Principles are laws or rules in human growth and development they are the general patterns that hold in describing the way human beings develops.
- Development whether physical,motor,language or cognitive progress or along a definite orderly sequential and predictable patterns rather than random e.g a child sits then stands and walk.the order cannot be reversed.
- Development follows 2 dimension trends especially in children i.e
a) cephalocondol trends
Development proceed from the head to the heel e.g A child can hold the head upright and use the hand before walking using the legs.
Development proceeds from center line of the body to the upper parts, organs in the trunk line like the heart develop first before the arms and lastly the fingers e.g the child can wave the hand before using the fingers to pick something.
3. Although development is a continuous process it is not always smooth and gradually .There are growth spurts i.e period of accelerated growth.g the first 2 years and the adolescence period.
There are critical or sensitive period in development of certain body organs and physiological function. There are period when the potential for growth as well as harm from the environment is of the maximum any interference during development may result to permanent deficiencies or multi-functions
4. All developmental changes are a product of 2 basic process i.e maturation and learning
5. Development is shaped by its historical and cultural context e.g Children born in the present age of computer are likely to have different experiences from those born earlier times.
Different aspects of development are interrelated e.g physical development will influence social cognitive and moral development
6. Human development is an holistic process and not piecemeal .The development of one organ does not stop or wait for other organ to develop first and vice versa.
7. Development is an individualized process i.e each child has a characteristic late of development regardless of the stage of development .These differences may be due to genetic factors nutrition,illness and lack of exercise.
8. Development proceeds from general to specific and from simple to complex.
9. Development is accumulative process i.e changes do not emerge all of a sudden but accumulates over time from simple to complex. First event have an implication for the future.