Theories of Development

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Theories of Development

There are many theories that now influence current practice in different ways. Here I am going to explain the following theories of development:

* Cognitive
* Psychoanalytical
* Humanist
* Social Learning
* Operant Conditioning
* Behaviourist
* Social pedagogy

Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980)
Piaget focuses on cognitive development; he was all about the child centred approach, he believed children are active learners and make sense of the world through their own experiences. Piaget believed that a child develops through a series of pre-determined stages to adulthood and said that a child needs to be at a specific stage of development to learn new concepts. His theory is concerned with the children rather than all learners and it focuses more on the development and not so much the learning which means this theory doesn’t really co-inside with learning of information and specific behaviours. Piaget influences current practise because the EYFS states that we need to have a balance of child initiated activities and children can be independent learners. We also have free flow within the setting which will highlight the child centred approach that Piaget believed in. He has also influenced the approach to managing children’s behaviour through looking at a child’s moral development through their point of view rather than an adult.

Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)
Freud focuses on the psychoanalytical theory; he was particularly interested in the development of characteristics and personality. Freud believed we have an unconscious mind that is split into three parts and this this makes up our personality; the id, ego and superego. The id is where all our desires and needs come from and can be known as the selfish and passionate component of our personality e.g. a baby will cry and cry to be fed, not thinking of how tired their parent/carer may be. The ego is where we start to consider consequences of our actions and...
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