Theories of Development Essay

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2.3 Explain how theories of development and frameworks to support development influence current practice. Cognitive (e.g. Piaget) Jean Piaget was a cognitive theorist who developed a theory of how children learn. He claimed that children go through stages and sequences in their learning, are active learners, use first-hand experiences and prior experiences in order to learn and imitate and transform what they learn into symbolic behaviour. Piaget’s theories allow us to effectively plan for the development of a child. Using the Piagets stages we can assess where and how a child is currently learning, and plan activities and observations to help them develop into the next stages. Psychoanalytic (e.g. Freud) Sigmund Freud did not focus on the development of the youngest children, but Anna Freud his daughter and Melanie Klein. Anna and Melanie both believed that all children are born with the ability to learn a language. Sigmund and other psychoanalysts argued that development in children unfolds quite naturally. According to Freud the mind can be split into two parts, the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. Freud’s work may not be proven, but Freud’s work on unconscious actions and peoples mind skills are still seen, for example in my setting i have a child who often hurts other children, and when they deny hurting another child and tell a lie, they often start crying knowing that they have lied and what they have done is wrong. Humanist (e.g. Maslow) Abraham Maslow developed a humanistic approach to create a theory of human needs which is relevant to all ages, not just for children. He described five levels of need and proposed that each level much be met before progressing onto the next level. He saw it as it’s difficult to reach one need’s full potential, unless the lower level needs have been met. For example children start by writing

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