Essay on Theories of Play, Development and Learning

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Theories of Play, Development and Learning
Child development was previously largely ignored, and there was little attention to the progress which occurs during childhood and adolescence in terms of cognitive abilities, physical growth and language usage. However, researchers have found interest to study typical development in children as well as what influences development. Many theories have emerged which have helped full understanding of the social, emotional and physical growth which occurs in a child from early childhood to early adulthood (Hughes, 2004, p. 20). Jean Piaget proposed one of such theories and looked human development in a biological angle and explained it in four development stages. The stages are sensorimotor
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The last stage of development according to Piaget theory is the formal operational stage. This stage begins when a child is about eleven years. . A child will acquire another level of understanding during this stage, in addition to the ability of, applying logical principles attained in concrete operational stage to more abstract and hypothetical situations. The child, who is now an adult can formulate a hypothesis and be able to think about concepts and abstract relationship. They become interested about the broad social issues such as fairness, justice and equality. Piaget concludes that development is a lifelong process, and new structures are needed after operational stage (Martin, 2004, p. 40).
Piaget theory of development can be used in school for development and growth of children. The implication of this theory is an adaptation of instructions to the development of the learner and the instructions should be consistent with the learner’s level of development. The role of a teacher is to facilitate learning of through the provision of a variety of experiences. This will enable a child to experiment and explore, which in turn encourages new understanding. Teachers should use concrete hands on experience to allow students learn and acquire another level of understanding (Watson, 200 4, p. 65 and 66).
Piaget theory has found wide application in school. For instance, the teachers teach children through sensory experiences whereby