Determine how their chosen theory would relate to your chosen profession. For example, if your peer selected Freud and you selected Erickson, how would psychoanalytic theory relate to your work with children? Respectfully suggest what you believe to be the most important ideas that they will need to know about a child before they can begin working with them and why. Were you surprised by any of the similarities or differences in the theories? If so, why? If not, why not? What were the concepts or ideas that resonated with you the most?
5 sentences or more.
As the Director of a Preschool, that provides care for children six weeks to six years old, understanding the many theories of child development is essential to the success of my students. Working in this field demands that you approach each child as an individual. Therefore, when issues arise in any developmental area, we are forced to use our knowledge to seek out the right solution(s) for that specific child. In 2014, Groark, McCarthy, and Kirk explained:
In viewing one’s knowledge of developmental theories as somewhat of a tool box, an early childhood professional can identify which theory or theories can best help to make sense of the current circumstances.In identifying these theories, the caregiver can identify which approaches
might work best to support the growth and development of the children in his or her care, based on the unique characteristics of the situation at hand
(Groark, McCarthy, Kirk, 2014, Section 3.11, “Integrating and Using Developmental Theories,” para. 2).
I often find myself educating parents about elements of developmental theories and how they apply to their child. For example, when the concern is that their
two-year old can’t write the letters of their name yet, I will explain to them that this is not a developmentally-appropriate activity. The expectations placed on children appear to be at an unrealistic level in my experience. If we want children to be successful learners, we need to encourage their individual growth and development. “When a child learns something and feels positive about the learning experience, the brain is developing optimally” (Gartrell, 2005, p. 84).
Deep value can be found in each of the leading child development theories, however, my beliefs are more in an alignment with Piagets’ Theory of
Cognitive Development; children are natural learners. When children are encouraged to explore the world around them, “(they) develop cognitively
through their understanding of past experiences and add new information based on new experiences in their environment” (Groark et al.). By observing and documenting this process, teachers are then able to prepare developmentally appropriate activities for their students. Which leads me to another theory I use as an approach to child development; Gesell’s Maturation Theory. Specifically, the use of milestones as a tracker of development as noted previously. As a child development professional, the knowledge and understanding of one or several developmental theories, is a valuable resource.
Gartrell, D. (2005). GUIDANCE MATTERS. YC Young Children, 60(6), 84.
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Groark, McCarthy, Kirk (2014). Early Child Development: From Theory to Practice [Electronic version].
Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/