Arnold Friend: The Archetype Of Evil Character Analysis Sample Essay

The main character in “Where are you going? Where have you been?”  is named Connie and she is your typical teenage girl with the same personality flaws.  She is self involved, indulgent, rude, and constantly fighting with her mother.  She is, like most teens, anxious to be an adult and move on with her life.  Unfortunately, Connie does grow up to fast in one Joyce Carol Oates most beloved short stories.  Connie’s, like most tragic heroes, fatal flaw is that she wants to be an adult so bad she overlooks the dangers, embodied by the character Arnold Friend, which surround her.  Oates describes Connie has having to faces- “One for home, and one for anywhere that was not home” (7).  The freedom from her parental walls allows her to shift from a young innocent girl to a woman looking for experience.  She pretends to be the woman she wants to be and hangs with the “big kids”.  This intense need to be an adult allows her to be blinded to the real life evils which exist in the world.  However, Arnold Friend is her personal escort into this world of adulthood.

              In “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”  Oates’ creates the character of Arnold Friend to be the antagonist.  Joyce M. Wegs, in The Grotesque in Oates, asserts that “Arnold is far more than a grotesque portrait of a psychopathic killer masquerading as a teenager; he also has all the traditional sinister traits of that arch-deceiver and source of grotesque terror, the devil. As is usual with not only that his identity is faked but also hint as his real self.”  Arnold Friend is not a sweet seducer who plays with the emotions of young women.  He is the physical embodiment of evil and exhibits the the traditional characteristics of Satan.

            Arnold friend is a mysterious strangers that appears to Connie out of the blue.  He aggressively pursues her and his actions border on stalking.  It is through this relationship that Connie finally realizes that she has made a mistake, giving up her childhood for the the cruel experiences of womanhood before her time.  In the end Connie decides that she wants to be a child again and that maturity will come in time.  She seeks out her family and represses her want to be an adult.  The terror of this short story comes not in the general plot but in the physical characteristics and actions of Arnold Friend.  Oates focuses on the primal elements of fear and evil, giving Arnold the mask of young seducer who is in reality the devil.  Oates offers many clues about his real identity throughout the story.  However, Connie is unable, unlike the reader, to see the clues and overlooks them completely.

            A major clue that Arnold Friend is not who he says he is comes in the form of his physical appearance.  Oates writes about his malformed feet throughout the novel.  Arnold often is clumsy as if his feet do not fit into his boots.  He must hold on to things around him to support himself.  Without this support he would fall over because he is unable to stand in his boots unassisted.  His feet are always described as turning inward as if his boots are too big for his feet.  Satan is almost always depicted in paintings and literature as having hooved feet. Satan’s legs are like that have a horse and face of human male.  This depiction of Satan is very similar to Oates description of Arnold.

Similarly, Oates creates a sense of evil about Arnold by describing the light or lack of light which seems to exist near him.  She says that Arnold is light skinned.  She explains that his eyes are “holes that are not in shadow but instead in light” (8).  That Arnold seems to be empty on the inside – nothing more then an animal. To disguise this devilish feature, Arnold is always wearing shades.  Therefore, Connie is unable to make eye contact with him and he has the ability to look anywhere he wants without being detected.

            Arnold is very good at seducing Connie.  He utilizes one of the oldest tricks in the book.  Like Satan in the Bible, Arnold offers Connie the one thing he knows Connie can not resist – a fast ride.  Her teenage desires win out and she is enticed by what he has to offer.  This is similar to the apple in the biblical stories of Adam and Eve.  The car is shiny, hot, and totally cool.  It sparkles and is one of the first things that Connie notices.  Oates describes Connie’s lust for his car.  She adores everything about it its slickness, its color, and its shine.  However, soon Connie’s interest starts to fade.  With constant pressure from this unknown stranger Connie tries to move away from Arnold’s advances.   She refused his invites to take a ride in the car.  While Connie does not understand why, part of her deep down knows that Arnold is trouble.  This is both alluring and scary – just the temptations offered by the devil.

