The Nuts Bolts of Early Childhood Education

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Information about The Nuts Bolts of Early Childhood Education

Published on July 31, 2009

Author: Piaget


The Nuts and Bolts of Early Childhood Education:  The Nuts and Bolts of Early Childhood Education Child Development Theorists Human Development Theory:  Human Development Theory Human Development Theory seeks explanations for the ways that human beings develop from infancy to adulthood. This presentation will focus on the work of: B.F. Skinner Erik Erikson Jean Piaget Lev Vygotsky B.F. Skinner:  B.F. Skinner Behavioral Theory Skinner’s theory described children as shaped by external forces in their environment. He is respected for his ideas on behaviorism. Operant conditioning: the behavior is followed by a consequence, and the nature of the consequence modifies the organism’s tendency to repeat the behavior in the future (Boeree, 2006). He made contributions to learning theory and principles of behavior modification. Erik Erikson:  Erik Erikson Psychosocial Theory Erikson is known for his psychosocial stages of development that span an individual’s lifetime. His basic philosophy might be said to rest on two major themes: the world gets bigger as we go along, and failure is cumulative (Harder, 2002). Each stage is focused on overcoming a conflict / crisis. When there is success, the individual can progress to the next level. Erikson’s early childhood stages are: trust (0-18 mos.); autonomy (8 mos.-3 yrs.); initiative (3-5 yrs.); and industry (6 yrs. - adolescence). Jean Piaget:  Jean Piaget Cognitive Developmental Theory His researches in developmental psychology and genetic epistemology had one unique goal: how does knowledge grow (Smith, 1997)? Thought processes influence how individuals understand and interact with the world. Children learn through actively constructing knowledge through hands-on experience. There are 4 stages: sensorimotor (0-2 yrs.); preoperational (2-7yrs.); concrete operations (7-11 yrs.); formal operations (11+ yrs.). Lev Vygotsky:  Lev Vygotsky Sociocultural Theory Vygotsky stresses the importance of looking at each child as an individual who learns distinctively (Dahms et al.,2008). Children learn from hands on experience. Intervention by adults when a child is on the edge of learning a new task (Zone of Proximal Dev.) could help the child to learn the task. Scaffolding builds upon a child’s knowledge. Social interaction is the way that cultural values, customs and beliefs are transmitted from generation to generation. Terms to Know:  Terms to Know Can you define these terms? zone of proximal development (ZPD) accommodation programmed instruction reinforcement behavior modification assimilation extinction operant conditioning abstract thinking adaptation behaviorism autonomy schemata References:  References Boeree, C.G., (2006). Personality theories. Retrieved from Shippensbury University, Psychology Department. Retrieved from: Dahms, M. et al. (2008). The educational theory of L. Vygotsky: an analysis. New Foundations. Retrieved from: Harder, A.F., (2002) The developmental stages of Erik Erikson. Learning Place Retrieved from: Smith, L. (1997). Jean Piaget. Biographical Dictionary of Psychology. Retrieved from:

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