2.3 Explain how theories of development and framework to support development influence current practice. In this work I will refer to the main group of psychologists that are associated with child development and their consequent impact on the way we care for and teach our children. It is clearly a vast subject, but I hope to identify the most important theories and show how they are implemented in order to provide each child with the greatest chance of reaching their potential. Psychologists have spent whole lifetimes studying how we develop socially and emotionally. Some of the key theories are described below. Psychodynamic Theories Psychodynamic theories of personality are strongly influenced by the work of Sigmund Freud, and emphasise the influence of the unconscious mind and sometimes forgotten childhood experiences on personality. Psychodynamic theories include Sigmund Freud's psychosexual stage theory and Erik Erikson's stages of psychosocial development. Sigmund Freud believed the three components of personality were the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is responsible for all needs and urges, while the superego for ideals and moral. The ego then moderates between the demands of the id, the superego, and reality in order to produce a satisfactory conclusion or compromise. Erik Erikson discusses psychosocial stages, and believed that personality progressed through a series of stages, with certain conflicts arising at each stage. Success in any stage depended upon successfully overcoming these conflicts He placed importance on the role of culture and society and the conflicts that can take place within the ego itself, whereas Freud emphasised the conflict between the id and the superego. According to Erikson, the ego develops as it successfully resolves difficulties of a specifically social nature. This involves establishing trust in others, developing a sense of your own identity within society, and helping children prepare themselves for their future. Erikson furthers Freudian ideas by focusing on the ego as ever-changing and creative, and he believed that the stages of personality development continued throughout our lifespan. Behavioural Theories These suggest that personality is a result of interaction between the individual and the environment. Behavioural theorists study observable and measurable behaviour, and reject theories that take internal thoughts and feelings into account. B.F.Skinner Skinner believed that children learn through experience or conditioning. He coined the term ‘operant conditioning’, meaning simply changing behaviour by the use of reinforcement which is given after the desired response. Neutral operants are responses from the environment that neither increase nor decrease the probability of a behaviour being repeated. Reinforcers are either positive or negative responses from the environment that will increase the probability of that behaviour being repeated. Punishers are responses from the environment that decrease the likelihood of a behaviour being repeated. The punishment weakens the behaviour. As children we constantly try out different behaviours, and learnt from their consequences, sometimes the hard way! Positive rewards/reinforcements for good behaviour are the basis of many behaviour management techniques. Albert Bandura Bandura developed the idea of ‘modelling’ or social...
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