Theories

Theories of Child Development

Linked to Units 023 (Diploma) 022 (Certificate)

Cognitive Child Development Theories
Theorist Jean Piaget suggested that children think differently than adults and proposed a stage theory of cognitive development. He was the first to note that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of the world. According to his theory, children can be thought of as “little scientists” who actively construct their knowledge and understanding of the world.
Piaget was a Swiss theorist who posited that children learn actively through the play process. He suggested that the adults role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials for the child to interact and construct. He would use Socratic questioning (Socratic questioning is disciplined questioning that can be used to pursue thought in many directions and for many purposes, including: to explore complex ideas) to get the children to reflect on what they were doing. He would try to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. He also developed stages of development. His approach can be seen in how the curriculum is sequenced in schools, and in the pedagogy of preschool centers across the United States.
Psychoanalytic Child Development Theories
Sigmund Freud
The theories proposed by Sigmund Freud stressed the importance of childhood events and experiences, but almost exclusively focused on mental disorders rather that normal functioning.
According to Sigmund Freuds psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality is composed of three elements. These three elements of personality–known as the id, the ego and the superego–work together to create complex human behaviours.
The Id
The id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. This aspect of personality is entirely unconscious and includes of the instinctive and primitive behaviours. According to Freud, the id is the source of all psychic energy, making it the primary component of personality.
The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension. For example, an increase in hunger or thirst should produce an immediate attempt to eat or drink. The id is very important early in life, because it ensures that an infants needs are met. If the infant is hungry or uncomfortable, he or she will cry until the demands of the id are met.
However, immediately satisfying these needs is not always realistic or even possible. If we were ruled entirely by the pleasure principle, we might find ourselves grabbing things we want out of other peoples hands to satisfy our own cravings. This sort of behaviour would be both disruptive and socially unacceptable. According to Freud, the id tries to resolve the tension created by the pleasure principle through the primary process, which involves forming a mental image of the desired object as a way of satisfying the need.
The Ego
The ego is the component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. According to Freud, the ego develops from the id and ensures that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a manner acceptable in the real world. The ego functions in both the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious mind.
The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the ids desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon impulses. In many cases, the ids impulses can be satisfied through a process of delayed gratification–the ego will eventually allow the behaviour, but only in the appropriate time and place.
The ego also discharges tension created by unmet impulses through the secondary process, in which the ego tries to find an object in the real world that matches the mental image created by the ids primary process.
According to Sigmund Freuds psychoanalytic theory of personality, personality is composed of three elements. These three elements of personality–known as the id, the ego and the superego–work together to create complex human behaviours.
The Id
The id is the only component of personality that is present from birth. This aspect of personality is entirely unconscious and includes of the instinctive and primitive behaviours. According to Freud, the id is the source of all psychic energy, making it the primary component of personality.
The id is driven by the pleasure principle, which strives for immediate gratification of all desires, wants, and needs. If these needs are not satisfied immediately, the result is a state anxiety or tension. For example, an increase in hunger or thirst should produce an immediate attempt to eat or drink. The id is very important early in life, because it ensures that an infants needs are met. If the infant is hungry or uncomfortable, he or she will cry until the demands of the id are met.
However, immediately satisfying these needs is not always realistic or even possible. If we were ruled entirely by the pleasure principle, we might find ourselves grabbing things we want out of other peoples hands to satisfy our own cravings. This sort of behaviour would be both disruptive and socially unacceptable. According to Freud, the id tries to resolve the tension created by the pleasure principle through the primary process, which involves forming a mental image of the desired object as a way of satisfying the need.
The Ego
The ego is the component of personality that is responsible for dealing with reality. According to Freud, the ego develops from the id and ensures that the impulses of the id can be expressed in a manner acceptable in the real world. The ego functions in both the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious mind.
The ego operates based on the reality principle, which strives to satisfy the ids desires in realistic and socially appropriate ways. The reality principle weighs the costs and benefits of an action before deciding to act upon or abandon impulses. In many cases, the ids impulses can be satisfied through a process of delayed gratification–the ego will eventually allow the behaviour, but only in the appropriate time and place.
The ego also discharges tension created by unmet impulses through the secondary process, in which the ego tries to find an object in the real world that matches the mental image created by the ids primary process.
The Superego
The last component of personality to develop is the superego. The superego is the aspect of personality that holds all of our internalized moral standards and ideals that we acquire from both parents and society–our sense of right and wrong. The superego provides guidelines for making judgments. According to Freud, the superego begins to emerge at around age five.
There are two parts of the superego:
The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for good behaviours. These behaviours include those which are approved of by parental and other authority figures. Obeying these rules leads to feelings of pride, value and accomplishment.