            Additionally, Arnold is dressed like the devil  Oates explains  “tight faded jeans stuffed into black, scuffed boots” (10).  His body is toned and muscular in his white turtleneck shirt.  Like the devil, Arnold’s upper body is massive and his torso is thin.  Like some of the music idols of the time,  Arnold is like a music legend.  Again and again, music is used to symbolize the power that the devil seems to have over Connie.  As Arnold tries to convince Connie to go for a drive, and she considers and eventually agrees, the music on  his radio becomes louder and louder.  It blocks out the rest of the world, and only Arnold and Connie exist.  Music plays a similar role in ancient texts.  The song of a beautiful woman has often been used to entice men away from the righteous path, toward more wicked ways.

            Arnold Friend like Satan is constantly in pursuit of a new victim.  Feeding on the fear and temptation of the victim.  Both know how to tempt an innocent girl into doing things she shouldn’t.  Arnold claims to have known her adult, unpopular sister.  He asserts  “There’s your sister in a blue dress, huh? And high heels, the poor sad bitch—nothing like you, sweetheart!” (11).  Arnold creates this illusion so Connie, disliking her nerdy sister, feels so adored that she can not resist Arnold.

            While  Arnold’s true identity is not revealed yet, it becomes clear in the last paragraphs of the story.  Arnold wants Connie to go for a ride and demands that she accept.  “Thus the extraordinary violence of their assault on the girl is an attempt to destroy the trace of their “real relations” of powerlessness that her weakness makes present even during the very enactment of ideological power.”(Wesley 75).  He moves closer and closer to her but is unable to nab her physically.  This is because she remains inside the house while he, the devil, must remain outside of the house.  Even when she runs to the phone, Arnold is unable to control her.  The devil is never able to cross a threshold uninvited. Therefore he must remain on the outside of house until he is invited in. Therein, lies the paradox of the devil’s temptation.  Arnold never does any harm to Connie that she does allow herself to experience – what happens to her is her own fault, and Arnold, like the devil, takes no responsibility for it.

            Arnold Friend, as Wegs points out,  is the embodiment of Satan.  He takes the body of smooth talking, attractive young man who only has eyes for Connie.  The mystery which surrounds Arnold creates the mood, drives the plot, and develops the theme within this short story.  Connie adventure is timeless tale of the battle between good and evil.  It is the story of how the evil in the world often corrupts and destroys the innocence that exists in the hearts and minds of young people.  Connie must suffer Eve’s fate.  Like Eve with the apple, Connie’s ride with Arnold shifted her world and gave Connie what she thought she longed for, a maturity that came far too early.

Research Of Available Materials And Development Of Conference Plan

Student Number Submit this document via my. TAFE with all required evidence attached. See Procedure below for details. Performance objective Candidates will need to conduct individual research of available materials and local resources (web, phone book, etc. ) and show initiative and problem-solving skills to develop a conference concept; a full conference plan that meets the needs of the organisation; and to produce a cross-section of documents that support their conference plan.

Assessment description You are required to complete this task in three parts. Part One requires you to develop a conference concept document. The concept document is designed to help a conference manager in developing a scoping document for a conference to be held. You are required to review the case study outline below, and create and complete all aspects of the concept document. Case study You are one of the senior administrative staff who work in the marketing department of MacVille Pty Ltd.

The MacVille events steering committee with ultimate authority in convening the conference have requested that you plan and manage a conference that they would like run in the next 4–6 months. The purpose of the conference is to promote the Mezzo range of imported Italian espresso that the firm has recently secured the rights to distribute in Australia. MacVille senior management believe that the conference will primarily secure sales leads of the espresso coffee machines as well as increase awareness of MacVille’s association with the specialist espresso coffee market and build relationships between MacVille and its clients.

These conferences will be held in every major city in Australia, but yours is the firsts in the series. The target market for the conference is the owners and managers of retail coffee shops. It is anticipated that 40–60 people will attend. Included in your instructions from the MacVille events steering committee are that the conference should be for one day and culminate with a dinner. You have also been instructed to design a conference that breaks even on costs. The budget you have been allocated is $25,000.

The steering committee have suggested that engaging the right keynote speaker coupled with an interesting program should make the registration fee you set, well accepted by the target market. The MacVille events steering committee have asked you to first prepare a conference concept document for their approval. For Part Two of this assessment task, you are required to create and complete a conference plan. You are required to review the case study outline below, and create and complete all aspects of the plan. A venue location map should be submitted along with the conference plan.

