Developmental psychology

1. 0 Introduction As twentieth-century Welsh poet Dylan Thomas artfully observed, children ‘run all the sun long. ’ As their physical development advances, their small worlds widen. According to T. Kimberly (2010), physical development is the process that starts in human infancy and continues into late adolescent concentrating on gross and fine motor skills as well as puberty. Physical development involves developing control over the body, particularly muscles and physical coordination.

The peak of physical development happens in childhood and is therefore a crucial time for neurological brain development and body coordination to encourage specific activities such as grasping, writing, crawling and walking. As a child learns what their body can do, they gain self confidence, thus promoting social and emotional development. On the other hand, Joseph Campos (2005) defines emotional development as a child’s increasing awareness and control of their feelings and how they react to these feelings in a given situation.

Emotional development should be started at an early age as soon as children start nursery and pre-school so that their interactions with others will help develop them in both social and intellectual ways. In this essay, I agree to a certain extent that physical development is being given more emphasis in the Malaysian classroom compared to emotional development. 2. 0 Physical education in classroom. For too long, exercise was relegated to a back seat in children’s education. However, now more attention is given to the quality of physical education classes, whether children are getting adequate exercise, and whether they eat properly.

During their physical education classes, students are given their own choices to choose whichever games they want to play, be it badminton, netball, football and many more. Gross motor development, such as hopping and skipping, develops in a similar fashion. When children first learn to hop, they practice hopping on different feet just for the pure joy of hopping. As elementary children, they integrate their hopping skill into many games, such as hopscotch and jump rope games. Using their bodies during play also enables them to feel physically confident, secure and self-assured (Isenberg & Quisenberry, 2002).

The annual Sports Day is something that all the students especially those in the elementary school look forward to. Sports in school are not necessarily about winning. It can also be used as a social tool to produce balanced individuals (Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, 2009). Intra and inter school sports is an example where opportunities for those not participating in recognised sport could contribute and those with talents could shine.

For such opportunities to flourish there must be emphasis in sports for all. School can be the vehicle to promote fun and enjoyment that enable students to develop the necessary skills to participate in sports and physical activities. Besides that, the “1Student 1Sport” policy was also enforced in schools in 2011. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that under the “1Student 1Sport” policy, secondary school students will get 90 minutes a week to play a game of their choice, while primary students would spent 60 minutes weekly (The Star, 2010).

This clearly shows that physical education does collaborate with the emphasis given to physical development in schools. 3. 0 Co-curricular activities in schools. Co-curriculum is a very important and essential part of an education system (S. Bokkasam, 1995). Emphasis on co-curricular activities has been made because the ministry knows of the positive effect of students being all- rounder when they excel in academic and co-curricular activities. School is the platform for development which includes mental and physical development.

These activities are important in the sense that they keep the balance of the development of the child. Game, sports, house system, cycling, swimming and scouting are some of the examples of co-curricular activities in schools. Schools provide a platform of co-curricular activities for people to progress; from having fun to being healthy to instilling endurance in competition. It provides a curriculum that builds a balanced individual as well as addressing a variety of issues from social integration, health, community regeneration and social inclusion.

Today, we have dedicated sports schools in Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar. As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes the Jack a dull boy”, as such these activities create an atmosphere of unity, working together and develop the energies of the child. Co-curricular activities keep the balance of the development of the child. The aim of the National Philosophy of Education is towards the holistic development of the physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects of an individual.

Based on this philosophy, the national school curriculum was convened and implemented in government and private schools in Malaysia. The ministry will implement a new curriculum which will replace the KBSR. The ministry acknowledges the importance to kick-start the transformation of the school curriculum from an early stage. Hence, Kurikulum Standard Prasekolah Kebangsaan (KSPK) was introduced in 2010 to all Malaysian preschools. Hence, this shows that implementation of co -curricular activities in schools do contribute to the emphasis given to physical development in schools.

4. 0 Games in classrooms. Children don’t have to be sitting quietly in desks to learn. Quite to the contrary, kids learn better when they are up and moving. For example, let’s take the scenario in a standard one’s classroom. After the teacher has finished teaching a particular topic, she should play some games with the students before proceeding to the next topic so that the students won’t get bored easily. Teachers can play musical chair with the students. This game involves developing range of motion, agility, coordination, balance and flexibility.

Teachers can bring blocks to the classroom because blocks naturally appeal to young children because they feel good, are symmetrical, and invite open-ended explorations. Small muscles develop when children carry and place blocks together, and their large muscles develop as hollow blocks are used. Besides that, other games like puzzles and matching games also enhances hand-eye coordination as well as small muscle skills. Furthermore, letting the children to use computers enhances fine motor skills that are utilized on the keyboard and mouse along with hand-eye coordination.

Moreover, language games also enhance the physical development of the children. Thus, it is strongly agreed that physical development should be given more emphasis in the Malaysian classroom. 5. 0 Emotional development in classroom (through drama plays) Although physical development is given more emphasis, emotional development is equally important too. (G. Zoe, 2011), defines emotional development as a child’s increasing awareness and control of their feelings and how they react to these feelings in a given situation.

Emotional development should be started at an early age as soon as children start nursery and pre-school so that their interaction with others will help develop them in both social and intellectual ways. During play, children also increase their social competence and emotional maturity. Drama plays supports emotional development by providing a way to express and cope with feelings. In addition to expressing feelings, children also learn to cope with their feelings as they act out being angry, sad, or worried in a situation they control (Erikson, 1963).

Pretend play allows them to think out loud about experiences charged with both pleasant and unpleasant feelings. When young children use their imaginations in play, they are more creative, perform better at school tasks, and develop a problem-solving approach to learning (Dansky, 1980; Dansky & Silverman, 1973; Frost et al. , 2001; Fromberg & Bergen, 1998; Pepler & Ross, 1981; Singer, 1973; Sutton-Smith, 1986). As older children engage in spontaneous and structured play activities, they come to see themselves as good in some areas and less good in others.

These opportunities to monitor and discriminate among feelings and emotions contribute to children’s beliefs about their own capacity. Developmental Psychologist Erik Erikson proposed a theory of emotional development that consists of eight crises. The stage that I think is important to develop emotional development in students is the fourth stage which is the ‘industry versus inferiority’. This stage is crucial for a child to develop a sense of competence. A child needs to find her strength areas and develop a sense of accomplishment.

Through drama plays, a child can find himself/herself expressing the different types of emotions that she can act out. This shows that the child has already found her strength areas. However, emotional development is not given more emphasis as physical development because the activities done that contribute to emotional development is not to the extent as physical development. 6. 0 Conclusion. In conclusion, I agree to a certain extent that physical development is given more emphasis in the Malaysian classroom compared to emotional development. Activities like physical education during class hours enhance the physical development of students.

Besides that, co-curricular activities are important as it is very flexible and it influences student’s interest. Co-curricular activities are necessary because ‘a sound body has a sound mind’. Games that are conducted in classrooms boost the student’s energy and students feel livelier when they are learning in classrooms. Lastly, drama plays are important because as children grow and change, play develops with them according to a developmental sequence. Nevertheless, physical development is and should be given more emphasis than emotional development in the Malaysian classroom. (1550 words)