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Very Young Children Should Be Reared In Environments Which Support Their Development

2118 words - 8 pages

Very young children should be reared in environments which support their developmentThis essay will discuss why it is important for very young children to be reared in environments which support and nurture their growth and development.Child development is a major focus of research in psychology for a long time. Current approaches to explain how children grow and develop have been addressed in several theories, but rarely rest on any theory exclusively.The Topic focus will be based on four child development theories which came out as a product of major research in psychology. Those four theories are: social learning theory, cognitive-developmental theory, psychosocial theory and ecological theory.Social Learning theory was developed by Burrhus Frederic Skinner who formulated nurture or environmental approach. He argued that development, for the most part, is a series of learned behaviors based on an individual's positive and negative interactions with the environment. But the most influential theory of learning and child development was social learning theory proposed by Albert Bandura. In his theory social element was added as a very important argument where new information can be learned by watching others. It is known as a modeling, imitation or observation (Berk, 2003). The following steps are in the observational and modeling process: attention to be able to learn attention needs to be paid. If there is detraction there would be a negative effect on observational learning.Retention is very important for children, they need to be able to store information, and that information needs to be pulled out when is needed and act on it. When children paid attention to the model and retained information reproduction leads them to perform behavior that they observed. Learned behavior is improved by further practice; children have to be motivated to imitate behavior that has been modeled and observed. Important roles in motivation play are reinforcement and punishment, which could be very effective.For children, parents are first models. Children will not model everything what they observe, only some actions, of some individuals (Berger, 2002).Observation will teach children the probable consequences of new behavior where they can see what happens when others try it (Crain, 2005).With his 'Bobo doll' study Bandura confirmed that children learn by observing others behavior and they imitate that behavior. In this study and adult acted violently towards Bobo doll. When children later played with the Bobo doll, they imitated aggressive actions.The babies have an active mind. Through normal and a gradual learning process, behavior patterns are established and power of the adult mind is gradually built up. Proper social learning methods in the years from birth to six years of age largely determine the kind of person child will become (Berger, 2002). Children have an absorbent mind because of its great ability to learn and assimilate without effort and total...

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