Yasemin Throughout time there have been hundreds of studies


Theorists Assignment Video Reflection

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January 15, 2017


          Throughout time there have been hundreds
of studies surrounding the developmental focus on explaining how human beings change
and grow over the course of childhood and their lifetime.  Typically, a theory is developed through the
use of thoughtful and rational forms of abstract and generalized thinking as
well as much observation.  From theories,
sets of assumptions are formed about how young children learn and develop, and
what learning and teaching could and should look like.  

            Such theorists I most connected with were that
in which focused on the development process that correlate to the stages that
begin with early age, followed by the influences around us and the
opportunities and resources provided.   This
week’s video assignment highlighted the theorists I found to be most
influential and relative to my own personal ideologies are: Jean Piaget, Lev
Vygotsky and of corse, Maria Montessori.

With children under three years old, Montessori and Piaget methods
are very similar. Both emphasize the development of motor skills using
manipulative, “hands on” activities and lessons while incorporating prior knowledge
and learned skills into the curriculum. Movement and activity are essential to
the stimulation of a child’s body and mind.  Both theorists also impart that early childhood
lays the foundation of one’s lifetime. Traditional education imparts that
development is linear.  Montessori and
Piaget saw it differently, that learning occurs in cycles, with peaks and
valleys. Both Montessori and Piaget believed that children developed in a
progression sequence.  Piaget called this
The Four Stages of Cognitive Development Theory while Montessori called this The
Planes of Development. Each Plane lasts six years and represent specific “sensitive
periods” of development. What they weren’t unified with was timing. Piaget
believed children had periods of “cognitive” or intellectual development and
did not reach their “concrete operational” stage until age seven. Montessori
believed that children went through stages where a child is more receptive to absorption
of certain skills, she called these “Sensitive Periods” and therefore she
believed children should be encouraged to develop all of their senses from a very
early age and that each child was a capable individual.  The universal tendencies, as described by
Montessori, are fundamental to child development.  These innate human tendencies are therefore
essential to the primary structure of a Montessori classroom. Adaption,
exploration, order, movement, work, independence, communication,
self-perfection, self-discipline, and abstraction are ten major tendencies that
are the pillars of a Montessori education. As a Montessori educator, I plan to
incorporate these tendencies into everyday classroom lessons and the environmental
set-up in order to foster more complete and individualistic children.

           Lev Vygotsky
was a Psychologist whose theories stressed the fundamental role of social
interaction. I chose him for this reason.  Similar to Montessori, Vygotsky spent a
significant part of his scientific career working with children with special
needs. These experiences gave him important insights about child
development.  One of those insights was the
idea that a child’s ability to function at a certain level might be limited not
only by the child’s innate intellectual abilities but also by the lack of
appropriate educational experiences. He believed that anyone can learn anything
given the proper reinforcement.  Learning
is therefore seen as being associated with social and physical conditioning and
the focus not on development but rather on learning by the conditions that
enable one to do so.