This chapter aligns with SLO # 1: explain current theories and ongoing research in early care and education, SLO #3: compare early learning program models and SLO #8: describe major historical figures, advocates, and events shaping today’s early childhood education.
Key Points from this chapter
Child development theories are frameworks for helping teachers understand how children develop.
Early learning program approaches have different philosophies that guide their curriculum and practices with young children.
High-quality early learning programs use theories to inform their work.
Terminology found throughout this chapter
Theory: A set of ideas that are supported by a substantial amount of evidence and are based on repeated testing of the same concepts
Object Permanence: The ability for a child to understand that if an object is hidden from view, it continues to exist
Constructivism: Theidea that children create (or construct) their own knowledge through experiences with the world
Schemas: Categories of information about a concept or thing
Conditioning: The idea that children are motivated by external cues which drive behavior
Reinforcers: Actions taken by adults to encourage or discourage certain behaviors
Intrinsic Motivation: A desire to do things based on one’s own wishes and goals
Models: The individuals in a child’s environment after which behavior is emulated
More Knowledgeable Others: Individuals in a child’s environment who have more skills and knowledge about a particular area than the child
Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): The difference between what a child can do alone and what a child can do with help from a more knowledgeable other
Scaffolding: The assistance given by the more knowledgeable other that changes in response to the child’s ability
LifeCrisis: A psychological conflict in which two conflicting aspects of development must be navigated by an individual
Attachment Pattern: Description of the relationship between mother (or primary caregiver) and child based on the behavior of the child
Internal Working Model: A conceptual understanding of how the relationship between an individual and a loved one should be