My Own book/Maturation

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We are now ready to learn one factor affecting learning, namely MATURATION

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At the end of this module on Maturation, you will be able to :

(i) describe the effect of maturation on learning
(ii) discuss the relationship between maturation and learning
(iii) explain the educational implications of maturation

Consider the following example. An eight month old child is able to sit. When he turns one year old, he takes a few steps. A few months later he can climb a staircase. All these changes are occuring due to physical and neural changes in his body. Such development is called a maturation.

Learning and maturation are closely connected. Certain amount of maturation is a pre requisite for learning to occur. While both learning and maturation bring about changes in a person, there is a difference between the two. Maturation may be considered as the development brought about by growth of the neural and muscular system,while learning is an outcome of stimulating situations.For example: A three month old child smiles. This act of smiling is due to maturation but later on the same child smiles only when he sees familiar faces. That is to say he is able to differentiate between people. This behavioural change is due to learning.
The ability to run, walk and talk depends on maturation. Practice and experience will develop these actions into skills.

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Case Study
Read through this experiment conducted by Dr Arnold Gessell.

Dr Gessell conducted the experiment a pair of identical twins. The twins were aged 46 weeks when Dr Gessell trained one of them (twin A) to climb a set of stairs for a certain time each time. At the end of six weeks, twin A was able to climb the stairs but twin B was not able to do so. Then Dr Gessell gave twin B some practice in climbing stairs.The time spent each day was the same as spent on twin A. Twin B was now one year old ( 46 weeks plus 6 weeks). He was able to climb the stairs in two weeks. The time taken by Twin A to learn the task was six weeks and the time taken by twin B to learn the same task was two weeks. Why do you think was there a difference in learning?

Yes. Maturity accelerates learning. Thus maturity is a pre requisite to learning.
Learn more about Maturation. See

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Read through these events and try to answer the questions that follow.

(1) Mrs. Mark has a two year old girl. Mrs Mark forces her to hold a pencil and write the alphabet daily. The child writes clumsily. What are the reasons for the same?
(2) An over enthusiastic parent has enrolled his five year old child for a course in computer programming. Is this right? Give your reasons.
(3) A teacher teaching the topic Plants to Class One students uses only lecture method. Do you support the methodology used? Why?
(4) Four year old Wayne was introduced to guitar classes. He showed no interest. Three years later he enthusiastically undertook guitar classes. What could be the probable reasons?
(5) What do parents, teachers and curriculum framers need to keep in mind about maturity and learning?

Return to Psychology of Learning

Move to next Module on Fatigue [1]