There are five main perspectives to human development; Psychoanalytic, Learning, Cognitive, Evolutionary/Sociobiological and Contextual. In this paper we will compare and contrast three of these developmental theories, the Psychoanalytic, Contextual and Cognitive. We will show how each theory has added to the knowledge we have of child development. We will also examines how, by using the knowledge that has been gained from these theories, parents and educators alike, have been able to be more informed of the needs of children and their ability to reach higher goals.
According to Freud, three aspects of early childhood development are the developing of the ego, id and superego in resolving the conflicts during early childhood stages: the oral stage, anal stage and phallic stages of development including the Oedipus complex (Quigley, Psychoanalysis). This is what is known as the Psychoanalytic theory of human development. Generally, the personality develops through the structures of the mind and into three parts with separate motivations; ID, the emotional and irrational part of the brain; the Ego the mostly rational part of the brain; and the Superego the part of the brain that brings morality to the table. Freud believed that a psychic energy was required for movement through the stages (Neil, Major Themes) Freud claimed that all human beings are born with certain instincts, i.e. with a natural tendency to satisfy their biologically determined needs for food, shelter and warmth that are both practical and a source of pleasure which Freud refers to as "sexual". For instance, when the infant, sucking at its mother's breast discovers the pleasure inherent in this activity, the first glimmers of sexuality are awakened. The child discovers an erogenous zone which may be reactivated later in life through thumb sucking or kissing. Through this intimate interaction