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3.5: Using Theory in Practice

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    Theories matter because they inform our practice. When we stop to evaluate if a literacy activity seems appropriate for the age and stage of the child, we are grounding our practice in a theory (Piaget/Frith). When we set up our classroom with learning stations to encourage children to learn language from one another, we follow a theoretical construct (Vygotsky/Clay). When we stop to ask about the environmental influences on the family and, subsequently, the child’s language development, our practice reflects our understanding of the factors that Bronfenbrenner and Friere spoke about. Understanding the theoretical frameworks that guide our practice helps us to be more effective and intentional in the classroom.

    Children learn language when interacting with each other and the classroom materials.
    learn language when interacting © Unsplash is licensed under a CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) license
    Pause and Reflect: Theory to Practice

    As you prepare and engage in your learning environment, what do you take into account? How do you think about the ages and stages of the children? How do you think about the wider context? How do you incorporate the voices and influence of children and families? How do you think about ways to foster interaction among children who are very experienced with a concept and those that are less experienced? Are these approaches contextual, cooperative, or constructivist? How can you use theory to understand what is occurring with a child, and how will you apply this understanding to your practices?

    This page titled 3.5: Using Theory in Practice is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sandra Carrie Garvey (Remixing Open Textbooks with an Equity Lens (ROTEL)) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.