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How Children Learn

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Introduction

How Children Learn This essay has been set out to demonstrate a range of theories on how children learn as every child is unique and the developmental process of the brain takes place from the womb which progresses throughout, making it a lifelong journey. There are a number of factors that influence a child's learning, but the focus will be on four areas of learning; play, communication, the role of the adult and the environment. It will discuss key theorists perspectives on these topics and detail how this can be embedded in a policy for effective learning and positive interaction. "When young children play, it is their work"(Maria Montessori, 1992) Drake,(2005) would totally agree with this as she suggests that children learn to make sense of the world around them through play as it is their work and should be afforded the high status and considered planning it deserves. Play helps children to learn about themselves and the world around them. It is one of the most important tools to develop early communication and social skills. Children learn a lot through play especially when they are around other children they learn how to live with others. According to Jeanie Hurley, "Playing is the most natural thing in the world but there's much more to it than just having fun"(Hurley, 2005).Play allows children to make important connections about what they know. ...read more.

Middle

Vygotsky's theory was an attempt to explain consciousness as the end product of socialization. For example, in the learning of language, our first utterances with peers or adults is for the purpose of communication but once mastered they become internalized and allow "inner speech". The development of language is a very important experience for young children. Practitioners should encourage children to listen to adults as well as other children in conversation, which will help the young learners to talk confidently and also develop early literacy skills. This area between what the subject can do unassisted and what they can do if prompted, Vygotsky calls the "Zone of Proximal Development". By building on the child's experience and providing moderately challenging tasks teachers can provide the 'intellectual scaffolding' to help children learn and progress through the different stages of development. However, Piaget held that development leads learning that is children can only learn what is possible for their given stage of development, which is possible for their given state of development, which originates from an innate program of developmental stages. Vygotsky on the contrary, held that learning leads development, that is, being presented with challenges and assisted in overcoming these challenges induces the development of new abilities. ...read more.

Conclusion

High quality provision requires a well- trained, well supported and highly motivated workforce and this is the reason why the government's aim is to have EYPs in all children's centres offering early provision by 2010 and in every full day-care setting by 2015. Early Years Professionals (EYPs) are key to raising the quality of early year's provision. They are 'change agents' to improve practice and will lead the Early Years Foundation Stage by supporting and mentoring other practitioners and model the skills and behaviours that safeguard and support children. This essay has identified and evaluated a number of philosophies based on learning and interaction. It has emphasised the importance of play and how children make sense of the world through first-hand experiences. Children learn to communicate by listening and imitating. The role of the adult is crucial where adults should value children's work by giving praise and listen to children's ideas as they can be positive role models who influence children in a warm and loving manner using different approaches. Children strive in a stimulating and vibrant environment which helps them function in a variety of forces that influence their development helping them with skills necessary to become lifelong learners and hence "a child whose well being is high will feel like a fish in water" (Leavers, 1995) is indeed true. ...read more.

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