The Effects (Impact) of D. R. B Grant and Jean Piaget on Early Childhood Education

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Early Childhood Education consists of “organized activities for children from the age of four to six”. It is a system which has had many notable contributions by individuals both locally and abroad which have helped to improve it in one way or another. Two of its notable contributors are Jean Piaget who has helped us to understand the way children think and D R B Grant who made early childhood education possible in Jamaica. Jean Piaget was the first to take children’s thinking seriously although he never thought of himself as a child psychologist. He was more interested in the theory of knowledge and took an interest in children and their reasoning. As a result he began to observe how children’s minds develop, hoping to discover the key to human knowledge. In his work, he identified the stages of mental growth in childhood development and theorized that all children progressed through stages of cognitive development. Piaget also discovered that children think and reason differently at various stages in their lives. Although he believed in four stages, only one is directly related to early childhood development and this is the sensorimotor stage. This occurs from birth to age two, during which the child tries to gain motor control and learn about physical objects. This stage promotes thoughts based on actions. Piaget maintains that there are six sub-stages in the sensorimotor stage even though children pass through three major achievements. A part of Piaget’s theory of learning and thinking involves the participation of the child, who must construct and reconstruct knowledge. He claims that for a child to know and construct knowledge of the world, the child must act on objects. This action provides knowledge of those objects. Piaget’s technique to learning is known as a readiness approach. Readiness approach in developmental psychology states that children
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