Choosing Child Development Theory

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CHOOSING A THEORY

I have chosen B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson’s behaviorism and social learning theory to be the theory that I identify with most. This theory is all about learned behavior. Whether it is from a child’s peers, teachers or parents, I believe all of our actions should reflect what we would like our children or the children in our care to strive for. Reinforcing a particular behavior can cause the act or motion within this behavior to be repeated. For example if a child climbs up on a chair, falls down and hurts themselves, the young one might not be too keen on repeating that action. This can also depend on the child as well, but generally children will learn what hurts them and what doesn’t. This theory also lends the idea that the positive encouragement we give to a child will be met with interest and excitement to do that same task over and more frequently to receive that desired praise. This way of thinking is used by parents, teachers, daycare providers, and most other people dealing with children. I’ve even seen my own child’s doctor use this theory in his practice. My daughter, 3 years old at the time, had been having a hard time with strep throat. The medication taken orally was making her vomit and she wasn’t getting the much needed antibiotics into her system. The only other option was the medication through injection. Deathly afraid of needles, my daughter was visibly upset about what needed to be done and less than willing to participate. The doctor bent down to her eye level and spoke in a firm but reassuring voice that after he administered the medication, she was sure to receive the sticker of her choice. Quite a simple and not extravagant by any means reward, but highly affective. Children grow and learn from our examples and our lessons, big or small. This is evident every day in my classroom as well. My example of small things such as washing my hands the correct way, picking up toys and...
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