The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad by parents and society. These behaviours are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments or feelings of guilt and remorse.
The superego acts to perfect and civilize our behaviour. It works to suppress all unacceptable urges of the id and struggles to make the ego act upon idealistic standards rather that upon realistic principles. The superego is present in the conscious, preconscious and unconscious.
Humanist Theory
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs is a “content theory” of motivation” (the other main one is Herzbergs Two Factor Theory).
Maslows theory consisted of two parts:
(1) The classification of human needs, and
(2) Consideration of how the classes are related to each other
The classes of needs were summarised by Maslow as follows:

How does the Hierarchy Work
– A person starts at the bottom of the hierarchy (pyramid) and will initially seek to satisfy basic needs (e.g. food, shelter)
– Once these physiological needs have been satisfied, they are no longer a motivator. The individual moves up to the next level
– Safety needs at work could include physical safety (e.g. protective clothing) as well as protection against unemployment, loss of income through sickness etc)
– Social needs recognise that most people want to belong to a group. These would include the need for love and belonging (e.g. working with colleague who support you at work, teamwork, communication)
– Esteem needs are about being given recognition for a job well done. They reflect the fact that many people seek the esteem and respect of others. A promotion at work might achieve this
– Self-actualisation is about how people think about themselves – this is often measured by the extent of success and/or challenge at work
Maslows model has great potential appeal in the business world. The message is clear – if management can find out which level each employee has reached, then they can decide on suitable rewards.

Maslow??™s theory links closely with children??™s individual routines

Social Learning Theory (Bandura) Summary: Bandura??™s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modelling. The theory has often been called a bridge between behaviourist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation.
Originator: Albert Bandura
Key Terms: Modelling, reciprocal determinism
Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
People learn through observing others??™ behaviour, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviours. ???Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.??? (Bandura). Social learning theory explains human behaviour in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioural, and environmental influences.

B.F. Skinner
Parents have long known that children respond to a system of rewards and punishments. While to say that this is a simplification of the theories of famed American behaviourist B.F. Skinner would be an understatement, it is accurately descriptive of the most basic aspect of his beliefs. Operant behaviour and operant conditioning, Skinners most widely acclaimed work, is based on a system of both positive and negative reinforcement.
Operant Behaviour and ConditioningWhile it is commonly known that behaviour is affected by its consequences, Skinners theory of operant conditioning further states that the process does not require repeated efforts, but is instead an immediate reaction to a familiar stimulus. In an experiment with a rat using food as a reward (which would work for many of us, as well!), the animal was placed in a box and over the course of a few days, food was occasionally delivered through an automatic dispenser. Before long, the rat approached the food tray as soon as the sound of the dispenser was heard, clearly anticipating the arrival of more food.
In the next step of the experiment, researchers raised a small lever on the wall of the box and when the rat touched it, the food dispenser provided a snack. After the first self-induced meal, the rat repeatedly touched the lever in order to get more food (smart rat!). To the hungry rodent, the sound of the dispenser became a reinforcer when it was first associated with feedings and continued to be so until after a while, researchers stopped providing food when the lever was pressed. Soon after that, the rat stopped touching the lever.
Positive and Negative ReinforcersReinforcers can be positive or negative and both are used to strengthen behaviour. Unlike animals, humans (the big ones as well as the little ones) often respond to verbal operants, taking advice, listening to the warnings of others, and obeying given rules and laws, even without having personally experienced any negative consequences from disobeying. The knowledge of what could happen if certain behaviours are chosen can be enough to keep us from acting in certain ways. Although this isnt always the case, with many lessons being learned “the hard way”, the ability to benefit from the experiences of others as examples is a uniquely human characteristic.
One of the aspects important to human behaviour, though, is the feelings associated with behaviour that is controlled by conditioning. When previous behaviours have been rewarded, children are likely to repeat those behaviours happily and willingly, feeling that they are doing what they want to be doing. If, on the other hand, children choose behaviours in order to avoid a repeat of negative reinforcement, they may behave appropriately, but will be inclined to feel that their freedoms are being suppressed. In reality, the actual freedom still exists, of course. Children, like the rest of us, are free to behave in any manner that they choose, as long as they are willing to accept the consequences of their actions.

Behavioral Child Development Theories
Behavioral theories of child development focus on how environmental interaction influences behavior and are based upon the theories of theorists such as John B. Watson, Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner. These theories deal only with observable behaviors. Development is considered a reaction to rewards, punishments, stimuli and reinforcement. This theory differs considerably from other child development theories because it gives no consideration to internal thoughts or feelings. Instead, it focuses purely on how experience shapes who we are.