Case study The MacVille events steering committee has approved your conference concept for the espresso coffee machine launch and now requires you to prepare a conference plan document. MacVille have some existing planning templates that you will need to complete and include in your documentation. This plan will document the research, planning and decisions you make as you plan for the conference. Assuming approval of your conference concept document, use this as the background to complete the conference plan.

This plan must include the following: •The conference will run for one day and will include dinner •MacVille’s expected outcome is to secure sales leads for the Mezzo range of espresso coffee machines •You report to the MacVille Events steering committee •Your budget is $25,000 and you will have the sales manager and two MacVille Espresso sales people at the conference to help you with organising and presenting •The venue choice is to be held in your city or the closest geographically located major city •Speakers can be keynote and company

presenters •An income and expenditure budget is required •Your target audience is owners and managers of retail coffee shops within the surrounding geographic zone. For Part Three of this assessment task, you are required to complete several documents to fulfil a range of criteria: •Cash flow: a three-month cash flow spreadsheet, detailing predicted expenses and income. Some notes should be included outlining how this will be monitored throughout the four-to-six months leading up to the conference.

•Conference cost: a statement of the final cost to delegates for attendance at the conference including a clear description of how this cost has been decided, and benchmarks costing against other conferences offering similar outcomes. •Registration: a delegate register, to be used to collate all registration information, and this must include notes on how data is to be protected (especially in regard to respecting privacy laws). Finally, you will need to populate your registration table with the registration information for 10 attendees. •Presenter’s plan. This document has three key sections: 1.

a plan for how and when presenters and guest speakers will be used within the conference. This is the start of your conference program, and must allow for two keynote presenters or guest speakers, and must also include detail for the role of the MC (Master of Ceremonies), as well as any entertainment to be used either during the day or the conference dinner. 2. a formal letter to be mailed to each guest speaker, outlining the requirements for the conference (the brief), describing the conference aims, and requesting presentations, videos and supporting images to be supplied two weeks prior to the conference.

3. a process plan describing how you will manage the collation of the range of presenter materials that you are to receive from presenters, sponsors and delegates (a DVD, range of videos in . avi format, several PowerPoint presentations and one Keynote presentation), including all information slides you will use to inform delegates of conference proceedings. •Program schedule: a detailed breakdown, including timings, for the entire day of the conference from pre-registration coffee and tea through to the end of the conference dinner. Your conference program must

allow for at least two keynote sessions with each guest presenter, and allow for some breakout times into smaller rooms, when the conference delegates can join special interest discussions in small groups. •Flyer: a promotional flyer (post-card sized) containing all details (including guest speakers and registration costs) of the conference and with relevant images. This will also need to include a plan for how the flyer will be distributed. •Conference bag: a plan for a conference bag, outlining the printed and promotional materials to be included in it.

•Requirements: a floor plan of the venue, clearly outlining where the conference will be held, the location of the presenters, registrations desk, break-out rooms for small-group activities, morning and afternoon tea, etc. and detailing the audio-visual requirements for the conference (including microphone requirements, presentations requirements, etc. ). Procedure You are required to: 1. Review the case scenarios outlined above. 2. Complete a conference concept document. 3. Create and complete a conference plan document.

4. Source a venue location map, and attach it to the conference plan. 5. Develop a cash flow spreadsheet with plans for monitoring of budget. 6. State the delegate costs with reasoning. 7. Develop a spreadsheet to gather registration information from conference delegates. 8. Enter all supplied delegate registration information into the prepared spreadsheet. 9. Develop a list of presenters to be used within the conference. Develop a formal letter, able to be sent to each presenter for the conference. 10.

Develop a plan for management of presenter support materials, visual aids and media to be used throughout the conference. 11. Develop a program schedule. 12. Develop an interesting flyer (postcard-sized) to market the conference, with a promotional plan for distribution of conference information. 13. Develop a plan for the conference bag and contents to be issued to delegates at the conference. 14. Develop a conference floor plan, for issue to delegates and presenters, showing the venue and locations of all conference inclusions.

