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EDU 144 PCC Motor Development & Seven Principles of Physical Growth Discussion


TITLE: Motor Development

The Prompt: 

Respond to the following prompt(s) for your discussion forum post:

  1. Explain the seven basic principles of physical growth. 
  2. How can the environment provide for gross and fine motor development? Explain.


  • Textbook
  • PowerPoint Presentations
  • Websites and Video located in the “Additional Resources” section of the Module
  • Additional research conducted by the student using credible sources

Grading Criteria:

You will be responsible for creating your own discussion thread (think of this as your response or statement regarding the discussion board topic/question) and for responding to at least two other students’ posts.  

R2: by Magan Morales Number of replies: 4

The principles of growth are first directional growth, and this is measured by cephalocaudal which os from head to toe and proximodistal which is measured from the center out. Another principle of growth is the gross motor movements to specific movements, which the gross motor skills get so much better the older they get. The next principle of growth is differentiation which is the process the child goes through as control is gained of specific parts of the body. They can help gain strength by practicing sports and climbing. Also integrated movements combining specific movements to perform more complex activities such as walking, climbing, or drawing a picture. Girls grow faster than boys. Another principle of growth is sequential growth, and this is the set order in which growth proceeds. Also, there are critical periods which is the idea that growth in certain areas may be more important at times. (Charlesworth 2017), The environment provides for gross motor skills like the playset helps them to improve skills and to gain strength. Playing sports helps the children to gain strength also. Children needs these things and events to help their physical growth. Many of the children I work with go swimming, are involved in karate, they also love going to dance and ballet. The parents do so many extracurricular activities because they know that benefits their children. The children benefit physically and developmentally, they don’t even notice that they are doing that because they are having so much fun.

Rosalind Charlesworth Understanding development 10th ed. 2017

Second person to respond to:

R1: by Jennifer Braxton – Thursday, June 17, 2021, 10:48 PMNumber of replies: 1

Explain the seven basic principles of physical growth.

According to Charlesworth’s Understanding Child Development (2017), the seven basic principles of physical growth include “directional growth, general-to-specific growth, differentiation/integration in growth, variations in growth, optimal tendency in growth, sequential growth, and growth during critical periods” (p.152). Direction of growth is both cephalocaudal (head to toe) and proximodistal (center out). Cephalocaudal growth can be seen in infants who first learn to hold their head up, then their shoulders, then their trunks, and eventually their feet. By toddlerhood, they are able to walk with those feet. As the child grows, they develop more muscle mass and coordination. Proximodistal is reflected in the coordination of arm movements, which gradually get finer from center (shoulder) out (fingers). General-to-specific growth bares similarities in that it also focuses on movements from gross motor (large movements) to fine motor (specific movements such as drawing). Differentiation/integration in growth refers to the gradual progression from movement of individual body parts to using them in tandem to perform specific, more complex activities. Variations in growth refers to how children vary in terms of growth rates, both in relation to gender and in terms of body parts. All children grow differently, regardless of commonalities across culture and gender. Optimal tendency in growth points out how the body will always aim to grow as much as it possibly can, even if it is temporarily disturbed or deprived. Sequential growth is the natural progression such as the development in infants and toddlers that starts with holding ones head up in tummy time and proceeds to rolling over then crawling then pulling oneself up then “cruising” on the walls and pushing objects to walking. Finally, growth during critical periods points to certain focus areas taking priority over others during different stages (e.g. brains during the first three years of life).

How can the environment provide for gross and fine motor development? Explain

Beyond nature, the text indicates that environmental factors such as “nutrition, rearing and birth order, social class, ethnicity, and culture” influence motor development (Charlesworth, 2017, p.159). Factors such as undernourishment or malnourishment can stunt musculoskeletal development necessary to lay the foundation for gross motor activity. Further, it serves to cause issues with children’s central nervous systems which enable fine motor skills. On the other side of the spectrum, overweight babies may be unable to move as nimbly as their healthy weight counterparts, which can also impair motor skill development and mobility. Birth order also plays a role as children with older siblings tend to more quickly develop their gross and fine motor skills as they have an example to work off of. Social class is, too, significant as it serves to provide tools and space for development. Parents with the means can better provide safe, childproof spaces as well as outdoor areas for development whereas parents with less (e.g. those living in small, cluttered public housing with little safe outdoor space for children) do not enjoy the same luxury. Culture is a factor as well in that it can often determine what sort of things children are introduced to, such as western parents often following expert advice for child development whereas parents in the global south not necessarily doing the same (in this example, this happens in conjunction with social class as those in the global south typically have less).

Charlesworth, R. (2017). Understanding Child Development. Cengage Learning.


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