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Analyse the Role of Genetic and Environmental Factors, Cultural Influences, Life-Styles, Expectations and Gender Issues and Explain How They Might Affect Learning and Development. Identify What Impact Special Educational Needs May Have On Learning and ...

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ANALYSE THE ROLE OF GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS, CULTURAL INFLUENCES, LIFE-STYLES, EXPECTATIONS AND GENDER ISSUES AND EXPLAIN HOW THEY MIGHT AFFECT LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT. IDENTIFY WHAT IMPACT SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS MAY HAVE ON LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT. Over the centuries many theorists, biologists, psychologists and socialists have theorized, experimented and offered explanations and approaches of their own interpretation of learning and development, based on many years of research. In addition, the argument of Nature vs. Nurture is of paramount importance to their research, findings and beliefs. Before starting to analyse what factors affect learning and development, I need to establish and define what learning and development actually mean. Questions I have to ask myself when researching this topic are as follows: * What is learning and development? * Are they interlinked? * Do they have the same/separate meaning? The answer in my own broad based opinion based on what I have read, is that the term, "Learning" is a cognitive process of acquiring new concepts and skills, in order to complete a task which in-turn increase's knowledge and understanding of the subject area to be learnt. In addition, individuals will be able to build on past experiences to identify how a situation could be improved, and then with this knowledge make actual improvements. Furthermore, learning is influenced from the environment in which we find ourselves, which reflects greatly in our behaviour. Moreover, it is continuum throughout the human life-span. In comparison the term, "Development" refers to the biological process by which a human organism grows and functions through its life-span. Development can be monitored by physical growth, and a marked change in performance which is usually associated with progression of increasing knowledge and skills. ...read more.


Piaget proposed four stages of cognitive development. (Appendix 1 refers) Many theorists have produced ages with stages of development in relation to their theories, and ideas on learning and development. However, it has to emphasised when we are dealing with children on a day to day basis we need to be able to refer to the normative stages of development, which have been researched throughout the world and show what most children can do, at a certain age. These stages are invaluable when dealing with factors which might affect learning and development, because academic attainment is the starting point for looking for children who may have special educational needs. Referring to the normative stages of development and "Benchmarking" will help professionals monitor a child, if they feel they are not progressing and learning at the same rate as their peers. However, the developmental norms can help us decide whether a child is delayed or impaired, but it must be noted that the, "Norms" do not accurately reflect all racial cultural differences, they may even cause concern to parents if their child is not attaining to the level that the, "Norms" say they should. At this stage it should be explained to parents that, they are only a guide and children develop at their own pace. It is fair to say that there are many conditions that can lead to learning and developmental difficulties in children, which in some children the causes can never be established. Moreover, research has identified over the years a variety of factors which are attributed to influencing learning and development, these include the following: FACTORS AFFECTING LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT Having identified the factors which may affect learning and development, I will now discuss them in-turn. ...read more.


Furthermore, books and games should be avoided, which demonstrate gender stereotyping. Special Educational Needs: The range of special educational needs, (SEN) is vast and the starting point for looking if a child may have a learning difficulty can be seen through their level of academic attainment. Learning difficulties can be described as moderate, severe or profound and multiple. They can range from a mild hearing impairment, to a severe impairment, for example, Cerebral palsy. This condition affects the part of the brain that controls movement. This may cause disability of all four limbs. Children with this condition may have motor problems, visual and hearing impairments, in addition to speech and perceptual difficulties. Dyspraxia is referred to as, "Clumsy child Syndrome" in this condition the child has difficulty with physical movement, language development may be delayed. In addition learning difficulties can occur where fine or gross motor skills are needed. Dyslexia is a condition where the child has difficulty with words and learning to read, spell and write. This could cause the child to have low self- esteem and become frustrated, or even disruptive. These examples are just a few of the conditions that may have an impact on a child's ability to learn and develop to their full potential. It is just as important recognising the child has SEN, as to meeting their needs to help them achieve. Communication is of paramount importance, in addition to remembering to put the needs of the child first and then the disability. In conclusion it can be shown that a child's learning and development can be affected by many factors, throughout the human life-span. This is why it is imperative that these factors are highlighted to early year's professionals, so they can recognise and act upon them in the child's best interests, to promote their well being and education. ...read more.

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