Child development theories are an organized set of principles designed to explain and predict something. Below are some major child development theorists and their theories. Jean Piaget – (1896-1980) was originally a biologist before going on to study the development of children’s understanding. He studied children by observing them talking and listening to them whilst he set them tasks to carry out. He came up with the ‘Maturation Theory’ which means that a child simply grows up and as they grow they become able to understand more.
He was said to have proposed that a child’s thinking doesn’t develop evenly, but it will ‘take off’ and move into new areas and abilities. He suggested that these changes normally occurred around the age of 18 months, 7 years and 11-12 years. Piaget’s key ideas – Schema- The child makes up a theory from experiences from their environment. Equilibrium – A child’s experiences seem to fit the schema. (Everything makes sense. ) Disequilibrium – A child experiences an event that makes them reconsider their schema. (Things don’t quite make sense. ) Accommodation – The child changes their original schema that now fits in with their new experiences.
Piaget’s stages of cognitive development: Sensory – motor – 0-2 years Pre- operation – 2-7 years Concrete operational – 7-11 years Formal operational – 11-15 years Piaget’s influence today – Piaget’s work has led to early years settings and frameworks in the EYFS becoming more ’child Centred’ and providing more hands on work for children John Broadus Watson – (1878-1958) came up with the idea of behaviourism as a movement. He believed that differences in behaviour were due to children’s different experiences of learning. He took up the work of Ivan Pavlov who had previously worked with dogs.
Pavlov noticed that dogs would salivate before their food arrived; they had associated other factors with their food being delivered (People’s footsteps and the noise of a bucket. ) Pavlov then went on to develop an experiment where bells were sounded when the dogs were fed. Eventually the dogs salivated simply when they heard the bell. This was called ‘classical conditioning’. Watson wondered if classical conditioning would work on humans. In an experiment that would be unethical today Watson did research with a 9 month old baby called Little Albert.
He was tested on his reactions to many objects and he initially showed no fear to any of them. There was one thing that did cause the baby distress and this was when a hammer was struck on a steel bar behind his head. The loud noise made Little Albert cry. At the age of 11 months a white rat was shown to the boy and the hammer would strike the bar. This was repeated several times over the next seven weeks. Albert only had to see the rat and he would immediately cry (even if the hammer didn’t strike the bar. ) They had proved that Classical Conditioning could be used to create a phobia.
Watson’s influence today – Watson’s Classical Conditioning is not used in childcare practice. But we use the principles in the way e. g. a child knowing its lunch time when a bell rings or in nursery’s song time before lunch. Burrus Skinner – (1904-1990) believed that the best way to understand behaviour was to look at the causes of an action and its consequences or reinforcements. He named this process as “Operant Conditioning”. Skinner experimented with rats rewarding them with food when they displayed behaviour he wanted, in this case pressing a lever. The rats learned to repeat the rewarded behaviour.
They would systematically press the lever and wait at the position where the food was dispensed. He called this “Positive Reinforcement”. He also taught the rats to display behaviour he didn’t want – he gave them electric shocks when they entered a certain area of a maze he created. They learned to avoid the area. Skinner’s influence today – Most childcare Practitioners will use Operant Conditioning in settings every day. We reward children with praise, attention and sometimes tangible items like stickers, when they are well behaved, to encourage children to repeat the desirable behaviour.
Abraham Maslow – (1908-1970) – stated that human motivation is based on humans seeking fulfilment and change through personal growth before they could fulfil their potential or “Self-Actualisation”. Maslow found fifteen characteristics of a self-actualized person, which he made into a pyramid and this was known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow’s influence today – When working with children and young people it is vital that their basic needs are meet – warmth, food, shelter – combined with having their psychological needs met – love and promotion of their self-esteem.
Early years settings need to think about the environment that they create for children in their care. Albert Bandura – (1925) is a figure amongst Social Learning Theorists. These theories acknowledge the principles of conditioning but put forward the theory that people learn in other ways, by watching and copying others (Observational Learning. ) This form of learning is spontaneous and means the child does not, Bandura’s work interestedly links behaviourist and cognitive theories, because it draws together attention, memory and motivation.
Bandura’s influence today – Children learn a lot of their behaviour from observing others. Having good positive role models in their lives is important as children will imitate that good behaviour. Child centred settings promote positive role modelling with all practitioners employed in the settings. Sigmund Freud – (1856-1939) was an Austrian Neurologist for the theories of the unconscious mind and creating Psychoanalysis, which is used to explain the unconscious thoughts. His development shaped how people received counselling and Therapeutic work, although his theories have now been replaced by other methods.
Freud had suggested that there were three parts that made up a person’s personality- The Id – this is the instinctive part of the personality. It is ruled by the body’s needs, such as hunger or finding pleasure. However, this part of the personality doesn’t take into account how our wants and desires will impact on others. It was suggested that babies will cry until they get fed or receive comfort no matter how tired their carer is or whether there are other children that need feeding. This is known as gratification. The Ego – This is the planning part of the personality. It works out how to meet the Id’s needs in the best way.
Babies might learn that when they smile they are likely to get their needs met. In certain situations the ego may make the Id wait for its needs to be met e. g. children might learn that if they take something that doesn’t belong to them that it may be taken away from them, but if they wait to be offered the item, they will eventually get it. This is known as “Deferred Gratification”. This part of the personality is known as the common sense part. The superego – develops later in childhood. It tries to control the Ego and is made up of two elements, the conscious and the Ego-Ideal – the conscience punishes the Ego if it misbehaves.
This is where our guilt comes from. The Ego Ideal will reward the Ego if it behaves correctly. This is where our pride and confidence come from. Freud’s influence today – Freud’s work has been heavily criticised but, the links he made of our unconscious mind and actions are still seen as being useful, e. g. how a child might put their hands over their mouth when they are telling a lie, so to stop the words coming out. Referenced from: CYPW Level 3 books & http://www. Child-Development-guide. com/child-development-theories. html.
ANTH 310: 2 part question(all the requirements below!
Part 1 (extra credit)
Read the following article(article below) from the link or from the document below. Afterwards, in at least 3 sentences, tell me one thing you learned from the article. Then, in 3 more sentences, tell me what you hoped to learn from the article. Then, in 3 more sentences, tell me why it is so important for different cultures to share technologies like this with one another
Part 2 (assignment 6)(below)
For this assignment, you will be reading an article on San Francisco. Once you have read the content, in one full paragraph, tell me (in three sentences minimum) one specific thing that you learned from the article. In your second paragraph, tell me some specific information that you would have liked to have seen discussed further in the article (in three sentences minimum). Then, choose 5 vocabulary terms from chapter 7 notes. Explain each of these vocabulary words in an anthropological way (defining each term in your own words, not directly from the notes) in relationship to the article. Each vocabulary word should be defined in one sentence and each relationship in another sentence. Make sure each of your examples comes directly from the article on San Francisco only! (examples from article not from notes!!!!) Your assignment should be typed, spell-checked, written in full sentences