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Jamie Dennison FHS 2600 Theory Comparison There have been many theorists with varying opinions on how

children learn and develop. mong these are the theories o! "ri#son$ %aslow$ &iaget$ 'ygots#y$

S#inner()ehaviorism * the +eggio "milia approach. "ri# "ri#son,s theory o! development in children is the idea o! -crises.. He believed that individ/als con!ront an eight0stage series o! crisis thro/gho/t their li!e and in order !or proper balance and happiness in regard to the speci!ic topic the individ/al m/st -s/ccess!/lly negotiate. between the two di!!ering o/tcomes. "1amples o! these crises are tr/st vs. mistr/st$ intimacy vs. isolation$ etc. These eight stages are not limited to childhood development$ rather they span thro/gho/t an individ/al,s li!e time. "ri#son,s ideas o! this series o! crises thro/gho/t one,s li!e is /nderstandable. 2 do believe that children learn as in!ants what ad/lts they can tr/st to care !or them and which they cannot 3tr/st vs. mistr/st4. However$ 2t is di!!ic/lt !or me to get behind the idea that li!e is a series o! crises. This seems to be loo#ing at li!e and growth and development in s/ch a negative light. braham %aslow is another theorist o! h/man(child development. %aslow created a theory entitled the -Sel!0 ct/ali5ation Theory.. %aslow created a hierarchy 3a pyramid4 o! h/man,s needs and how they relate to a person,s growth and development. %aslow believed that a person cannot move /p the pyramid o! needs /ntil the need below is met. For e1ample$ the very !irst needs to be met in %aslow,s pyramid is a person,s physical needs 3air$ water$ !ood$ shelter$ etc.4. The !inal goal or step in %aslow6s pyramid is sel!0act/ali5ation. This is the meeting o! li!e6s goals in all o! their varying !orms. This theory is really something 2 can /nderstand and get behind. 2t ma#es sense that needs that h/man beings have wo/ld have an order o! importance and especially that they b/ild /pon one another.

Jamie Dennison FHS 2600 Theory Comparison 2t is di!!ic/lt to !eel a sense o! belonging and love 3%aslow6s third step4 i! yo/ cannot !eel psychologically sa!e or loved 3%aslow6s second step4. &iaget is a ma7or player as an in!l/ential theorist in early childhood ed/cation. His theories have been controversial$ b/t overall they have had a very large impact on the st/dies o! early childhood ed/cation. First and !oremost$ &iaget simply believed and stated that -children don6t thin# li#e ad/lts.. He believed that children learn by actively see#ing and ma#ing sense o! #nowledge and e1periences. This belie! that children create their own #nowledge is called -constr/ctivism.. &iaget believed that children learn by organi5ing and !iling e1periences and #nowledge into their -schema.. He believed that as new #nowledge and e1periences came thro/gho/t li!e$ an individ/al wo/ld ad7/st and reorgani5e their schema$ adapting with this new #nowledge. &iaget also believed that learning and development was reliant on age and he divided types o! learning into 8 stages o! cognitive development. The !irst stage is the sensorimotor stage 3!rom birth to age 24. 2n this stage in!ants learn something called -ob7ect permanence. where they start to /nderstand that altho/gh they can6t see something it is still there. Children at this age are also very -egocentric. meaning they can only view things !rom their personal perspective. The ne1t stage is the preoperational stage that covers children !rom age 2 to 9. Children in this stage begin to comm/nicate verbally and are able to thin# abo/t a speci!ic event or pict/re in their mind. The !inal stage o! &iaget6s cognitive development is the concrete operational stage which is children ages 9 to ::. Children in this stage are now able to thin# more logically and can solve problems mentally. Children in this stage$ however$ are limited in their ability to thin# abstractly.

