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The School's Role in Influencing Child Development

By Martha Holden ; Updated September 26, 2017
School molds children's academics and social and emotional maturity.

Children undergo intense brain development and require adequate stimulation for development, according to the World Health Organization. Brain development affects a child’s cognitive, emotional and social growth. Children spend an average of 32.5 hours a week in school, making school a vital factor in influencing a child’s development. Schools provide an environment that addresses the various stages of growth necessary for development.

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Academic Development

Schools dedicate a significant amount of time teaching the basic ABCs and 123s, and the complexity increases through the grades. As children go through elementary school, they learn the basics such as grammar and pronunciation and move to more complex subjects -- for example, algebra and chemistry -- as they advance to a higher level. Different schools employ various tactics to ensure children meet their full academic potential.

Social Development

Social and emotional maturity provide an important base for your child’s development in other areas of their life, according to Irene Shere, director of the Early Childhood Consultation Center. School provides an environment that helps your child learn how to interact positively with his teachers and peers in the classroom, on the playground and in other extracurricular activities. Neglect of your child’s social growth can lead to an academically gifted adult who struggles with self-esteem and lacks social skills.

Character Building

School molds your child’s character and behavior from an early age. From basic rules such as raising his hand to speak, your child learns about values like respect, empathy and compassion. As your child grows older, schools provide her forums such as debates and school elections, which help her develop her own opinions and beliefs. Self-understanding helps your child determine her academic, professional and personal goals.


School provides a variety of experiences in your child’s life. For example, field trips, art programs, sports and projects allow him to try new things and exert himself in areas other than academics. Children also get an opportunity to explore and develop their talents in various fields. From an early age, your child gets to interact with other children from different cultures, traditions and nationalities, which helps him develop into an accepting and open-minded adult.

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About the Author

Martha Holden began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous publications. Holden holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston.

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