Understanding children: Babies being heard
Understanding children: Babies being heard

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Understanding children: Babies being heard

6 Difference and young children

6.1 Introduction

Earlier in the course, Michael, Mia's grandfather, remarked that all his grandchildren were very different from each other. As authors of this course, we want to cater for the potentially different needs and experiences you have as a student. These experiences can come from a range of origins. For example, the way you approach studying can be to do with your temperament – whether you race through study material or work through it slowly. But it can also be to do with your past experience as a learner – for example, if you were criticised for poor reading in the past, you may lack confidence in your abilities. Babies too are different because of the temperament and personal characteristics they inherit from their families – placidity, seriousness, moodiness. Babies are also different because of the way they interact with and experience the world and people around them once they are born. Some of these differences are even said by researchers to be shaped by what happens in the womb before birth. The expectations placed on them by their families and communities, how they are treated by the adults, siblings and other people who care for them, and the circumstances in which they live, are also very important in shaping who they are. It is a two-way process.

The above discussion relates to an area of interest among academics which is referred to as the ‘nature–nurture’ debate. Academics and researchers interested in the nature–nurture debate are continually exploring how much of our behaviour and personal characteristics is programmed into us at birth and inherited from others (nature), and how much is a product of how we live our lives and the experiences that we have as we grow (nurture). Most researchers in this area would now accept that people's personalities are not formed by only nature or only nurture, but by a combination of both and the way they interact with each other.

Y156_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371