Several theorist and theories have impacted early childhood, and the way educators teach today. Some have developed ideas and theories, while others have developed programs such as Kindergarten, the Reggio Emilia Approach, and the Montessori Program. This essay will cover the following theorists’ contributions to early childhood: Jerome Bruner, John Dewey, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Froebel, Howard Gardner, Loris Malaguzzi, Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky.
Jerome Bruner is known for his theory of cognitive growth in which a child’s intellectual ability develops in stages based on how the mind is used (Smith, M. K., 2002). During his research, he concluded that there are three modes of representation in which humans store and encode information in their memory: enactive, iconic, and symbolic (McLeod, S., 2008). During enactive representation, around birth to 1 year of age, an infant encodes information based on an action such as muscle memory when an infant will act like he or she is shaking a rattle even after it has been removed from the hand (McLeod, S., 2008). When a child is around one to six years old, he or she will store information visually by pictures or representations (McLeod, S., 2008). From seven years old onward a person stores information through a code or symbol, primarily in language, mathematical symbols, or other symbols (McLeod, S., 2008). Bruner suggests following each stage in order when presenting new information to a learner (McLeod, S., 2008).
Bruner impacts early childhood education by expressing his belief that children need to engage in problem solving and discovery learning (McLeod, S., 2008). Many classrooms today engage their children in discovery learnin...
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...two categories, gifts and occupations (Froebel Web, n. d.). Gifts were the materials in the room “that were fixed in *** such as blocks” (Froebel Web, n. d.). This would facilitate learning by understanding the concept the material represented (Froebel Web, n. d.). Occupations were materials that could be manipulated such as clay, paper, and sand (Froebel Web, n. d.).
Prior to the development of Kindergarten, Froebel designed wooden blocks that encouraged creativity, unlike the prior ones that had designs and lacked mathematical logic (Froebel Web, n. d.). These wooden blocks are much like the type we see in most early childhood classrooms today. Children use their imaginations and construct various types of architecture with these plain wooden blocks. Children are also free to explore with manipulative materials such as those provided in Froebel’s Play and Activity
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