To what extent do the ‘grand theories’ discussed in Book 1, Chapter 2 take account of the role of social experiences in child development? Throughout much of history children were often viewed as small versions of adults and little attention was paid to their cognitive, emotional, physical, social and educational growth. Today, recognising such things is essential because they can have either a positive or negative impact on a child’s development. There are four ‘grand theories’ in child development: Behaviourism, Social Learning Theory, Constructivism and Social Constructivism. They are referred to as Grand Theories because they offer explanations of child development as a whole, rather than in specific areas.
His interest in children’s cognitive processes developed when he started to notice that children of similar ages made the same kinds of mistakes on test questions. After in depth research, Piaget developed the stages of cognitive development theory. This revolved around the idea that unlike adults, thinking and mental development of children changes qualitatively with age (Passer & Smith, 2013). In order to understand Piaget’s theory, it is important to understand its fundamental principles. The first, Piaget referred to using the term ‘schema’.
1.1 Explain the sequence and rate of each aspect of development that would normally be expected in children and young people from birth-19 years. Children’s development is split into 4 aspects which are; Physical development, intellectual development, speech and language development, emotional and social development. It is important to understand that development should be looked at holistically. Holistic development means that all areas of development are thought about and that all aspects involved have an impact on the child. Each area supports another rather than just one at a time.
A description and evaluation of cognitive developmental theories Unit 1: by Nazar Mahmood (group B) According to Schacter (2009) cognitive development is the changing process of thought, learning and perception as a child develops from infancy to adulthood. Two notable psychologists, Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) hypothesised cognitive development theories to explain how this happens. Piaget (1956) suggested that children’s cognition passes through four major stages that are both invariant and universal - that the stages are always in the same order and children never skip a stage, regardless of the country or culture, which contrasts an alternative approach by Vygotsky’s seminal theory that stresses the importance of culture, in teaching children both how to think and what to think. However, the theories of both psychologists have strengths and limitations. The underlying concepts of Piaget’s theory are as follows.
The sequence usually remains relatively the same in each child, but the rate at which many milestones are achieved can vary greatly in different children. Sequence of development refers to the fact that development usually follows the same basic pattern and that skills are usually acquired in the same order. The sequence of development is a definite order of milestones that children and young people meet and accomplish. This means that children must first finish one area of development before moving to another developmental milestone. If a child has difficulty meeting a milestone, it can mean some delay in other areas too.
By two years old, children begin testing and exploring this idea. Three year olds understand visual perception and the concept of hiding objects. By the time a child is four, they understand that people can have incorrect thoughts about the world. In opposition to the traditional understanding that babies and young children learn and think differently than adults, Gopnik suggests that babies and young children use the same learning methods as scientists. They “observe, formulate theories, make predictions, and do experiments” (Gopnik, 237) to learn about people, objects, and their surroundings.
Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson offer different views of how a child’s mental abilities progress throughout their education. Piaget believed that children, at certain stages in their lives, regardless of intelligence, were not able to understand things in particular ways, simply because they were not old enough. He thought that development had to precede learning. Vygotsky, on the other hand, theorized that children acquire their level of intelligence by the culture they live in and that children learning different things helped them to develop intellectually. Erikson felt as if the environment played a major role in a child’s development and that every person goes through specific stages in their lives.
The meaning of a child-centred approach is to guarantee that the child is put first before anyone else. Every single person who works with children, whether a nurse, teacher or a volunteer has a huge responsibility to look after and make sure that each child they come into contact with is safe. A child centred approach is basically where every child can communicate and connect with people and also have a choice without someone interfering. A child centred approach is also beneficial for them to learn the correct skills they need to learn. The main great thing about this is that it doesn’t just benefit one child; it benefits any child anywhere because they are all different and will all respond differently to certain approaches.
Both theorists said that a child’s cognitive development took places in stages but the way in which these theorists described the way children go through these stages was completely different. Piaget was the first theorist to say that children go through stages. He believed that there are four stages of cognitive development, these stages are: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational (Malim and Birch, 2005, p.462). During the first stage, sensorimotor, which Piaget believed happened when the child was between the ages of birth and two years, this is when the child only accepts things that are given to them. They learn about objects and develop their motor skills, they also learn about what happens when they do certain things, for example, if a child is lying in a cot with a mobile over their head they will learn that if they hit the mobile it will move so they will do it again and again.
The main stages of child and young person Development Child development ------------------------------------------------- Ages and stages Most of the behaviour that children display at each age and stage in their development is quite normal. Every child is unique and they all develop at their own pace. I keep my expectations of their behaviour and abilities realistic and use the developmental milestones below as a guide so I have an idea of what to expect along a child’s growing journey. At all ages and stages a child will need your unconditional love and support to help them along the way. * 0 to 6 months * 6 to 18 months – the ‘doing’ stage * 18 months to 3 years – the ‘thinking’ stage * 3 to 6 years – the stage of ‘self awareness and imagination’ * Normal but challenging behaviours * 6 to 12 years – the stage for limits and structure * Teenagers ------------------------------------------------- 0 to 6 months The only way that new babies can communicate is by crying and some do it more than others.