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Giraldyne D. Semaña Mrs. Irene

BEED- 3 August 16, 2010

Assigment 2:

I. Research on the contributions of each theorists and

researchers. Be able to differentiate each contribution and
how they work in the classroom setting to be able to answer
item II.

Child Development Theories and Scientific Researches:

Abraham Maslow “Basic Needs and Learning”

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has often been represented in a hierarchial

pyramid with five levels. The four levels (lower-order needs) are considered
physiological needs, while the top level is considered growth needs. The
lower level needs need to be satisfied before higher-order needs can
influence behavior. The levels are as follows (see pyramid in Figure 1 below).

• Self-actualization – morality, creativity, problem solving, etc.

• Esteem – includes confidence, self-esteem, achievement, respect, etc.
• Belongingness – includes love, friendship, intimacy, family, etc.
• Safety – includes security of environment, employment, resources,
health, property, etc.
• Physiological – includes air, food, water, sex, sleep, other factors
towards homeostasis, etc.
Figure 1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid.

Deprivation Needs

The first four levels are considered deficiency or deprivation needs (”D-
needs”) in that their lack of satisfaction causes a deficiency that motivates
people to meet these needs. Physiological needs, the lowest level on the
hierarchy, include necessities such as air, food, and water. These tend to be
satisfied for most people, but they become predominant when unmet. During
emergencies, safety needs such as health and security rise to the forefront.
Once these two levels are met, belongingness needs, such as obtaining love
and intimate relationships or close friendships, become important. The next
level, esteem needs, include the need for recognition from others,
confidence, achievement, and self-esteem.

Growth Needs

The highest level is self-actualization, or the self-fulfillment. Behavior in this

case is not driven or motivated by deficiencies but rather one’s desire for
personal growth and the need to become all the things that a person is
capable of becoming (Maslow, 1970).

Erik Erikson “The Emotions and Learning”

Erikson's stages of psychosocial development as articulated by Erik

Erikson explain eight stages through which a healthily developing human
should pass from infancy to late adulthood. In each stage the person
confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds on the
successful completion of earlier stages. The challenges of stages not
successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the

The Preschool Years: Trust, Autonomy, and Initiative

Erikson identifies trust versus mistrust as the basic conflict of infancy. In the
first months of life, babies begin to find out whether they can depend on the
world around them. According to Erikson, the infant will develop a sense of
trust if it needs for food and care are met with comforting regularity.
Closeness and responsiveness on the part of the parents at this time
contribute greatly to this sense of trust (Bretherton & Waters; Isablla &
Belsky, 1991). In this first year, infants are in Piaget’s sensorimotor stage
and are just beginning to learn that they are separate from the world around
them. This realization takes part of what makes trust so important: infants
must trust the aspects of their world that are beyond their control
(Bretherton & waters, 1985).

Erikson’s second stage, autonomy versus shame and doubt, marks the
beginning of self-control and self- confidence. Young children are capable of
doing more and more on their own. They must begin to assume important
responsibilities for self care like feeding, toileting and dressing.

During this period parents must tread a fine line; they must be protective –
but not overprotective. If parents do not maintain a reassuring, confident
attitude, and do not reinforce the child’s efforts to master basic motor and
cognitive skills, children may begin to feel shame; they may learn to doubt
their abilities to manage the world in their own terms. Erikson believes that
children who experience too much doubt at this stage will lack confidence in
their own powers throughout life.

For Erikson, “initiative adds to autonomy the quality of undertaking,

planning, and attacking a task for the sake of being active and on the move”
(Erikson, 1963, p. 255). But with initiative comes the realization that some
activities are forbidden. At times, children may feel torn between what hey
want to do and what they should, or should not do. The challenge of this
period is to maintain a zest for activity and at the same time understand that
not every impulse can be acted on.

Again, adults must tread a fine line, this time in providing supervision
without interference. If children are not allowed to do things on their own, a
sense of guilt may develop; they may come to believe that what they want
to do is always “wrong.” The Guidelines suggest ways of encouraging

Encourage children to make and to act on choices.


1. Have a free-choice time when children can select any activity or game.
2. As much as possible, avoid interrupting children who are very involved
in what they are doing.
3. When children suggest an activity, try to follow their suggestion or
incorporate their ideas into ongoing activities.
4. Offer positive choices: instead of saying, “You can’t have the cookies
now,” ask, “Would you like the cookies after lunch or after naptime?”

Make sure that each child has a chance to experience success.


1. When introducing a new game or skill, teach it in small steps.

2. Avoid competitive games when the range of abilities in the class is

Encourage make-believe with a wide variety of roles.


1. Have the costumes and props that go along with stories the children
enjoy. Encourage the children to act out the stories or make up new
adventures for favorite characters.
2. Monitor the children’s play to be sure no one monopolizes playing
“teacher,” “Mommy,” “Daddy,” and other heroes.

Be tolerant of accidents and mistakes, especially when children are

attempting to do something on their own.

1. Use cups and pitchers that make it easy to pour and hard to spill.
2. Recognize the attempt, even if the product is unsatisfactory.

Jean Piaget “Logical and Thinking”

In the model Piaget developed in stage three, he argued the idea that
intelligence develops in a series of stages that are related to age and are
progressive because one stage must be accomplished before the next can
occur. For each stage of development the child forms a view of reality for
that age period. At the next stage, the child must keep up with earlier level
of mental abilities to reconstruct concepts. Piaget concluded intellectual
development as an upward expanding spiral in which children must
constantly reconstruct the ideas formed at earlier levels with new, higher
order concepts acquired at the next level.

It is primarily the Third Piaget that was incorporated into American

psychology when Piaget's ideas were "rediscovered" in the 1960s.

