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Sample Essay on Childhood Educational Theories

This essay is based on Childhood Educational theories, their types, and the views of various theorists. The child educational theories are planned as no two children are alike. Their experiences are unique; hence that contributes to their learning.

Teachers and educators have an important role in understanding various learning theories, different techniques in the classroom to address a different kind of learning.

Various theorists have different opinions and views on childhood education theories.

Five types of Childhood Educational Learning Theory

Five Childhood Educational Learning Theories that educators can utilize to help enhance their classroom and learning environment. They are:-

  • Cognitive Learning Theory 

    This theory focuses on the cognitive minds of the students. Mental processes are an important part of understanding concepts and how we learn them. The Cognitive Theory understands that learners can be influenced both by internal and external elements.

Plato and Descartes are well known cognitive childhood education theorists. Jean Piaget is a known theorist in the field of cognitive psychology. His work mainly focuses on the environments and internal structures and their impact on learning.

Cognitive theory suggests internal and external forces, both being important for the cognitive process. It helps students understand their thinking impacts, learning, control, and behavior. It also helps the students understand how their thought process works and hence utilizes it to construct better learning opportunities.

  • Behaviourism Learning Theory

This educational theory of childhood shows how students’ behavior is based on their interaction with the environment. External forces mostly influence the behavior of a child. It is based on psychology that can be observed and quantified. Though, any of the behaviors are directly motivated by the reward that can be obtained.

Teachers in the classrooms can utilize positive reinforcement to help students learn better concepts. The retention of any information can influence the positive behavior of a child.

  • Constructivism Learning Theory

This childhood educational theory is based on the idea that students actually create their own learning based on their past experiences. They add on to their experiences by focusing on learning activities in a process; it is personal and unique for each student.

Teachers can utilize constructivism to help understand that each student will bring their own past. This is a crucial task for helping students and kids to take their own past experiences and include them in learning.

  • Humanism Learning Theory

This educational learning theory directly focuses on the idea of self-actualization. Self-actualization functions are under a hierarchy and are considered to be at the top of the hierarchy of needs. This state of self-actualization is achieved when all your needs are met, and you are at best possible version of yourself. Everyone is striving for this state; either you learn more towards meeting needs or away from meeting your needs.

Teachers can help students in self-actualization by ensuring their physical and emotional needs. They can also help by providing a safe, secure, and comfortable place to learn and play.

  • Connectivism Learning Theory

It is a new learning theory and focuses on the idea that people learn and grow and form great connections. A good connection can also be established with goals, roles, and obligations. Hobbies, goals, and people are those external factors influencing learning.

Teachers can use digital media to impact communication in learning positively, thereby creating communication with students. Communication ensures great relationships, which makes one feel motivated about learning.

How to apply childhood educational theory in teaching?

Teachers can create specific strategies and techniques to apply these childhood education learning theories. They must first focus on getting a well-rounded education to learn about all kinds of teaching and classroom management techniques. Teachers need to understand learning theories to be prepared to utilize them in the classroom. The connection could be established with different students by teachers, which creates a learning theory. Learning theory leads to different learning styles that create focus directly on student needs and aptitudes.

Childhood Educational Theories by various theorists

Different theorists have a different approach to learning, which has its own principles and views. Some of the following educators and the childhood educational theorists are:-

Maria Montessori Theory

It is an educational approach to learning where the key principles are independence, observation, following the child, correcting the child. It also includes the preparation of an environment suitable for the child and creating an absorbent mind. This is applied amongst all age groups.  The following principles are associated with Montessori Theory, and they are:-

  1. Independence – Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed. It is a goal of Montessori education in classrooms to make the child independent and to be able to do things himself. Children must be given independent opportunities to move, dress themselves, and choose and help adults with tasks. When the children can do things for themselves, there is an increase in their self-belief, confidence, and esteem that they may carry on throughout their life.
  2. Observation – Observation of a child, is a parent’s and teacher’s job. They must not get judgemental or have a preconceived idea or notion of observing children’s behavior. It helps in developing materials that the children need or are interested in. For example, when a child is banging on objects, he needs a gross motor activity to give him a drum. If we see a child drawing on walls and sketching on objects, give him paper or a drawing book. It helps to fulfill a child’s current needs by observing them and creating harmony.
  3. Following the child– Following the child will show what they need to develop in themselves and what area they need to be challenged. Allowing him to choose his independence, allowing him to choose, creates a sense of awareness in the child. If he wants to climb the ladder, let him do it by ensuring his safety but intervene only when it gets dangerous and risky. Intervention is needed only when the child is destructive and hurting himself and others.
  4. Correcting the child – Children making mistakes must be corrected politely and nicely and not scolded for it.  Overcorrection of mistakes makes them conscious and scared of committing mistakes again.
  5. Prepared Environment – Classrooms to be set in for activities in such a way so that there is freedom of movement and choice. The environment has to be safe for the child to explore freely. The environment has to be ready and beautiful for the children to invite them to work and play. The first responsibility of creating an appropriate environment for a child is on his parents.
  6. Absorbent Mind – An absorbent mind can pick up language and style of speaking. Adults to be careful in front of children while speaking.

John Locke Theory

John Locke believed that children are born free and have great potential and possess great human qualities. He believed that it was the upbringing and education that hindered the development of children’s humanity.

Children have a clean mind like a blank paper known as a tabula rasa, which sets out two doctrines of egalitarianism and vulnerability.

He believed that education’s purpose was to produce an individual with a sound mind in a body to serve his country better. The common man only requires moral, social, and vocational knowledge. High vocational skills would support and serve him in life and offer social service to others. Through education, a child learns socialization or what is needed to be an appropriate member of society.

Jean Jackques Rousseau 

His childhood educational theory emphasizes the importance of expression to produce a well balanced and free-thinking child. He believed that if children are allowed to develop naturally without constraints imposed by society, they develop their full potential. This impacts the needs and experiences of the child at each stage of the child’s development.

Rousseau is known as the father of early childhood education. It emerged as the child-centered entity rich in unlimited, sensory-driven, and practical experiences. Active participation in drawing, measuring, speaking, and singing also emerged due to Rousseau’s educational point. Many elements of Rousseau’s educational principles remain a dominant force in early childhood education.

Fredrich Froebel

He was a German educator who was the father of early childhood education in Germany. He created a program for young children based on ‘play and activity’ and ‘nurturing of creativity’ to help children develop and grow.

He was the first to recognize that children experience significant brain development in their first 3 years of life. They need to be allowed to experience, learning, and developing on their own terms and timeframe.

He also inspired many other children advocates, including Maria Montessori and Rudolph Steiner.

A stimulating and prepared environment is the place where they can explore and learn from their own experiences and perspective.

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