Arnold Gesell was birthed in Alma, Wisconsin in the year of 1880. He was the firstborn in his family and had five other siblings. Gesell was the son of a photographer and a teacher, individuals who both took on a curiosity for education. With the many siblings he had and having to watch them constantly, Gesell was intrigued and therefore established an interest in children and the ways in which they grew up due to their environment. He went on to study psychology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts where he came under the influence of G. Stanley Hall, one of the earliest psychologists to study child development. Gesell graduated from Clark University in 1911 with a doctorate and went on to New Haven to lead the Yale Psycho-Clinic. This clinic was later to be known as the Clinic of Child Development. Not only was Gesell dominant in psychology, he made an effort to receive medical training because he thought it was essential for his studies in child development. In 1915, he received a medical doctorate from Yale University.
A maturationist is defined as someone who believes that the role of education is to inactively support the growth of a child rather than actively fill the child with information. Arnold Gesell was considered to be a maturationist in developmental psychology. According to Gesell’s Maturational Theory, a child or teenager will progress only according to what they have programmed in his or her genetics. He came up with a series of stages in which