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Child Developmental Theories

Powerful Essays
Child Developmental Theories

When an infant arrives in the world they are helpless tiny humans who depend on adults for every need from love, to feeding them. It is amazing how these tiny babies grow into adults able to make decisions and become self-dependent. There are many theories about how children develop and what roles the environment plays, what people affect their lives and how events can shape their personalities. Some of these children have and easy life and some have a harder time making that journey to adulthood.

Child development was largely ignored throughout most of human history and refers to that which occurs from birth to adulthood. Infants and children were mostly viewed as a smaller version of an adult and little attention was paid to the many advances in cognitive abilities, language usage, and physical growth. Then in the 20th-century interest began to development in the field of child development, and tended to focus on abnormal behavior. The following are just a few of the many child development theories that have been proposed by theorists and researchers.

Jean Piaget: Cognitive Child Development Theories

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist. He was a specialist in child psychology, and elaborated a theory of progressive intellectual development. He developed the theory of cognitive psychology which characterized intelligence as the coordination of an organized intellectual system and the external world.

Jean Piaget’s theory was based on how children think differently than adults and proposed a stage theory of cognitive development. He was the first to realize that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of their world and grow from that knowledge.

Jean Piaget’s us...

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...nowledge about the development of a child and adolescent provides clues in understanding behavior and what is "normal," or typical, in growth and development in the early months and years of life. All the developmental theories tie into one another and help influence new theories. Each theory is important separately and as a whole.

Works Cited

Atherton J S (2011) Learning and Teaching; Behaviourism [On-line: UK] retrieved 28 March 2011 from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/behaviour.htm

Atherton J S (2011) Learning and Teaching; Piaget's developmental theory [On-line: UK] retrieved 28 March 2011 from http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/piaget.htm

Papalia, D. E., Olds, Wendkos S., Feldman, Duskin R. (2008). A child’s world: infancy through adolescence (11th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill; Retrieved on March 25th,2011
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