Checklist You must provide: Completed conference concept document. Completed conference plan Completed documentation as detailed above Your assessor will be looking to see that each area of the conference planning has been addressed thoroughly, including: clearly defined purpose, and reason for holding the conference the style and type of conference a clear description of the target market a list of the benefits to the business a clearly defined communication strategy accurately documented planning and preparation details

outline of the type of resources required clearly defined and accurate systems and timelines to manage the event balanced and accurate financial report an outline of potential barriers and all contingency situations as they may arise. each area of the conference plan being addressed a clear, easy to read location map showing the venue relative to local streets and landmarks. an accurate cash flow spreadsheet which reflects all expenses a clear explanation detailing how the cash flow will be monitored and managed a statement of the delegate costs

a clear description of how delegate costs have been determined all registration information accurately entered into spreadsheet a list of the presenters to be used within the conference, with a description of their role a formal letter addressing the required criteria a clear description outlining the management and preparation of all presentation media in the two weeks leading up to the conference a program schedule with a clear timeline for conference proceedings an easy to read conference flyer, with a clear usage plan

a description of a conference bag containing interesting resources and all conference proceedings and materials a floor plan of the venue, clearly outlining how and where all requirements of the conference will be met. Conference concept instructions The conference concept document should use the headings provided below. Purpose Explain briefly what the conference is, what it’s for and who the target attendee is, and how this ties in with the strategic direction and mission of your organisation. This is a statement of purpose.

Also include a brief concept statement of the format of the conference, as well as a very rough overview of the program you are imagining. Type Explain the type of conference it will be, and why this type of event is the most suitable for your target attendee. Benefits Describe the types of benefits and outcomes you expect attendees or others to receive from this conference. When, Where and Who Briefly describe approximately when and where the conference will be, as well as the expected number of attendees.

In particular, check the timing of the conference does not clash with any other key events for your organisation or for target attendees. Resources Describe broadly what resources (facilities, equipment and people) are available or accessible to support the conference? Note especially which of these may need to be hired, purchased or tasked from another department or part of the organisation. Time Is there sufficient time for planning and organising the event? In particular, do you have sufficient human resources to ensure you achieve deadlines in the lead up to the event?

Financials What are the estimated costs (time, personnel, money)? What is the estimated income (money and in-kind)? This should not be a detailed budget, just an overview of your estimates for these figures. Barriers What barriers could present for this conference? How can any potential barriers be overcome? Summary Your final thoughts and comments about the feasibility of running this conference. Conference plan instructions Background Scope The inclusions/exclusions – a description of what is and what isn’t within the requirements for management of this conference.

This should particularly describe any items that you know are high priorities for your organisation, and any items that you know have expressly been excluded. (e. g. ‘Don’t worry about organising security staff, the venue will deal with that. ’) Reporting The ‘who’ – a description of who you report to and answer to (these may be different people or groups) leading up to and throughout this conference. In particular you must outline lines of authority, and the budget approval process, and should reflect organisational policy and procedure. Constraints The limits – a description of any constraints for the conference.

Some common ones may be: •cost, where there is a fixed budget with no possible extensions •attendees, where there is an absolute upper or lower limit for attendees •legals, where various forms of legislation may affect proceeding. Preparation Venue The ‘where – details of the venue you have identified as suitable with a description of the alternate venues that you have chosen from. Include in your description the key criteria that this venue meets, and the estimate costs for planned usage. Attach to this plan a location map showing where the venue is. Timeline

A description of all deliverables for this conference, with clearly observable milestones and activities to be detailed. Ensure you include detail of when you need to finalise details for speakers, venue, publicity materials and conference programme. See attached template. Speakers A description of the presenters and guest speakers to speak at the conference. The description should include the relevance of the speaker to the target audience, and the total cost for them, including transport, accommodation, hospitality, etc. See attached template. Budget

A full budget breakdown describing all expected costs and attendee income. See attached template. Risk management A description of the risks associated with organising and running the conference, along with the type of risk (external, technical, organisational, other) ways to mitigate and contingency manage the risk, and the level of the risk (high, medium, low). See attached template. Promotional strategy A description of how the conference will be promoted to the identified target audience, including thoughts for the mediums to be used to promote and follow-up conference information being released to potential attendees.

