Theories of development offer insights into the forces guiding childhood growth and what can affect them.
Each offers insight but each has limitations, which is why developmental scientists use more than one theory to guide their thinking about the growth of children.
Current practice is based on many years of knowledge and experience. This helps us to understand children learning, development and behavior.
Research is ongoing and new information becomes available all the time. This means it is important that we keep our knowledge up to date and use new ideas in practice.
Research into child development is an ongoing process. It is continuously influenced by new ideas which are based on established theory.
Some of psychology’s best known theorists have developed theories to help explore and explain different aspects of child development. Today we can draw on a variety of theories and perspectives in order to understand how children grow, behave and think.
There have been several theorists who have given many different theories that we know and use today. These theories try to explain how children develop and at what rate or pattern. This gives us a framework for understanding the process of development. Working with just one framework could stop us from exploring other views, so it is important that we look at and learn from theories from several different areas -
* Cognitive theories focus on internal states such as motivation, problem solving, decision making and attention. * Social learning theories focus on how children learn and acquire new knowledge. * Behavioural theories, also known as behaviourism are theories based upon the idea that all behaviours are acquired through conditioning. Today behavioural techniques are used in therapeutic settings to help children learn new skills and behaviours. * Psychoanalytical theorists