/child-development/arnold-gesell-theory-of-child-development/
Important Questions?
-What is the view point of Gesell's Theories?:
Ethological View point.

- Does development occur in stages or is it continuous development?:
Gesell views the development of children through stages as they gradually grow and develop.
- Is personality development more influenced by nature or nurture?:
Through his beliefs and thoughts, Gesell clearly observes personality development as being influenced by nurture. In his theory he states how enviromental factors have a small role in a child's development.

- Is the child active or passive in his development?:
According to Gesell, a child is active in his/her development as to where they are who they are because of their genetic makeup. That is why there are shy people and aggressive people according to him.

More Important Questions?
-What does Gesell believe about the basic nature of children?:


-Is the pattern of development universal or particularistic?:

Full transcript