Monitoring A description of how the planning and management of the conference will be monitored throughout both the planning and management stages. Ensure you discuss how you will monitor the two key stages (preparation and management) together with how you will communicate any actions that need to be taken to address significant variations from the conference plan, both leading up to and within the conference. Conference documents The following documents are required to complete your conference plan. These have previously been detailed under the heading ‘Specifications. ’a

Arnold Gesell’s Maturational Perspective


            The psychologist, Arnold Gesell (1880-1961), is one of the first psychologists to comprehensively associate the components of physical, social, and emotional achievements among children most especially ages five. Gesell has focuses in his theoretical approach on developmental norms derived from other developmental theoretical foundations (e.g. psychoanalysis – stages of development, Piaget’s theories of development, etc.). According to Piek (2005), Gesell’s theoretical propositions on development and maturation are founded using his experiences and studies in directing the Clinic of Child Development (p.34). During his studies, Gesell has focused in the children’s process of achieving physical and psychological development. Maturational characteristics and developmental variations are carefully observed during the process of Gesell’s observations. According to Haywood and Getchell (2004), Gesell has centered his attention on developmental milestones in ten major areas, specifically (1) motor characteristics, (2) personal hygiene, (3) emotional expression, (4) fears and dreams, (5) self and sex, (6) interpersonal relations, (7) play and pastimes, (8) school life, (9) ethical sense, and (10) philosophic outlook (p.17).

            Gesell’s focus in these developmental milestones has resulted to his theoretical proposition of maturational perspective of child development, which connotes the idea of child development based on planned, naturalistic and predetermined patterns of life. As for the study, the main emphasis is on Arnold Gesell’s maturational theory, which tackles the issues based on (1) historical significance of Gesell’s maturational theory, (2) application of the theory, and (3) criticisms of the theoretical perspective.


Overview on Arnold Gesell’s Maturational Theory

The most notable achievement of Gesell is his proposition of the “normative” approach in studying children. Gesell has formulated his normative perspective pertaining on the maturational milestones of children, which implies a fixed and pre-plan of development. Researchers who have studied the development of young children from a maturational perspective most often describe similarities in the behaviors of typically developing children (Slentz and Krogh 2001 p.17). According to Piek (2005), the work of Gesell has been considered as one of the most influential theoretical concepts in the 21st century pediatric principles. Arnold Gesell has investigated the development of both movement and cognition, dividing them into the functional categories of (1) motor, (2) adaptive, (3) language and (4) personal-social behavior (p.34). The theory of Gesell explores the developmental changes the child’s body or behavior as a result of a normal physiologic development he termed as maturation. The aging process or so-called maturational perspective is his idea of child’s patterned development being dictated by the pre-planned natural maturational course.

According to Slentz and Krogh (2001), Gesell has observed thousands of young children, especially during his experience in directing the Clinic of Child Development at Yales in 1915, and documented the precise timing and sequence of milestones according to the functional categories of his analysis (p.17). Gesell’s perspective of maturation is evidently derived from the biological, physiological, and evolutionary fields of child development. Hence, Gesell proposes a theoretical view wherein biological patterned development, social influences and cognition are all intertwined.

According to Salkind (2004), Gesell believes that the sequence of development is determined by the biological and evolutionary history of the species; hence, development of the organisms is essentially under the control of biological systems and the process of maturation (p.16). As supported by Haywood and Getchell (2004), the maturational perspective describes the developmental modifications and shifts of functionalities in the maturational processes, specifically in terms of the four elements: (1) social components, (2) physical and biological characteristics, (3) adaptation and cultural flexibility, and (4) the standard cognitive development of human being (p.17).  Gesell has focused his attention in explaining the power of biological forces and the momentum of development. In a logical sense, Gesell’s maturation perspective supports the proposition that each child’s genetic separatism or uniqueness and significant multi-faceted biological makeup influence the developmental process regardless of potential external influences.

