Foundations of Early Childhood Education Chilhood Development Theories Essay

1000 Words4 Pages
QUESTION 1. Compare and contrast any 2 early childhood development theories. 2. Explain how the theories help us support children in the learning environment PART ONE Early childhood development is defined as “a set of concepts, principles, and facts that explain, describe and account for the processes involved in change from immature to mature status and functioning” (Katz, 1996, p. 137)Early childhood is a profession and so we must be grounded in the theories of early childhood development. These theories are the foundation of the early childhood. The theories have been are many and cover all aspects of the developing child; biological, cognitive, social and emotional. Two of these theories will be discussed thoroughly by comparing and contrasting. Jerome Bruner Bruner’s work in cognitive psychology with interest in memory and problem solving led him to examine children’s cognitive development. He was especially intrigued by how children represented thought or showed what they were thinking. Bruner argued against the prevailing notion that lack of readiness prevents young children from understanding difficult subject matter. He advocated a spiral curriculum in which children tackles challenging topics in age-appropriate ways even in the primary grades, revisiting these topics year after year and each time building and expanding on previous acquisitions. In a later book, Toward a Theory of Instruction (1966), Bruner suggested that children mentally represent events in three ways—first as physical actions (enactively), then as mental images (ironically), and eventually as language (symbolically). Through concrete manipulative and carefully designed activities, children can discover important ideas and principles on their own, first representing them enactively, then iconically, and finally symbolically. Thus, Bruner was an early advocate of discovery

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