As a child grows and develops he also learns new things and in the process, he matures. This process of maturing from a child to an adult is also known as maturation. Both parents and teachers need to be aware and educated about this process as it plays a big role in child development.
What is Maturation?
In very simple words, maturing is aging. It is the process with which we develop, grow and change throughout our entire lives. In children, maturation means going through their development stages. It is them being able to do tasks and things they could not do previously. So it can be said with maturing there is an increase in competency and adaptability.
Now maturation is a multi-faceted and automatic process. There is mental, physical, emotional, somatic growth and development in the child. Some of the changes are even genetic in mature.
During one’s lifetime, there are many types of maturation. But the two most important kinds of maturity during childhood are physical and cognitive maturation. Let us take a look at them.
Types of Maturation
As the name suggests it indicates the physical development and growth that we go through as we get older. A child goes through some very distinct physical maturity as they progress through all their development stages. For example, in the early stages of development, a child depends on reflexes majorly. Then as they age, they develop their motor skills and coordination. They also grow taller and add more weight as they develop. Their body goes through hormonal changes as they leave adolescence and enter early adulthood.
This refers to the cognitive development of children from birth to adulthood. It refers to how babies think, learn, interact with their environment, etc. Some important aspect of cognitive development is the processing of information, language development, reasoning skills, development of intellects and memory.
This process of cognitive development begins right at infancy. An infant uses their sensory organs to explore their surroundings. By three months infants can actually distinguish faces and sounds. And as they go through adolescence and their teenage year, the cognitive development continues. Each stage is earmarked with certain benchmarks that the teachers can focus on to chart the child’s cognitive maturity.
Maturation vs. Learning
Maturation and learning are actually inter-related activities. However, they are not the same. Learning is the gathering of knowledge and skill with the help of study. This is with respect to formal learning. Informal learning begins from birth, the learning that comes from observation and experiences. Maturation, on the other hand, is an act of maturity. It refers to physical and mental development. So the ability to act, react and behave responsibly comes from maturity.
So while learning comes from experiences and practice, maturity comes from individual growth without any external stimuli. In fact, we can say that maturation is essential for learning skills. Attaining maturity enables in learning new skills.
This is one important factor that teachers must keep in mind. Because if learning precedes maturity, it can be a wasted effort. So learning must begin when the child is mature enough for that particular lesson.