Theories Of Child Development Essay

1095 words - 4 pages

Theories abound around how people develop emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. This essay will examine the theories of five leaders on the subject of development.
Jean Piaget believed in four stages of development that were fairly concrete in description (Atherton, 2010).
1. Sensorimotor stage (birth – 2 years old) – Children begin to make sense of the world around them based on their interaction with their physical environment. Reality begins to be defined.
2. Preoperational stage (ages 2-7) – Concrete physical stimuli are needed in order for a child to develop new concepts.
3. Concrete operations (ages 7-11) – As a child accumulates experience with the physical world, he/she begins to conceptualize to explain those experiences. Abstract thought is also emerging.
4. Formal operations (beginning at ages 11-15) – Conceptual reasoning is present and the child’s cognitive abilities are similar to an adult’s (Atherton, 2010).

Piaget was firm in his concept of these stages. He was convinced that a person had to progress from one stage to the next, that this was a natural biological process influenced by the environment and experiences. Biology limits the point in time, but the environment determines the quality of development.
Lev Vygotsky stages of development were not defined by age or biology. Social and cultural experiences were the basis for his theory. Consciousness was an end product of social interactions (Kearsley, 1994-2010). The history of the child’s society and his own personal history determine how the child thinks. Language is crucial for development as it is with words that a child conceptualizes and makes sense of the world (Schütz, 2004). A precept of Vygotsky’s theory was the zone of proximal development or ZPD. ZDP is the difference between what a child is able to solve on its own (actual developmental level) and what a child can learn only with the help or experience of another person. “An essential feature of learning is that it awakens a variety of internal developmental processes that are able to operate only when the child is in the action of interacting with people in his environment and in cooperation with his peers” (2004).
Erik Erikson like Piaget had distinct stages of development assigned to specific ages. However Erikson ascribed development even into old age. Eight stages beginning with birth to old age described a conflict that had to be resolved by the person before moving on to the next, termed the epigenetic principle (Boeree, 2006). As each conflict is resolved a person gains strength to move on to a more complex battle. These struggles are inner conflicts revolving around Freud’s theories of ego, i.e. the first stage, birth to age one, trust vs mistrust is the conflict or stage eight, age 50 and beyond, integrity vs despair. As a situation arises a person has two ways of resolution, adaptive or maladaptive (Cramer, Flynn, & LaFave, 1997). This conflict...

Find Another Essay On Theories of Child Development

Useful Theories of Human Development Essay

1659 words - 7 pages There are many areas of psychology. The field of human development is divided into five main theory groups. The theory groups are psychodynamic, biological, cognitive, behavioral, and systems. Each theory group has many contributing theorists, all with different views, beliefs, research methods, and life experiences. All theories are valuable in the field of psychology, however some theories may prove to be more helpful than others, in specific...

The Nature of Child Development Essay

1188 words - 5 pages Human development has been a subject of interest since ancient Greece and Rome. Different approaches derive from two basic directions: the nativists` and empiricists` ones. The latter method is to regard human development as a gradual change which has been influenced by the individual`s experience .On the other hand, the former approach has found its roots in the biological structure of the human organism which considers our development as a...

Three Main Theories of Child Language Acquisition

1160 words - 5 pages There are three main theories of child language acquisition; Cognitive Theory, Imitation and Positive Reinforcement, and Innateness of Certain Linguistic Features (Linguistics 201). All three theories offer a substantial amount of proof and experiments, but none of them have been proven entirely correct. The search for how children acquire their native language in such a short period of time has been studied for many centuries. In a changing...

Comparing the Two Theories of Cognitive Development

1550 words - 6 pages Comparing the Two Theories of Cognitive Development There are three main types of cognitive development. There is Piaget's theory, Vygotsky's theory and the Information processing approach. The two theories that I am going to compare and contrast are Piaget and Vygotsky's theories. There are many differences between these two theories, but there are also many similarities too. Piaget suggests that cognitive...

