After studying a plethora of child development theorist throughout my time here at Brigham Young University–Idaho, there are four that have influenced me the most. They are Maria Montessori, Lev Vygotsky, Friedrich Froebel, and Rudolf Steiner. All of these philosophers have created many significant theories that have impacted the Child Development field. I know that I will be able to use these methods as I graduate and continue on with my education and teaching children.
Maria Montessori has many key points and theories that I will use working with children in the future. One of them is that, “all children, whether or not they had disabilities, can benefit from the freedom to learn which means that they are free to engage in different materials at their own pace” (Grotewell & Burton, 2008, pg. 28). I love that children with disabilities is included with this statement. I believe that all children can learn no matter what their circumstances may be and that teachers need to focus on each individual child in the classroom. This leads to the next point that studying children helps teachers learn how to properly teach (Grotewell & Burton, 2008). All children are different and will learn in many different ways. Another important aspect in her theories is that “all young children naturally prefer to learn in an organized but supportive environment” (Grotewell & Burton, 2008, pg. 29). My future classroom will be orderly and attractive for the children; materials will be organized as well as easily accessible. Montessori was also one of the first to promote child-sized furniture (Grotewell & Burton, 2008). Having child-sized materials and furniture is extremely important in aiding a child to be independent. Overall Montessori supports...
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...“learn by doing and especially in joining in what is being done by others” (Nicol, 2015, pg. 2). Children learn by imitation. When children observe others they are likely to repeat the action. For example, when parents are on the phone a young child might mimic their parents later with a play phone by holding it up to their ear and talking into it. Children are very observant. It is significant that parent and other adult figures are behaving, as they would want their child to behave.
These philosophers all have some key points that are distinctive to their theory and others that are similar to one another. I believe that using these methods in my own unique way will help me form my own techniques for future purpose working with children. Child development practices would not be the same today if they did not have these four significant theorists.
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