theory of development model of early childhood education
Having an evidence-based approach to inform own practice is about having the integration of research and legislation, adapting it to suit the individual needs of the children in the setting, by mixing evidence of research with practitioner expertise and values of legislations settings can ensure they are creating the best possible learning environment and consistency for the children in the setting. Bronfenbrenner identified the importance of studying children in multiple environments. It is very important that practitioners keep their professional knowledge up to date and ensure they are aware of any current research if it could affect their practice, this will ensure practitioners are aware any new findings around children’s development. By attending regular training sessions and attending any network meetings practitioners can ensure they are made aware of any changes in practice or legislation that could influence the outcomes for children. Any relevant updates in practice or legislation should be implemented as soon as possible and continued to be reviewed when necessary to ensure consistency and effectiveness in the relevant areas. Practitioners need to take the responsibility to do their own research around the relevant subjects, especially if they are lone workers such as childminders or stay at home parents who are home schooling. Through continuous interaction with children, parents, carers and other agencies, whilst also evaluating own practice, practitioners can ensure they are providing the best quality care and education possible for them.
2.4 Evaluate how evidence-based approaches can inform own practice.
Multi -aged Grouping, based on Periods of Development : Children are grouped in three or six-year spans and have the same teacher for this period. The first group is called the “Nido” and consists of children in necessary daycare for working parents. This is age 0-1, or “until walking”. The second group is known as the “Infant Community” and is from around one year to age 2-3. The third group is the “casa dei bambini” and is from 2.5-6 or 3-6, depending on the training of the teacher. The forth group is from 6-12, a larger age span because the children for this 6 years exhibit the same tendencies and learning habits. The emotional and physical growth is steady and the intellectual work strong. The 6 year old learns from and is inspired by children much older, and the teaching is done by older to younger as well as younger to older. This large age span helps to avoid the tendency of some teachers to over-schedule and over-direct students who need ever more freedom of time-planning and research. Sometimes this age group is divided into 6-9 ad 9-12, but this is a new development and still questioned by many. The next group is the 12-15 which is, at least in the West, a more emotional time with less ability to focus on intellectual work. Dr. Montessori called this time the Erdkinder CHildren, and proposed a farm school with real work close to the earth. The high school years are, as in traditional schools, a time of much more intellectual work, but with a different kind of child who has been through years of critical thinking, caring for the earth and other people, and independent research.
Jean Piaget’s stage theory describes the cognitive development of children. Cognitive development involves changes in cognitive process and abilities. In Piaget’s view, early cognitive development involves processes based upon actions and later progresses into changes in mental operations.
Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory is commonly relied upon today across many industries and professions. This theory states that while much child learning and development does come from direct experience, much also comes from modeling and simple observations. Bandura himself is another important and very pioneering figure in psychology who is currently the Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.
John Bowlby was another groundbreaking psychologist and theorist in matters of development. He also crafted one of the earliest known child development theories which still sees prominent use and citation today. In Bowlby’s Attachment Theory, he asserted that much of child development is based on the innate need of children to form attachments. These attachments may involve any number of people, places, or things and ultimately have a substantial effect on onward development patterns throughout life.
Another psychologist named Lev Vygotsky proposed a seminal learning theory that has gone on to become very influential, especially in the field of education. Like Piaget, Vygotsky believed that children learn actively and through hands-on experiences.
Today, contemporary psychologists often draw on a variety of theories and perspectives in order to understand how kids grow, behave, and think. These theories represent just a few of the different ways of thinking about child development.
Behaviorism is a perspective on learning that focuses on changes in individuals’ observable behaviors— changes in what people say or do. At some point we all use this perspective, whether we call it “behaviorism” or something else. The first time that I drove a car, for example, I was concerned primarily with whether I could actually do the driving, not with whether I could describe or explain how to drive. For another example: when I reached the point in life where I began cooking meals for myself, I was more focused on whether I could actually produce edible food in a kitchen than with whether I could explain my recipes and cooking procedures to others. And still another example—one often relevant to new teachers: when I began my first year of teaching, I was more focused on doing the job of teaching—on day-to-day survival—than on pausing to reflect on what I was doing.
Social constructivism sees abstract thinking emerging from dialogue between a relative novice (a child or youth) and a more experienced expert (a parent or teacher). From this point of view, the more such dialogue occurs, then the more the child can acquire facility with it. The dialogue must, of course, honor a child’s need for intellectual scaffolding or a zone of proximal development. A teacher’s responsibility can therefore include engaging the child in dialogue that uses potentially abstract reasoning, but without expecting the child to understand the abstractions fully at first. Young children, for example, can not only engage in science experiments like creating a “volcano” out of baking soda and water, but also discuss and speculate about their observations of the experiment. They may not understand the experiment as an adult would, but the discussion can begin moving them toward adult-like understandings.