Theory Watson coined the term “Behaviourism” in 1913. Behaviourism assumes that behaviour is observable and can be correlated with other observable events. Thus, there are events that precede and follow behaviour. Behaviourism??™s goal is to explain relationships between antecedent conditions (stimuli), behaviour (responses), and consequences (reward, punishment, or neutral effect). Watsons theory was more concerned with effects of stimuli. He derived much of his thinking from Pavlovs animal studies (classical conditioning). This is also referred to as “learning through stimulus substitution,” a reference to the substitution of one stimulus for another. For example, the ringing of a bell eventually produced the same response as food for Pavlovs dogs. Aspects of Watsons theory: ??? He opposed mentalist concepts ??? He used contiguity to explain learning ??? He considered emotion to be just another example of classical conditioning ??? He rejected the notion of individual differences ??? He thought complex behaviours came about through combinations of identifiable reflexes ??? He was a chief proponent of “nurture” and believed that all human differences were the result of learning ??? He believed that practice strengthens learning

Ivan Pavlov
One of the best-known aspects of behavioral learning theory is classical conditioning. Discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning is a learning process that occurs through associations between an environmental stimulus and a naturally occurring stimulus.
Its important to note that classical conditioning involves placing a neutral signal before a naturally occurring reflex. In Pavlovs classic experiment with dogs, the neutral signal was the sound of a tone and the naturally occurring reflex was salivating in response to food. By associating the neutral stimulus with the environmental stimulus (the presentation of food), the sound of the tone alone could produce the salivation response.
In order to understand how more about how classical conditioning works, it is important to be familiar with the basic principles of the process.
The Unconditioned Stimulus
The unconditioned stimulus is one that unconditionally, naturally, and automatically triggers a response. For example, when you smell one of your favorite foods, you may immediately feel very hungry. In this example, the smell of the food is the unconditioned stimulus.
The Unconditioned Response
The unconditioned response is the unlearned response that occurs naturally in response to the unconditioned stimulus. In our example, the feeling of hunger in response to the smell of food is the unconditioned response.
The Conditioned Stimulus
The conditioned stimulus is previously neutral stimulus that, after becoming associated with the unconditioned stimulus, eventually comes to trigger a conditioned response. In our earlier example, suppose that when you smelled your favorite food, you also heard the sound of a whistle. While the whistle is unrelated to the smell of the food, if the sound of the whistle was paired multiple times with the smell, the sound would eventually trigger the conditioned response. In this case, the sound of the whistle is the conditioned stimulus.
The Conditioned Response
The conditioned response is the learned response to the previously neutral stimulus. In our example, the conditioned response would be feeling hungry when you heard the sound of the whistle

ygotskyMain articles: Lev Vygotsky and Cultural-historical psychology
Vygotsky was a theorist who worked during the first decades of the former Soviet Union. He posited that children learn through hands-on experience, as Piaget suggested. However, unlike Piaget, he claimed that timely and sensitive intervention by adults when a child is on the edge of learning a new task (called the zone of proximal development) could help children learn new tasks. This technique is called “scaffolding,” because it builds upon knowledge children already have with new knowledge that adults can help the child learn.] An example of this might be when a parent “helps” an infant clap or roll her hands to the pat-a-cake rhyme, until she can clap and roll her hands herself.
Vygotsky was strongly focused on the role of culture in determining the childs pattern of development. He argued that “Every function in the childs cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals.???
Vygotsky felt that development was a process and saw periods of crisis in child development during which there was a qualitative transformation in the childs mental functioning

Principles of Social PedagogySocial pedagogy is based on humanistic values stressing human dignity, mutual respect, trust, unconditional appreciation, and equality, to mention but a few. It is underpinned by a fundamental concept of children, young people and adults as equal human beings with rich and extraordinary potential and considers them competent, resourceful and active agents.
Overall, social pedagogy aims to achieve:
Holistic education ??“ education of head (cognitive knowledge), heart (emotional and spiritual learning), and hands (practical and physical skills)?;
Holistic well-being ??“ strengthening health-sustaining factors and providing support for people to enjoy a long-lasting feeling of happiness;
To enable children, young people as well as adults to empower themselves and be self-responsible persons who take responsibility for their society;
To promote human welfare and prevent or ease social problems.

Pgs 64 ??“ 71 Diploma text book

??? Cognitive ??“ Jean Piaget
??? Psychoanalytical ??“ Sigmund Freud
??? Humanist ??“ Abraham Maslow
??? Social learning ??“ Albert Bandura
??? Operant conditioning ??“ B.F Skinner,
??? Behaviourist ??“ B.F.Skinner, Ivan Pavlov, John B Watson
??? Social pedagogy (Holistic)

Bibliography to be used as evidence in assignments
http://www.infed.org/biblio/b-socped.htm
http://www.lifecircles-inc.com/Learningtheories/behaviorism/Watson.html
http://www.kidsdevelopment.co.uk/BFSkinnersBehaviouralTheory.html

Social Learning Theory (Bandura)


http://www.child-development-guide.com/child-development-theorists.html
Wikipedia
Lawrence Kohlberg and Child Development
North Central Regional Educational Laboratory
Text book (full title and Author of what you used)


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