• Communication (i.e., listening and speaking);
• World knowledge;
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• Motor development; and
• Cognitive development (Kartal, 2007; Pianta, 2007).
Each of the above developmental areas is frequently referred to as a developmental domain. Each domain correlates or interacts with the others and can limit or facilitate development in the others. A brief description of each area is provided below.
• Motor or Physical Development refers to physical growth and the development of gross (e.g. walking) and fine (e.g., finger movement) motor control of the body.
• Perception and Sensory Development concerns the development of the senses and the ability to process information obtained from the senses.
• Language Development includes both verbal and nonverbal communication skills as well as listening and speaking skills.
• Cognitive Development refers to how an individual thinks and reacts to his or her environment.
• Emotional Development includes how a child controls and expresses his or her feelings in response to the environment.
• Social Development concerns how a child establishes and maintains relationships within a social context.
All stakeholders (i.e., parents, caregivers, teachers) must have knowledge of the broad aspects of typical development in the early childhood period but also be able to identify the variations in development that can negatively impact the child. The knowledge of developmental areas, the theoretical, and/or educational viewpoints of administrators, teachers, or parents can influence the types of preschool programs that are available to all children.