Assignment 1: Zoe Hughes
Student Name: ZOHUG2409
Question 2.3: Explain how theories of development and frameworks to support development influence current practice:
There are many different theories of development that help us to understand children’s behaviour, reactions and ways of learning. All equally important as they can and do influence practice. To begin with there is constructivist theory Piaget and Vygotsky are leading theorists from this school. Piaget looked at the way in which children seem to be able to make sense of their world as a result of their experiences and how they are active learners. Piaget also suggests that as children develop so does their thinking. Piaget’s work has influenced early years’ settings into providing more hands on and relevant tasks for children and young people. In other words the children are ‘learning through play’. Teachers are working out the needs of children and plan activities accordingly. Piagets theory suggests that we have 4 periods or stages of development. These are Infancy- the sensorimotor stage (0-2 yrs) here knowledge is processed through sense data for instance if a parent leaves they cease to exist in the child’s mind which he explains as the reason a child suffers separation anxiety in the absence of a parent. The second stage is Early Childhood- the Preoperational stage (2-7 yrs). Here knowledge is processed from a first person perspective, the child is the centre of its own world and can only concentrate on one task at a time. The third stage is later childhood-the Concrete operational (7-12 yrs). Here the child has began to think more abstractly and can focus on multiple tasks. The finakl stage is adolescence-the Formal Operational Stage (12-onwards). Here Piaget observed that children are able to use abstract and hypothetical concepts and can understand consequences, make predictions and approach tasks logically.
Vygotsky is another theorist but of cognitive development. Vygotsky suggested that children were born to be sociable and by being with parents and then with friends they learned and gained understanding from them. He suggested that people in early years setting working with children should extend and challenge their thoughts in order for their potential development to be achieved. As well as the need for adults to work alongside children Vygotsky also felt that children could guide and develop one an others potential by encouraging them to do tasks together. Vygotsky considers two fundamental ideas to his theory; Zone Proximal development, he suggests that children perform better when pushed beyond their comfort zone to the point that they confident enough to explore new tasks. His other idea was “scaffolding” which refers to children using something to assist their learning and then discarding it when no longer needed, for instance furniture as a support and once task learnt discarding it.
The behaviourist approach to learning looks how nature vs nurture effects behaviour. How reward and negative reinforcement effects behaviour, Behaviourists often call this conditioning and also important is how we think. This was demonstrated in John B Watson’s famous experiment where he used a small boy called little Albert and created a phobia of rats in him. Skinner theory is also influence by how behaviour is shaped through positive and negative reinforcement and his work has continued to influence approaches to education, social and physiological rehabilitation. The Humanist school of thought includes theories such as Glasser, Rogers and Maslow’s humanist theory. This theory focuses on personal and social need and the development of skills and relationships. A leading figure in this field is Carl Rogers who advocated personal choice and recording thereputic sessions. The constructivist’s school of thought includes work from Montessori, Dewey and Kolb and can be simplified as “learning through doing” and the importance of