According to Dewey and Tupper (2004), the maturational perspective of Gesell incorporates the idea of development derived from inevitableness and surety, which implies a fixed pattern of maturation and development (p.11). According to the assumptions of the theory, the development of motor component is an integral and innate process facilitated by the biological or genetic time clock. Haywood and Getchell (2004) acknowledge the possibility of delaying or speeding up the developmental processes through various environmental or genetic factors; however, the developmental course is said to be absolutely fixed and non-modifiable in any case possible (p.17). Gesell provides the idea that both biological and evolutionary history of human development is brought by an invariable sequence and organized pattern.

According to Michel and Moore (1995), Gesell’s theory of maturation perspective defines human development as unitary process governed by biological and evolutionary processes (p.345). Behavioral and psychological components of development are also governed by the developmental sequence based on his observation among infants and children. Gesell has acknowledged these patterns of developments as requisites of survival (e.g. when an infant first learns how to suck the nipples their mother to obtain milk until they learn how to eat solid food). Order or patterned sequence of development manifest despite of cultural multi-diversities and the basic sequential form of motor development is pre-determined by endogenous factors (e.g. genetic makeup, biological compositions, physiological normalness, etc.). Michel and Moore (1995) have added that the environmental components can support, reflect or distort the behavioral form, which eventually modifies the phasing of development; however, environmental components cannot produce the actual developmental sequence (p.345).

According to Gordon, Browne and Cruz (2003), maturation is the process of physical and mental growth determined by heredity and maturational sequence that holds the growth pattern even upon conception (p.155). In fact, according to the cross-cultural study of Michel and Moore (1995), the order of motor development followed the similar sequence in children from different cultures, which somehow confirms the idea of Gesell’s proposed maturational sequence (p.345). Gesell interrelates both maturation and growth, while introducing the idea of growth quality as a nullified terminology since growth pattern is predetermined. Gordon, Browne and Cruz (2003) have mentioned that the theory of Gesell is more inclined in a qualitative sense linking the process off child growth, development and maturation with the aging process (p.155).

Historical Significance Maturational Perspective

Gesell and other contemporaries of his time (e.g. Piaget, Freud, etc.) have proposed that development follows an organized pattern influenced by the biological and evolutionary history of the species. According to Piek (2005), maturational perspective has dominated the field of motor development in the early half of the 20th century (p.34). In a historical sense, the conception of Gesell’s idea of maturation sequence has started in 1915 when he first opened his clinic – Clinic of Child Development. During his experience as a pediatric physician and psychologists, he managed to observe developmental milestones among his patients. During the span of his clinical exploration, he is able to encounter the aid of Stanley Hall in 1920. According to Salkind (2004), Gesell’s theory has been influenced by the Darwinian perspective of G. Stanley Hall as manifested by his idea of tenets recapitulation theory, which studies the individual development background (p.16).

Darwinian perspective and hereditary foundations of Gesell’s maturational theory is undeniable. According to Haywood and Getchell (2004), Gesell’s theory has utilized an illustration of identical twins to show his co-twin control strategy wherein developmental stages under sequential pattern can be directly observed (p.17). In the strategy, one twin receives a specific training under experimental treatment, while the other receives no special training as per control treatment. In the result, the control develops naturally based on the recapitulation despite of the absence of training. In the recapitulation theory, the proposition involves the belief that development of species is reflected in the development of the individual, which consequently imply a standard series of stages that recount the developmental sequence (Salkind, 2004 p.16).

The study of Gesell has been considered by the pediatric and psychological groups during the 1940s. Myrtle McGraw has teamed up with Gesell and further examined the process of development underlying the co-twin strategical development in 1943. According to Haywood and Getchell (2004), McGraw and Gesell have considered the effects of maturation of the central nervous system as manifested by the appearance of new skills (p.17). From then on, various acknowledgements on Gesell’s maturational perspective have aroused, and Gesell’s response is to publish his discoveries and ideas in writing.

