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Child Development Theories and Education.

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Introduction

´╗┐Unit 7 Task 3 Neuroscience There has been much research into the development of the brain in young children in recent years, with the findings that the first three years of a child?s it the most important period of their life. At the early stages of life this is when the brain learns and takes things in more easily in the early stages of life. This period of growth is called ?potential growth? which is the most critical period of development. In order for the brain to learn new things and develop the brain cells have to form connections, which are needed between the neurons and the brain cells to pass electrochemical messages. In order for messages to be sent and received synapses which are junctions between two nerve cells, where the club-shaped tip of a nerve fibre almost touches another cell in order to transmit signals, need to form between the neurons. The wiring which is between the synapses and neurons is called axons, which are an extension of a nerve cell which is similar in shape to a thread that transmits impulses outwards from the cell body, by having this wiring the messages can be sent through the brain. All of the connections within the brain influence learning and help the brain develop. At birth the brain is the only incomplete organ in the body, as the neurons are formed in the brain but no synapses are formed to allow messages to be sent and received. So in order for the brain to recognise the needs of the baby, in the first eight months the brain rapidly develops synapses, with wiring taking place primarily at night time through rapid eye movement (REM). Rapid eye movement is a normal stage of sleep which occupies around 80% of a new born child?s sleep. During REM the brain takes all the information in throughout the day, process and organises the information for the brain to store and remember the information. ...read more.

Middle

Vygotsky claimed that infants are born with the basic materials/abilities for intellectual development and that social interaction will help develop theses abilities. He believed that the pre-intellectual language of babies is without though and this is where Vygotsky retrieves the ides from about been born with the ability ready to talk. Along with the pre-intellectual language for talking, there is also the pre-linguistic though of children, which is where babies recognise people and objects without language. By Vygotsky splitting these two sectors up for the first two years of a baby?s life, he then believes that they connect and form together, which is where language and though become and aid cognitive development. Vygotsky suggests that ?talking with adults about familiar everyday experiences as crucial?-(L.Pound-2005). He believed that this was crucial to build up language development, and their knowledge and understanding of the world, which is where both nature and nurture come into context about building a picture up of the world and their environment. Vygotsky believed that talking is pivotal especially when discussing with other people as this helps children understand the purpose and importance of communication. Along with his views on his language for thinking, Vygotsky`s theory also consisted of Zone of proximal Development, which supported the language for children. Along with the Zone of actual development, this supported the independent use of language. This is an important concept that relates to the difference between what a child can achieve independently and what a child can achieve with guidance and encouragement from an adult or another child. Vygotsky sees the Zone of Proximal Development as the area where the most sensitive instruction or guidance should be given, allowing the child to develop skills they will then use on their own which is developing higher mental functions. Vygotsky also views interaction with peers as an effective way of developing skills and strategies. He suggests that ?teachers use cooperative learning exercises? (L.Pound-2005), which is where less competent children develop with help from more skilful peers, an example of this is sitting a skilful child next to a less competent child. ...read more.

Conclusion

Froebel was one of the pioneers of early childhood educational reform. As an idealist, he believed that every child possessed, at birth, their full educational potential, and that an appropriate educational was necessary to encourage the child to grow and develop. Frobel believed that outdoor play was really important, if not more important than indoor. He suggested that there should be just as much outdoor play as there is indoor play as this is vital to children?s development. He believed that all children should explore their surrounding environment as much as possible to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world. He also suggested that this should be promoted from an early age as parents are the first children?s educators. Steiner Steiner?s passion was to create an education which gave all children the strength of their own will and sensitivity of feeling with clarity of thought. He believed and aimed for all children to experience an expression he called ?thinking feeling and willing? which was that children should experience science and bother arts. In doing this he though children would gain valuable knowledge to develop their own feelings. Steiner also believed that there are seven year cycles of development, which these stages connect with the development of human qualities of thinking, feeling and willing. These stages are; 1. From birth to seven- The active or will predominate 2. From seven to fourteen- The affective or feeling predominates 3. From fourteen to twenty-one- The cognitive or thinking ability predominates Steiner?s school consisted of a structured environment to develop the personal and social development of children, with the pace of learning in the school set by the children. Steiner also believed that play and imitation is a key part of children?s development and gives children a more advanced imagination, with this helping children?s concentration within settings. Steiner strongly believed that learning through play is the most valuable development of children, with the most learnt through play been at the first stage of his cycle; from birth to seven. ...read more.

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