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.
- 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.
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: The idea 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
Life Crisis: 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