The Influence of Play on Child Development

1484 words - 6 pages Children develop normally when they are exposed to different types of play that allow them to express themselves while using their imaginations and being physically active. According to the Center for Health Education, Training and Nutrition Awareness, “Play is child’s work”; this is true because it is a child’s job is to learn and develop in their first few years of life, in order for them to do this, they play (CHETNA). Not only is playing a...

Brain Development in Victims of Child Abuse

1547 words - 6 pages Child abuse is a widespread problem in America and beyond. Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children(1a). For many years, experts believed that the negative effects of child abuse, such as emotional problems, flashbacks to traumatic events, and even learning problems, were psychological phenomena only, able to be cured with therapy. Now, however, beliefs are being...

Basic Normal Stages of Child Development

5115 words - 20 pages Basic Normal Stages of Child Development This section is a brief overview of child development looking at children from birth to the age of five. It is easiest show this information as part of a table as it enables us to compare different parts of a child’s development along side each other. It is also very important to realise that the ages and time frames shown in the table have been taken from the average ages and...

The Effects of Television on Child Development

2024 words - 8 pages The Effects of Television on Child Development (missing works cited) Our generation has been raised in a technological advanced world and there has been definite controversy over many of these innovations that this new culture has brought. An innovation that has troubled the youth of America for many years is television. Although there is no certainty to eliminate this 'plug-in drug,'; there are many ways to control and monitor your...

Child Development and the Process of Learning

1355 words - 5 pages Before children learn to use language to let their needs and wants be known they first learn to read, understand adult’s behaviour as well as responding through behaviour (Bishop and Baird, 2007). Challenging behaviour contributes to children’s social-emotional development through expressing their feelings and reacting to certain experiences with or without control (Berk, 2006). Early childhood teachers struggle to deal and to help children with...

Effect of Television Viewing on Child Development

915 words - 4 pages Grace Nowadays, television has been played a major role in most family households. Although television was invented over half a century ago, it has now become a part of most children’s everyday lives. Children have begun to turn to television for their main source of entertainment .Television has its own good sides but research shows that the disadvantages of television watching for children outweigh the advantages. This is because it...

Compare and Contrast Two Theories of Gender Role Development

1505 words - 6 pages Compare and contrast two theories of gender role development A dominant debate in current psychological research is one on gender development. Psychologists try to understand relative importance of social and cognitive factors. Various theories are brought up in this field and in this essay two of the most standard theory in this field are going to be explained. The theories covered in this essay relate to aspects of children’s thinking that...

Similar Essays

Constructivist Child Development Theories Essay

2772 words - 11 pages Untitled /*<![CDATA[*/ :link { color: #0000EE } :visited { color: #551A8B } div.gec-11 {margin: 0.00mm 0.00mm 3.47mm 0.00mm; padding: 0.00mm 0.00mm 0.00mm 0.00mm; text-align: right} p.gec-10 {text-indent: 0.00mm;...

Piaget Versus Vygotsky: Child Development--Competing theories on how children develop, either independently or through interacting with others.

991 words - 4 pages Every adult alive has developed from a simple cognitive to a more advanced one, but accepted theories that explain how this occurs are still at odds with one another. The major disagreements are about whether changes are brought about as primarily a result of the child working out solutions to problems internally, or changes in the individual are the result of negotiations between the child and the external world. Two of the more notable...

Patterns of Child Development Essay

1039 words - 4 pages Patterns of Child Development The various aspects of child development encompass physical growth, emotional and psychological changes, and social adjustments. A great many determinants influence patterns of development and change. On the average, a newborn baby weighs 3.4 kg (7.5 lb) and is 53 cm (21 in) long, with the head disproportionately larger than the lower part of the body. As the child grows, increments in height are greatest...

development of a child Essay

2421 words - 10 pages Camila Cooper9UKDLP3134Assignment 1Complete Child Care Course Level 3Camila CooperUKDLP3134Complete Child Care Course Level 3Assignment 11 Summarise the main aspects of development of a child from the age range 0-2 years, 3-5 years and 5-8 years."The study of child development begins with observing children" (Steinberg, Vandell & Bornstein, 2011, p. 3)...