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Development is a word and an idea that is inseparable from the semantics and metaphors of growth, advance, evolution, and progress. Development describes a process through which an organism or object passes on the way to reaching a complete and finished form. It is teleological in that it describes things through recourse to a goal or purpose, and as an idea has come to be applied to everything from children to nations. The word ‘development’ implies a change for the better, an advance along a pathway that leads to a desirable outcome. Discourses of development often relate to childhood in the form of conceptual models and behavioural or cognitive milestones and, as well, often connect to models of economic and international development.

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