Three Theories of Learning and Development and Their Application to Teaching Infants or Toddlers in Aotearoa

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In the following essay I will analyse and critique three theories of learning and development and their application to teaching infants or toddlers in Aotearoa. The three theories that I have chosen are the Social Cultural theory by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, the Cognitive development theory by Swish developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and lastly the attachment theory by American developmental psychologist Mary Ainsworth. These three theories are important on helping to understand how children learn and develop in Early Childhood Education as well as in family and homes. Missing not done In Vygotsky’s theory of socio cultural, he highlights the importance of a child’s exposure to specific social interaction with their peers as well as different cultures. “emphasizes that children live in rich social and cultural context”. Pg97 Children will learn to do more with the help of anyone who is more knowledgeable than them. For example a child would not know how to pronounce the alphabet by their own as they don’t know what the letters stand for, with the guidance of their teacher or caregiver they will know what sound each letter makes. “Through joint activities with more mature members of their society, children master activities and think in ways that have meaning in their society”pg97. Vygotsky had a number of key concepts to support his theory. The main ones included the Zone of Proximal Development ZPD, scaffolding and Culture tools. ZPD was described as the difference in what a child can do with and without help. Scaffolding is providing support for what the child cannot do on their own. Scaffolding is used in different stages of ZPD. (Dockett & Fleer, 1999, p188). Culture tool are items developed from culture suc... ... middle of paper ... ...o micro systems reacting with each other such as the relationship between school and Early Childhood. Exosystems is the micro system where children are not directly included in, such as the school board or their parent’s work place. The Macrosystem are the dominant beliefs and ideologies. Pg125,126 The child as an “individual select, modify and create many of their own experiences. Te Whariki affirms Bronfenbrenner’s theory stating that “a childs environment extends far beyond the immediate setting of the home or early childhood programmes outside the home”pg 19. Bronfenbrenner’s theory gives us a perspective on how families, national government as well as the economy have a tremendous effect on a child’s development. Bronfenbrenner’s idea and research “have provided very important guidance for the whole field of work on culture and human development”pg127.

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