Jamie Dennison FHS 2600 Theory Comparison ll o! &iaget6s theories seem to ma#e sense to me. 2n all o! my e1perience aro/nd children o! varying ages 2 !eel that all o! &iaget6s stages o! cognitive development are acc/rate. 2t is interesting !or me to learn the theory behind children6s behaviors in these di!!erent age gro/ps. 2 have always /nderstood that children can or cannot do something at a certain age$ b/t learning abo/t &iaget6s stages has helped me to /nderstand why and the theory and brain !/nction behind it. ;ev 'ygots#y is another contrib/ting theorist to the early childhood !ield. 'ygtos#y6s theory is called the -socioc/lt/ral theory.. He believed that what children learn is based on the c/lt/re in which they were raised and things they were e1posed to beca/se o! that c/lt/re and environment. 2 do agree that many things children learn are directly d/e to the things they are s/rro/nded by day in and day o/t. However$ 2 can6t !/lly agree. 2 !eel that children in varying environments now a days can learn many things whether these things are in their daily c/lt/re or not. %/ch o! this in today,s time is d/e to technology. 'ygots#y believed that children o!ten achieve goals and learning thro/gh the s/pport and assistance o! another person$ namely an ad/lt. He called this the -5one o! pro1imal development.. This 5one was the area in between a child being able to independently achieve a goal and the potential to achieve this goal with help !rom an ad/lt or peers. long with this$ 'ygots#y believed in a practice titled

-sca!!olding.. This is when an ad/lt caregiver ga/ges the amo/nt o! s/pport a child needs with a speci!ic tas# or s#ill and sca!!olds their s/pport accordingly. Sca!!olding is something 2 !/lly s/pport and agree with. 2 !eel that it is cr/cial in the early childhood !ield. 2t is #ey to recogni5e what a child needs !rom an ad/lt as over s/pporting or /nder s/pporting can be detrimental to learning.

Jamie Dennison FHS 2600 Theory Comparison )F S#inner was a theorist that s/ggested and s/pported the idea o! -behavioral learning.. This is the idea that learning happens when there is a change in behavior d/e to positive or negative conse</ences. S#inner developed the theory o! -operant conditioning. which is the process o! /sing pleasant or /npleasant conse</ences to control a behavior. 2n operant conditioning there is a system o! rein!orcements. There is positive rein!orcement 3which is a reward4$ negative rein!orcement 3which is the avoidance o! a conse</ence4 and p/nishment 3which is a negative conse</ence given in order to decrease the negative behavior4. There is so m/ch that goes into behaviorism and behavioral learning. These ideas and theories o! behavioral learning ma#e sense to me. 2 don6t$ however$ believe that all aspects o! behavioral learning are best !or the g/idance and teaching o! children. 2 don6t believe that children learn best when -p/nished. or -rewarded. in the general sense o! the terms. 2 believe that children learn best i! -p/nished. or -rewarded. thro/gh nat/ral conse</ences o! actions$ rather than things li#e treats or time o/ts. The +eggio "milia approach is a type o! theory and practice in teaching children. This style o! teaching and learning comes !rom s/ccess!/l and world renowned schools in +eggio "milia$ 2taly. This approach to learning is a place where a combination o! theories are integrated. There are many aspects to the +eggio "milia approach. First is the image o! the child. +eggio "milia schools believe that the child is and sho/ld become a strong$ !/nctioning$ citi5en and contrib/tor to society. They believe in the importance o! relationships and #eep children and teachers together as m/ch as possible to !oster strong healthy relationships between child and teacher as well as peers. The +eggio "milia approach is a combination o! active participation between child$ teacher and parent !or it to

Jamie Dennison FHS 2600 Theory Comparison !/nction properly. +eggio "milia schools are #nown !or their aesthetically pleasing environments. 2t is important to remember that all aspects o! the environment serve a speci!ic p/rpose. There is no speci!ic c/rric/l/m in +eggio "milia schools. ;earning is based o!! o! the children6s interests and </estions. 2 really li#e the idea o! the +eggio "milia approach. 2t seems to be a very calming$ mellow environment and approach to teaching children. 2t seems very child centered$ which is !antastic. 2 do however believe that some type o! str/ct/re and rigidity is good !or children and !rom what 2 can tell the +eggio "milia approach is very laid bac# and la1 in their re</irements and limits o! the children. "ach o! these theories and theorists are contrib/ting !actors to the #nowledge that we have regarding children$ the way they learn and the way that they develop. "ach brings a di!!erent perspective and idea to the way that children learn. 2 !eel that 2 most connect and /nderstand &iaget6s theories o! development and learning. They seem li#e the most scienti!ic and logical e1planations !or the way children learn$ which spea#s to me most. ltho/gh this is the most

/nderstandable theorist to me$ all others bring aspects that 2 agree with and /se in my /nderstanding$ g/idance and teaching o! children.