The Interrelationships of Developmental Domains

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  • 0:04 Child Development
  • 0:29 Cognitive Development
  • 1:34 Social Development
  • 2:34 Emotional Development
  • 3:35 Physical & Language…
  • 4:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we'll identify the various domains of human development and explain the interrelationships between these domains to have a deeper understanding of the relationship between cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and language development.

Child Development

When we talk about how kids change over time, we're talking about child development. When we break the different types of growth into categories, we see distinct developmental domains to provide a framework to analyze and describe how children change over time in a variety of areas. Let's take a look at the five primary developmental domains relevant to the growth and changes everyone experiences during early childhood and how they relate to each other.

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development refers to the way children grow intellectually. Assessing for academic skills, reasoning, and critical thinking abilities, and the acquisition of knowledge or learning, is how to determine the developmental level for this domain. Teachers and school staff need to be concerned with more than grades or test scores to ensure appropriate cognitive development.

Academic concerns within the category of cognitive development may seem like the primary function of schooling, but the interrelatedness of these developmental domains indicates that cognitive development is related to the development in other areas. For example, a child who's struggling with emotional or social development may have difficulties with cognitive development because they aren't comfortable learning alongside groups of other students.

Difficulties interacting with others as a result of problems and social or emotional development will impede a child's ability to focus. Problems or delays in physical development might impact a child cognitively, such as in cases where hearing loss prohibits full participation in class. A kid who struggles with language development could also have difficulties communicating their academic needs with teachers or understanding instructions.

Social Development

Social development refers to a child's ability to learn how to interact with other students and adults. The socialization of children is one of the primary purposes of schooling, providing opportunities for social interaction through structured and free play. School also helps with social development in the classroom by establishing and enforcing rules of courtesy and healthy social interactions.

Being aware of the ways other developmental domains impact social development will help accommodate for any difficulties students may have. Problems in social development can cause problems with cognition when students have problems getting along with others in class. Social problems might result in emotional difficulties when students struggle to find social supports or alienate others. Because physical development may require participation in group play or organized sports, social development may cause physical delays in development. Finally, communication is generally an activity that relies on others, so problems in social interaction can create problems in language development in students who struggle to communicate with others.

Emotional Development

Emotional development usually refers to the way a child is able to cope with stress or anxiety and soothe themselves. Students who have difficulties in emotional development may have outbursts in class or struggle to identify and articulate their emotional state to others. Because school is usually the first way students interact with those outside their families, this experience can provide opportunities to enhance a child's emotional development.

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