One of the most influential writings of Gesell’s is his 1945 book together with another psychologist, Catherine Amatruda, entitled, The Embryology of Behavior, which describe the seven principles of behavioral development. In this book, Gesell introduces the endogenous control exemplified by principles of maturational pattern in sequential processes. Gesell and Amatruda argue that environment can influence the appearance of the developmental chances, but it cannot affect the actual patterns of maturation since it is derived in a hereditary fixed order. Meanwhile, other famous writings of Gesell that incorporate his idea of sequential maturation are The Preschool Child from the Standpoint of Public Hygiene and Education (1923 – gives emphasis on the psychoanalytic inclinations of Gesell’s theory), The Mental Growth of the Preschool Child (1925 – emphasizes the cognitive component in sequential development), and An Atlas of Infant Behavior (1934 – gives emphasis on developmental milestones and the stages of development). Gesell’s theoretical perspective of maturation has been used as supporting basis by other theoretical frameworks, such as the nature and nurture and theory of Gesell Dome.

During the late 1940s, Gesell’s peek of conceptual acknowledgement has been reached and the popularity of his concept has influenced various concepts on child development, developmental milestones and behavioral patterns. In 1948, the colleagues of Gesell have established an institute in New Haven, Connecticut, and named after Arnold Gesell and his first clinic, the Gesell Institute of Child Development. According to Haywood and Getchell (2004), the use of maturational perspective as a research tool in motor development has began to wane during the 1950s. The maturationists’ emphasis on the nervous system as the one system triggering behavioral advancement evolved to almost single-minded significance (p.18). Some of the most commonly cited periods influenced by Gesell’s maturational perspective involve (1) the normative descriptive period and (2) biomechanical descriptive period. During the entry of 1970s and 1980s, Gesell’s research on maturational sequences and developmental milestone has been utilized as significant resources of pediatric behavioral study.

Major Criticisms of Maturational Perspective: Behaviorist versus Maturationalist

Meanwhile, the work of Gesell and his normative literature have been criticized by behavioral psychologists claiming that Gesell have not actually considered the natural individual differences during child development. According to another theoretical perspective on child development, behaviorism, early childhood entails diverse differentiations due to the manifestations of diverse forms of behavior. Gesell’s focus on developmental norms has somehow connoted that a normative pattern or fixed standard form of growth that excludes the natural humanistic differentiation. According to Gordon, William and Cruz (2003), maturation determines the sequence of development based on a precise age, but should only be considered as an approximation based since sequential developmental stages largely depend on the rate of development unique to every person. Behaviorism differs from maturational perspective in terms of relying growth in the concept of environmental influence and the large contribution of internal and external behavior that actually dictate the pattern of growth. Behaviorism is another theory that has contributed various early studies of child development, which include learning theory (incorporating the influences of parents, social atmosphere and cultural environment with behavioral modification) and Erikson’s personality development or psychosocial theory (using behavioral input as standard influences for building up the child’s sets of behavior). Behaviorism and maturational theory differ most especially in its focal points: behaviorism theory’s focus on behavioral influence and Maturationalist emphasis with hereditary, instinctive and pre-determined development.

Meanwhile, growth, by natural principle (maturational perspective), is uneven and considered to bring forth unpredictability and individual growth variations (p.155). In the study of Rosengren, Salsbergh and Kamp (2003), the concepts of development and learning are discussed in different theoretical orientations, including maturational perspective of Gesell. A TASC-based approach has been presented as an alternative examination that focuses on (1) tasks, (2) adaptation and (3) selection of behaviors influenced by direct constraints. The experimental study observes how the respondents resolve the specified goals of under a local environment and similar constraints in order to appropriately prove the learning and developmental patterns. Unfortunately, the results of the study show diverse and multi-faceted nature among behavioral patterns and developmental tasks influenced by learning and strain in the environment.

Meanwhile, in the study of Burkham, LoGerfo and Ready (2007), Early Childhood Longitudinal Study is used in order to investigate the maturational patterns (1) among those repeating kindergartens, and (2) subsequent cognitive effects of the event. Evidences through the results of the study suggest that kindergarten repetition does not entirely provide additional cognitive benefits in literacy or mathematics performance. In fact, average population of kindergarten repeaters still perform below their peers in consideration of literacy skills both at the end of kindergarten and at the end of first grade (effect size [ES] = -0.20 and -0.24, respectively) (Burkham, LoGerfo and Ready 2007). The findings propose that differentiations are influenced by the children’s background and the school environment. Contrary to the theoretical principles of Gesell’s maturation and sequential development, child development is apparently influenced by the complexities of setting and background character of the child. Hereditary and gene-based growth patterns are not entirely applicable in some cases, such as the case of the respondents in the study. According to of Burkham, LoGerfo and Ready (2007), most children appear to receive little or no cognitive benefit from repeating kindergarten, which implies a certain variations of cognitive differentiations between those that pass kindergarten and those that repeats the curriculum.

