Early Childhood Education Theorists
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Lev VygotskyVygotsky's sociocultural theory emphasizes role in development of cooperative dialogues between children and more knowledgeable members of society. Children learn the culture of their community through these interactions with others. He also had the idea of the zone of proximal development, this is the phase at which a child can master a task if given appropriate help and support, aslo called scaffolding.
Jean Piaget Piaget believed that all people pass thorugh the same four stages in exactly the same order these stages are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. These stages are associated with specific ages, but are they are only general guidelines, not labels for all children of certain ages. Piaget did say that individuals may go through long periods of transitions so at a certain time the individual could show characteristics of two different stages.
Erik EriksonErikson's psychosocial theory emphasizes the emergence of the self, the search for identity, the individual's relationship with others, and the role of culture throughout life. He reguarded development as a passage through an interdependent series of stages, each with its particular goal, concerns, accompllishments, and dangers. Like Piaget he set his up in a series of stages, being basic trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame/doubt, initiative vs. guilt, industry vs. inferiority, identity vs. role confusion, intimacy vs. isolation, generativity vs. stagnation, and ego idegrity vs. despair.
* Click on each theorists name for more information *
John DeweyDewey is credited for the development of the progressive schools some of which are still in existence today. He thought the curriculum that students are being taught sould be ultimately producing students who would be able to deal effectively with the modern world. The four instincts he uses to describe how to characterize a child's behavior are constructive, artistic, expressive, and social. He hoped to accomplish his goals by combining subject areas and materials. By doing this he made connections between subjects and the child's life.
Abraham MaslowMaslow's theory deals with the hierachy of needs ranging from lower-level needs for survivial and safety to higher-level needs for intellectual achievement and finally self-actualization. Self-actualization is a term for self-fulfillment, the realization of personal potential, and all of the lower needs much be met before the next figher need can be addressed. The four lower-level needs or deficiency needs are survival, safety, belonging, and self-esteem in that order. The three being needs or higher-level needs are intellectual achievement, aesthetic appreciations, and self-actualization.
Howard GardnerGardner's theory is that there are several seperate mental abilities or multiple intellligences. His theory of multiple intelligences describes at least eight differenet intelligences. These eight intelligences are logical-mathematical, linguistic (verbal), musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic (movement), interpersonal (understanding others), intrapersonal (understanding yourself), and naturalist (observing and understanding naturl and human-made patterns and systems).
Urie BronfenbrennerBronfenbrenner's bioecological model of development recognized that the physical and social context in which we develop are ecosystems becuase they are constantly interacting with and influencing each other. Every person lives within a microsystem (family, school, and work), inside a mesosystem (the interactions between the parts of the microsystem), embedded in an exosystem (Parents' workplace, community, media, all of which are part of the macrosystem (values, beliefs, and laws). All development is influenced by the chronosystem (time period).
Early ChildhoodEducation Theorists
Morrison, George S. . Early Childhood Education Today. 12th ed. . Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson, 2001. eBook.