Infant Toddler Development

325 Words2 Pages
Lev Vygotsky recognized that social interaction between a child and an adult or a more knowledgeable peer is a catalyst for developing a child’s cognitive learning. Teachers’ verbal direction, physical assistance and probing questioning help children to improve their skills and acquire knowledge. A child’s classmate with advanced skills can also help the child to grow and learn by modeling their abilities or by giving help. Vygotsky uses the term Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) to describe the range of a child’s learning about a specific experience. On the lower lever of the ZPD is what the child can do independently and the upper level of the ZPD is what a child can learn by watching and or talking to peers and teachers. He calls the process of helping children build knowledge and understanding “scaffolding”, just as a scaffold holds you up so you can reach a higher place. As teachers of infants and toddlers we need to be expert observers. In order to determine each child’s developmental level and find ways to extend a child’s learning we have to interact with the children and ask questions while keeping in mind what we already know about child development. The primary role of the teacher is to establish and maintain trusting relationships with children by being responsive and consistent to their individual needs (feeding, diapering ect.). Once the individual needs are determined the teacher can then provide activities and experiences for the children that are challenging enough to help them move to a higher level of learning but not so challenging as to frustrate them. Activities in the infant/toddler room need to be age appropriate while helping them development not only cognitively but socially and physically. In the classroom, the teacher should also be encouraging interactions between children with varying skill levels so they can learn from one another.

More about Infant Toddler Development

Open Document