However, as opposed from the two above studies, McCartney and Berry (2005) have arrived with evidence that hereditary fixations influencing task persistence and behavioral activities are actually brought by a series of developmental milestones. The behavioral orientation on task persistence somehow appears to influence the competence of controlled subjects, particularly children below the age of 5, in specific behavioral components: (1) self-regulation in carrying out tasks and (2) persistence in uplifting cognitive performance. In the study of task persistence, Deater-Deckard and colleagues have implicated possible links between the genetic nature of task persistence and the influence of environment in such pursuit. According to the findings of the study, task persistence has increased over time, whereas the contribution from the shared environment decreased during the transition from early to middle childhood (McCartney and Berry 2005). In response to the theory of Gesell, the findings of McCartney and Berry (2005) agree to the genetic nature of developmental tasks and the place of environmental influence in the phase of development. Evidently, the results of the study show more considerable influence of genetically obtained behavior brought by sequential development than environmental manipulation.

Personal Stand Point

            In response to maturational perspective, there are two conflicting ideas being introduced by the theoretical concepts, particularly (1) patterned growth and development observed among children regardless of cultural origin or background, and (2) the primary influence of genes in the process of growth and development. Despite of the major criticisms claiming (1) the absence of differentiations and establishment of uniqueness and (2) the environmental influences as primary modifier of developmental tasks, Gesell’s sequential maturational perspective can still be considered appropriate. In a logical sense, a patterned development entails fixed developmental outcome dictated by the inherent genetic make-up. The patterned development includes those requisite skills that are considered as the basic composition of developmental tasks, such as motion, feeding, etc. Meanwhile, the influence of genetic make-up provides a certain variation in the end outcome of development among every individual.


            In conclusion of the study, Gesell’s theory tackles the maturational perspective, which proposes a sequential development that follows an organized and genetically manipulated phases of developmental milestones. Maturational perspective employs the concept of biological and evolutionary development influenced by Darwinian concept of development. The theory utilizes four main components of development, namely (1) social, (2) physical and biological characteristics, (3) adaptation and flexibility, and (4) cognitive development. Meanwhile, major criticisms of the theory are founded within behaviorist context, which involves the (1) inconsideration of uniqueness and differentiation and (2) the influence of environment in child development.


Burkam, D. T., LoGerfo, L., & Ready, D. (2007, June). The Differential Effects of Repeating Kindergarten. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 12, 103 – 136 .

Dewey, D., & Tupper, D. E. (2004). Developmental motor disorders: A Neuropsychological Perspective. New York, U.S.A: Guilford Press.

Gordon, A., Williams, K., & Cruz, B. (2003). Beginnings & Beyond: Foundations in Early Childhood Education. New York, U.S.A: Thomson Delmar Learning.

Haywood, K., & Getchell, N. (2004). Life Span Motor Development. Chicago, U.S.A: Human Kinetics.

McCartney, K., & Barry, D. (2005, September). Gene–environment processes in task persistence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 407-408.

Michel, G. F., & Moore, C. L. (1995). Developmental Psychobiology: An Interdisciplinary Science. London, U.K: MIT Press.

Piek, J. P. (2005). Infant Motor Development: Normal & Abnormal Development. Chicago, U.S.A: Human Kinetics.

Rosengren, K. S., Savelsbergh, G. P., & De Kamp, J. (2004, January). Development and learning: a TASC-based perspective of the acquisition of perceptual-motor behaviors. Infant Behavior and Development, 26, 473-494 .

Salkind, N. J. (2004). An Introduction to Theories of Human Development. Chicago, U.S.A: SAGE Publishing.

Slentz, K. L., & Krogh, S. (2001). Early Childhood Development and Its Variations. London, U.K: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.


error: Content is protected !!