Characteristics of Growth and Development B.Ed Notes


Growth is a vital process which brings about an irreversible increase in an organism or its part with respect to its size, weight, form and volume.

L.K. Frank

“The changes that occur in any physical aspect are known as growth.”

Libert, Poulos, and Manner(1979)

Development refers to a process of change in growth and capability over time, function of both maturation and interaction with the environment.”

There are different characteristics that define the meaning of growth and development. These characteristics are as follows:

Characteristics of Growth:

  1. Growth defines the change in the physical factors of a child including height, weight, mass, and physical development.
  2. Growth can be measured as it is quantitative.
  3. Growth can be perceived through eyes and senses.
  4. Growth does not take place in a continuous manner.
  5. Growth is uniform in the physical sense such as the milk teeth growth, toddling then walking, etc.
  6. Growth takes place for a limited period.
  7. The growth rate is faster in the initial years than in the later stages.
  8. Food, the amount of nutrition, health, and fitness influence mental as well as physical growth.
  9. Mental health cannot be perceived through senses but rather through physical growth.
  10. Various factors such as heredity, environment, social relationship, and motivation affect the growth rate.
  11. 1. Growth is a permanent increase in size, weight, shape, volume and dry weight of a plant.
  12.  2. The change occurring due to growth is permanent and irreversible.
  13.  3. Growth is an intrinsic process caused due to internal activities. 
  14. 4. Growth occurs by cell division and cell elongation followed by cell maturation which lead to the formation of different types of tissues.  
  15. 5. Growth in plants is mostly localized, i.e. restricted to some regions of plants possessing meristematic tissues or meris terns.
  16. 6. Growth has a qualitative aspect where development takes place in an orderly manner and differentiation leads to higher and more complex state.

Characteristics of Development:

  1. Development is the overall growth of a person with regard to the mental, social, physical, and psychological levels.
  2. Development cannot be measured.
  3. Development has a set pattern but it can vary as it can be at a different rate as per the individual.
  4. Development goes from general to specific.
  5. Development is a life-long process so it is continuous in nature.
  6. Development is an umbrella term that can hold every aspect from social to psychological.
  7. Development is a more complex and comprehensive term than growth.
  8. The process of development is interrelated to many factors.
  9. Development denotes the qualitative changes.
  10. Development goes from concrete to abstract.


Height, weight, mass, color, size Mental, social, physical, and psychological changes
Measured as it is quantitativeCannot be measured as it is qualitative
PerceivableCannot be perceived through the senses
Not continuousContinuous
Till the limited periodA life-long process
The faster growth rate in the initial yearsUniform and steady in nature
Can be affected by health issuesInterrelated to many factors
The less complex and comprehensive conceptA more complex and comprehensive concept
In a uniform pattern From concrete to abstract
Denotes only physical aspectsdenotes every aspect of change
Characteristics of Growth and Development

Difference Between Growth and Development

growth and development
Difference Between Growth and Development

The following traits listed below can be used to understand the various characteristics of growth and development.

1.Behaviours are Passed on to Successive Generations: Species’ behaviours are passed on from generation to generation. To put it in another way, any particular habit of a living being gets passed down through generations of that species. Goats, for example, prefer to move in a flock.

2.Change in the Biological Process Determines the Change in Behaviours: Changes in biological processes determine changes in human growth and behaviour. When a biological structure or process changes, it causes changes in human growth and behaviour as well. For example, if a person’s brain is damaged in a specific area, his or her behaviour may change, and he or she may become more aggressive or emotional. Similarly, certain medicines may alter brain chemistry, resulting in behavioural changes in humans.

3.Behaviours Run in Families/ Behaviors are Transmitted in Families: It has been noticed in families that if one generation suffers from diseases like diabetes or cancer, the members of the next generation are likely to suffer from the same condition to some level since they have some comparable genes that are passed down from the previous generation.

4.Genes are Evolutionary: Behavioral changes are the result of gene evolution. Chimpanzees and humans share nearly identical genes. As a result, chimps are the closest living relatives of humans, and their features and behaviours are more or less comparable to humans, as evidenced by the history of gene evolution.