Assignment 023: Theories of Development

Childcare -- Paragon
Assignment 023: Task B2

In today's world of childcare and youth work, early years practitioners and teachers are responsible for helping to develop children's minds and bodies, and help them understand more about themselves and the world around them. To accomplish this, practitioners draw on many different resources, some directly, and some indirectly. Some of the leading theories of development that are prominent today include: the cognitive and constructionist theories led by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky; the slightly outdated, but still somewhat relevant psychoanalytical theories of Sigmud Freud; the humanist theories of Abraham Maslow; the social learning theories presented by Albert Bandura; the various behaviorist theories, presented by John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov, and B.F. Skinner; and last, but certainly not least, the concept of social pedagogy. Working together, these theories of development help professionals create sophisticated curriculum that can be applied to both large groups of children and youth, and also refined to suit individual the needs of each individual child and young person.
One of the most popular theories of development, and certainly the one most focused on children, is Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Piaget first became interested in developmental theory by observing how children often gave "wrong" answers to questions that required logical thinking. This led him to a series of conclusions, particularly "that the child plays an active role in the growth of intelligence and learns by doing. He regarded the child as a philosopher who perceives the world only as he has experienced it." (ICELS). Piaget studied his own three children in particular in their various stages of cognitive development.
A result of Piaget's studies, theories, and publications was a broader understanding of the child psyche and how children think. The most important conclusion to be drawn was that children are not...