Explain principles of growth and development

Explain principles of growth and development and their educational implications

An understanding of the nature and principles of growth and development is very essential for the realization of the aim of education i.e. the maximum growth and development of personality – physical and motor development, cognitive, emotional, social development etc. the teacher has to stimulate growth and development of the child. He can do it only if he has a thorough knowledge of growth and development at various stages.

Meaning of Growth

Growth term is used in purely physical sense. It generally refers to an increase in size, length, height and weight. Growth is one of the parts of development process. Growth is not a continuous process. It starts with conception but ends at some particular age. It refers to changes in structure or physique only.

Definition of Growth

According to Arnold Gessel, “Growth is the function of the organism rather than of the environment. The environment furnishes the soil and the surroundings for manifestation of development, but these manifestations come from inherent inner organism and an intrinsic physiology of development. Growth is a process so intricate and so sensitive that there must be powerful stabilizing factors, intrinsic balance of the total pattern and direction of the growth trend”.

Meaning of Development

Development implies overall changes in shape, form or structure.
Development is a continuous and life long process. It starts with the birth of the child and ends with the death of the individual. Development describes the changes in the organism as a whole and does not list the changes in parts.

Definition of Development

According to Harold Stevenson, “Development psychology is concerned with the study to changes in behavior through the life span”.
According to Libert, Poulos, “Development refers to a process of change in growth and capability over time, as function of both maturation and interaction with the environment”.


To sum up, development is a series of orderly progression of change towards maturity. Growth refers to improvement in structure but development signifies improvement in structure as well as improvement in functioning of various parts of the body.

Principles of growth and development

1. Principle of continuity:

Development follows continuity. It goes from womb to tomb and never ceases. All individual starting his life from a tiny cell develops his body, mind.

2. Principle of Individual differences:

Individual differences in the development remain constant. Each child grows as his own unique rate.

3. Principle of orderly development:

Development proceeds from general to specific. The child first learns general things and it is only afterwards that he learns specific or particular things.

4. Uniformity of Pattern:

Although development does not proceed at a uniform rate and shows marked individual differences, yet it follows a definite sequence.

5. Principle of interaction and maturation and learning:

Growth and development occur both as a result of maturation and learning. Maturation refers to change in a development organism and learning devotes the changes in behavior.

6. Principle of unique development:

Individuals differ individually with regard to their time schedules i.e. all children with first sit up, crawl and stand etc.

7. Principle of differential development:

There is a principle of differential development of the male and female child. Girls mature earlier in comparison to boys.

8. Principle of inter-related development:

Development occurs as a whole. His physical, intellectual, emotional, social and other type of development are inter-related and inter-dependent.

9. Principle of cumulative development:

Development is cumulative, it means to add up. In development, a single experience matters and it does not go waste.

10. Principle of interaction of heredity and environment:

Development is caused by both heredity and environment. Child at any stage of his growth and development is a joint product of both heredity and environment.

11. Principle of Spiral and not linear:

The child does not proceed straightly on the path of development with a constant. Actually he makes advancement during a particular period but takes rest in the text following period, to consolidate his development. In advancing further therefore, he turns back and then moves forward again like a spiral.

Educational Implications

The knowledge of the principles of growth and development is very important and useful for parents, teachers and educationist. Some of the uses of the principles of growth and development are:-

1. Adjusting school programme:

It helps the teacher in adjusting school programmes, procedures and practices according to the level of development of the child and hence his teaching can become very effective in the class.

2. Sympathetic handling:

It helps parents and teachers in treating their children or pupils sympathetically and solving their problems in realistic way.

3. Effective guidance:

It helps the teacher in providing the proper guidance programme by having understanding of the individual differences of children.

4. Importance of childhood period:

It helps the parents and teachers in knowing the importance of childhood period. Hence parents and teachers should provide a large variety of social and emotional experience.

5. Right expectation:

Its knowledge helps us to know what to expect and when to expect from an individual child with respect to his physical, mental, social development etc. at different stages of development.

6. Importance of environment:

It helps the parents and the teacher in knowing and creating importance of heredity and good environment and which helps us to pay sufficient attention over the environmental conditions.


At the end, we can say that this stage of developments plays very important role in the development of the personality of an individual. In order to establish an ideal society parents, teachers, psychologists will have to build up competent and able children who should have the qualities like truthfulness, co-operation, self control, self-dependence, obedience and discipline in them. With such children, we can dream of having world society and fraternity.

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Difference between growth and development
Difference between growth and development

1. Part: Growth is a part or an aspect of development.
2. Not continuous: It is not continuous. It is start from conception but end from at some particular age. Mostly, it stops
3. Changes in particular aspects growth in particular aspect of body and behavior.

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Heredity and environment play a vital role in the development

Heredity and environment play a vital role in the development of the personality of the individual
Heredity and environment play a vital role in the development of the personality of the individual.

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Principles of growth and development

1. Principles of Sequential Development: Development follows a pattern (sequence)
Every species whether animal or human-being follow a pattern of development. In the case of human beings the process of development follows a definite pattern.

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Educational Significance Of Principles Of Growth And Development

The knowledge of principles of growth and development is very important and useful for parents, teacher and educationists. Some of the users are:
1. Adjusting school programmes, procedures and practices:

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