There are many theorists who are linked to children and their development, many of which have more than one theory. These theories are often seen in practice, and cover all developmental stages.
Jean Piaget focused on cognitive development, and believed that children learn best through active play and exploration. He often referred to children as “lone scientists”, therefore believing that children do not necessarily need adult and social intervention in order to learn. His theory included four stages of cognitive development, which are as follows:
• Stage One: Sensory Motor (0-2 Years): During this stage, babies are already aware of their own wants and needs, and are only ...view middle of the document...
He believed that social interaction is a better form of learning than active play within the cognitive area of development. Vygotsky believed that there are three different ways of learning:
• Imitative Learning: A child mimics another person. Otherwise known as cultural learning.
• Instructed Learning: A child recalls learning and converts it into play.
• Collaborative Learning: A group of children cooperate and work together to achieve a goal whilst working to understand each other.
Vygotsky is also well-known for his theory of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), which describes the area of potential cognitive development. It id described as the area between the child’s ability to perform a task with guidance, and the child’s ability to perform independently. An example of this idea used within a classroom could be within group work on a science project, where the task is too large for one single child can be completed with the guidance and assistance of more knowledgeable children and adults. When children work together, they are encouraged to share their ideas through discussion, which therefore leads to children learning from each other as well as the teacher. The theory of ZPD has been put into practice by the Tools of the Mind, which is an approach that uses Vygotsky’s theories and applies them to early childhood education. The approach is particularly used in Literacy and Numeracy sessions.
Abraham Maslow was well known for his Hierarchy of Needs, which states that there are certain basic needs in everyone, and these needs must be satisfied in order for a child to grow and develop to their full potential. As the needs move up the hierarchy, they are more dependent on the environmental factors in which the child is raised. Maslow believed that the higher order needs can only influence personal development when the lower order needs are satisfied. Until these stages are fully fulfilled, learning is unable to begin.
Maslow’s theory is still considered very...