The Theories Of Child Development

1084 Words Nov 28th, 2015 5 Pages
From the day they are born, children are immersed in a social world. Rapid learning takes place and is supported not only by parents, siblings, teachers and friends but also the important values and beliefs within their culture. All of this provides the foundations for cognitive development. As trainee teachers, it is fundamental that we have a deeper understanding of how children learn and how we can support learning. In order to do this we must first look at some of the theories of learning.

Prior to the early 20th century little interest was paid to how a child developed; indeed most early research appears to be based on abnormal childhood behaviour (Oates et al. 2005). However, over time researchers began to acknowledge that both genetics and environment factors impacted on the way a child developed. Although there are many theories of child development, in particular constructivism, behaviourism, social constructivism and social learning have influenced developmental psychology enormously (Oates et al. 2005).

Many theorists and researchers have debated (and continue to debate) whether cognitive development is a continuous or discontinuous processUntitled (Crowley, 2014). Do cognitive processes advance with age (continuous) or is a child required to reach one stage of development before they can advance to the next (discontinuous)?

Piaget (1952) based his theory on his belief that cognitive development occurred in four specific stages; sensori-motor stage,…

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