What Is a Theory? Essay

331 WordsMay 17, 20132 Pages
A theory is a system of beliefs about something,. Generally theories about children are extremely practical and are used to guide educators with things such as classroom activities to bring out consistency in a child. One theory is the Maturationist theory. This theory holds that children learn and behave as they do because they have inborn predispositions to do so. This theory feels that a child environment has little effect on growth. If a child is given basic nutrients, loving care, safety, a healthy diet and lifestyle the child will flourish in a predetermined way. Children, who are in an opposite type of living situation which exhibits problematic behavior, are likely brought up in a negative manner. A second theory is the Behaviorist Theory, which states that children are derived from experience and experience alone. These type of theorist feel that a child is born with a blank slate and it is to be filled with experiences in a child’s living environment. Skinner developed a system of operant conditioning in which he attempted to show that if children’s behavior is rewarded by adults children are more likely to perform those behaviors. These theories are similar and different in many ways, both theories involve a child growing and learning in a positive area. Although a behaviorist feels that children will respond with direct control and interaction, however if the environment is negative development through reward would be extremely difficult. Maturationist feel that a child can development positive with a healthy surrounding, however children tend to learn from experience and watch others. A child cannot learn to talk or walk with the help of another or with witnessing another in these actions. A childlike will see siblings or parents using these actions and although a child may be physically healthy they cannot continue to grow without operant

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