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Theories of child development

Theories of child development

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Theories of child development

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  1. Theories of child development

  2. What is a Theory A theory is an explanation of why something happens that may not always be possible to prove. Theories about child development differ

  3. Influences • Attitudes and beliefs of the culture, and sub-culture and family units we come from • All these shape our image of the child, just as they shape the work of the major theorists • Our beliefs will influence what we might find useful from different theorists

  4. Images of the child Do view children as: • Seekers of knowledge OR • Empty vessels for us to pour knowledge into? Do you view babies as: • People seeking relationships OR • People who need to be taught to relate

  5. What has influenced the way you view children / babies?

  6. Our image of the child in our culture helps us to form these answers • It is important to be aware of the images we work with • Re-examination of your view of the child keeps these images relevant and open to change throughout our professional careers

  7. Do you value knowledge gained through group work more (or less) than knowledge gained alone? Why????

  8. Main groups of theories • Maturationist – A Gessell, N Chomsky • Behaviourist – B Skinner, J Watson, I Pavlov • Developmental Interactionists – U Bronfenbrenner, J Piaget, L Vygostky

  9. Which Theory? In assessing theories ask yourself: • How does this theory explain behaviour? • How does this theory help me to predict behaviour? • How will this theory assist me in a practical situation?

  10. Throughout this unit you will study four main theorists: • Maslow • Piaget • Vygotsky • Erikson

  11. Maslow • Abraham Maslow developed a theory based on basic needs. He believed: • that people generally have the same basic needs. • that in order to thrive and develop we need to meet these needs • that the need to grow and develop, to strive for improvement is within all of us

  12. Jean Piaget Theory on Cognitive Development • Constructing Knowledge Schemata Assimilation Accomodation Concept development Conservation

  13. Piaget’s stages of cognitive development • Sensori-Motor – (0-2 yrs) exploration using senses. Sensory play important (mouthing, sucking, banging, smelling and looking). Egocentric • Pre-operational – (2 – 7 yrs) language and imagination to extend thinking and understanding – less egocentric

  14. Concrete operational – (7 - 11 yrs) develop skills of thinking logically in a variety of practical or ‘concrete’ situations. More organised thought (Categories) Logical rather than abstract thinkers Formal operational (11+years) more abstract arguments and discussions. Broader issues of the world take a more important role.

  15. Lev Vygostky Language and Cognition • “What a child can do in co-operation today, he can do alone tomorrow.” Vygotsky (1967) • Social Constructivist Theory • Heavier emphasis than Piaget on the importance of social interaction and language in growth of thinking

  16. Learning is a result of social contact and interaction with significant and familiar people Emphasised the importance of gestures of the pre-linguistic child – body movements show beginnings of symbolic thought And importance of inner speech – ‘talking through’ a problem (self talk)

  17. Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) • The ZPD is about "can do with help", not as a permanent state but as a stage towards being able to do something on your own. The key to "stretching" the learner is to know what is in that person's ZPD—what comes next, for them. • ‘Scaffolding’ – adding knowledge and understanding.

  18. Erik EriksonPsychosocial Theory • Focus on social and emotional development • Influenced by Freudian theory • He believed that • People generally have the same basic needs • Our personality develops and changes in response to these needs • Development proceeds in stages that match biological lifespan stages • Each stage is characterised by a crisis – social expectations • Motivation to meet these challenges will vary from stage to stage

  19. Erikson’s stages(8 stages in all – only 4 outlined here) 1: Trust vs Mistrust (infancy) – “will I trust the world?” Infant develops primary then secondary attachments. Infant begins to trust that basic needs will be met. Development of trust important to future relationships and emotional development.

  20. 2: Autonomy v’s shame and doubt (toddlerhood) “can I do this by myself” Toddler seeks approval from adults. Improved self help skills – requires support and guidance of carers in order for autonomy to develop.

  21. 3. Initiative vs Guilt (preschool years) “Is what I do and think OK?” Child sometimes oversteps limits – experience guilt. Child is learning social rules and consequences for breach of rules

  22. 4. Industry vs Inferiority (school age) “Can I master this skill ?” Learning and using pro-social skills and behaviour. More sure of own abilities and become more independent. Peer acceptance is important Feelings of inferiority are common as child seeks acceptance and approval – self esteem lowers during middle childhood