nature and nurture
Children don’t just grow; they develop.
Children develop through different experiences and bychanging their behaviours accordingly.
Each child develops in his own time. The developmentalprocess, which involves physical, cognitive, social andemotional development (see Glossary on page 14), issomething every child goes through and is affected by anynumber of factors.
“It is a natural process, and it is a resilient process,” says
Jane Hewes, Chair of Early Learning and Child Care at
Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. “It also very much
is affected and influenced by the environment that the child
Contrary to conventional wisdom, it’s not genes or
environment, but the interaction of genes and environment,
the combination of nature and nurture, that shapes childhood
Development begins even before a child is born. Afterbirth, babies are able to recognize faces, copy others, andinteract with their environments from the earliest stages ofdevelopment.
A child’s genes determine which traits he is born with, butfactors such as relationships with family and friends, familyincome and experiences determine whether or not some traitswill be activated. Experiences operate like a signature on thegenes, setting up later behaviour.