Raising Arizona Preschool


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Introduction to Theory


In the theory of child development there are many schools of thought.  Often you will find you will lean towards one theory more then another. This Module will focus on the primary Child Developmentalist and their Theories.  You are encouraged to learn more on your own. This is a basic introduction and will give you working knowledge.


Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs. Although not a child developmentalist, his theory applies to early education because, if a child's basic needs on the hierarchy are not met they will be unable to learn.  Children must first have basic needs met to be able to learn new concepts.  Maslow's theory is very important when looking at individual children at observing where they are  and what they need to evolve.






Lev Vygotsky

Lev Vygotsky, looked as by many as the leader in child developmental theory , was a man before his time. He developed the theory of Socioculteral Development, Zone of Proximal Development, and the strategy of Scaffolding.

Vygotsky's theories are a must know for early educational professionals. Research Vygotsky more and learn his theories to assist you in teaching the young child.



Jean Piaget


Jean Piaget, one the foremost authorities on child development created the ages and stages theory we use today in measuring guidelines for development.

Piaget concluded that children think and learn very differently from adults.  His theories have been as a foundation for many early educational programs.  Research Paiget, and we will learn more about his Ages & Stages later in this module.


B.F Skinner


B.F Skinner is a leader in behavioral theory. He created the Operant Conditioning Theory and his work is very much valued and used in working with children with autism. 


Skinner contented that every behavior positive or negative has a pay-off , and therefore will not stop until that schedule of behavioral pattern in broken.  Research more about Skinner and Applied Behavior Analysis which is based on his theory.




Eric Erickson

Eric Erickson created the Psychosocial Development Theory.  He contended children need to be allowed to learn and grow independently. He specifies stages and outcomes that every child must master to be successful.

Research Erickson's theories and learn more about his theory of psychosocial development.  Erickson has a foundation in many modern ideas we have about child development.





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