Lev Vygotsky “Social Interaction and Learning”

Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory is the work of Russian psychologist

Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934), who lived during Russian Revolution. Vygotsky’s
work was largely unkown to the West until it was published in 1962.

Vygotsky’s theory is one of the foundations of constructivism. It asserts three

major themes:
Major themes:

1. Social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive

development. In contrast to Jean Piaget’s understanding of child
development (in which development necessarily precedes learning),
Vygotsky felt social learning precedes development. He states: “Every
function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the
social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people
(interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological).”
(Vygotsky, 1978).
2. The More Knowledgeable Other (MKO). The MKO refers to anyone who
has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner,
with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. The MKO is
normally thought of as being a teacher, coach, or older adult, but the
MKO could also be peers, a younger person, or even computers.
3. The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The ZPD is the distance
between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance
and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the
problem independently. According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in
this zone.

Vygotsky focused on the connections between people and the sociocultural

context in which they act and interact in shared experiences (Crawford,
1996). According to Vygotsky, humans use tools that develop from a culture,
such as speech and writing, to mediate their social environments. Initially
children develop these tools to serve solely as social functions, ways to
communicate needs. Vygotsky believed that the internalization of these tools
led to higher thinking skills.

Applications of the Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory

Many schools have traditionally held a transmissionist or instructionist model

in which a teacher or lecturer ‘transmits’ information to students. In contrast,
Vygotsky’s theory promotes learning contexts in which students play an
active role in learning. Roles of the teacher and student are therefore
shifted, as a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to
help facilitate meaning construction in students. Learning therefore becomes
a reciprocal experience for the students and teacher.

Howard Gardener “Multiple Intelligences”

Howard Gardner pioneered the eight multiple intelligences theory. This

theory of multiple intelligences challenges the traditional notions of IQ as
well as the SAT (Scholastic Aptituted Test). He suggested that intelligence
refers to the ability of humans to solve problems or to make something
valued in particular culture. These intelligences are Linguistic, Logical-
Mathematical, Spatial intelligence, Bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence, Musical
Intelligence, Intrapersonal Intelligence, and Naturalist Intelligence.

Gardner has based his notion of separate abilities in part on evidence that
brain damage (from a stroke) often interferes with functioning in one area,
such as language, but does not affect functioning in other areas. Gardner has
also noted that individuals often excel in one of these seven areas but have
no more remarkable abilities in the other six. Gardner stresses that there
may be more kinds of intelligence – seven is not a magic number. For
example, in some recent interviews, Gardner describes the eighth
intelligence of Naturalist – the ability to recognize species of animals and

Inspired in part by the children’s museums, Gardner and his colleagues have
designed “Project Spectrum” an environment for assessing and developing
the multiple intelligences of young children (Gardner, 1991, 1993b). The
Spectrum assessment tasks that examine seven areas of cognitive abilities
(intelligences) are described.

In Project Spectrum classrooms there are materials and activities designed to

develop students’ abilities in each of the seven areas. For example, there is a
naturalist corner where students examine biological specimens, thus drawing
on their powers of logic, language, and visual observation. Theme related
kits such as “Day and Night” or “About Me” provide a variety if activities for
home and school. These themes can be enhanced by trips to local museums.
For example, students learning about day and night might visit a

Gardner describes a student whose life may have been changed as multiple
intelligences were recognized. Donnie, a six year old boy from an abusive
home, was about to be retained in the first grade. Donnie’s teacher saw him
as slow, almost unable to learn. But in Project Spectrum, Donnie was able to
take apart and rebuild everything in the assembly corner. He was a
mechanical marvel! When his classroom teacher saw videotapes of Donnie
rebuilding food grinders and door knobs, she was overwhelmed. Her entire
view of him changed, she was able to find ways to teach him in class.

Sara Smilansky “Play and Learning”

Sara Smilansky established the importance of play and its other

contemporary components. Like many experts, she also agrees that play is
very important both in learning and social development, and as well the
whole development of the child. Accordingly play is a “brain food” to help the
brain develop in ways critical to success.

Play is important for children of all abilities because it lays the foundation for
reading, writing, mathematical reasoning and creativity.

Play has an undeniable influence on every aspect of child’s


1. Development of the gross and fine motor skills.

2. Sharpened mental skills, encourages problem solving and
demonstrates cause and effect. Children learn about shapes, colors,
sizes, and other concepts. Language blossoms as a child interacts with
others and uses words for favorite playthings and activities.
3. Develop social skills, learning to follow directions, cooperate, take
turns, abide by the rules and share.
4. Builds emotional skills as children experience pleasure, bonds with
others, and work through feelings during role play.
5. Enhanced self- esteem, so crucial to one’s long term happiness and
success when children achieve goals through play.
6. Stimulates creativity and imagination and allows children to expand
the horizons of their world. When child pretends to be a doctor, a
teacher, a parent, or a firefighter, he or she learns that life is full of
possibilities and opportunities.
7. Allows children to deal with its own emotions. A form of therapy.
Medium for the release of emotion. Develops the ability to express a

What will happen to people who do not play?

People who do not take part in any form of play are believed to be more
likely to suffer stress, depression, and boredom.

There are two categories of Play:

1. Free Play- takes place when the child is leading the play experience,
sets out the rules and boundaries. This type of play will often hold the
child’s interest longer and children can become engrossed in the
activity because they developed it themselves.
2. Structured play- is adult led, guided and planned. It tends to be more
limited and minimizes the child’s opportunity to be inventive.

Stages of Play:
The characteristics of play change as different stages of development are

1. Between 0- 2 years- children tend to play alone, and there is little

interaction with other children.
2. From 2- 2 and a half years- children are spectators. They will watch
other children playing but will not join.
3. From 2 and a half- 3 years- they are parallel players. They will play
alongside with others but not together.
4. From 3– 4 years- they are classed as associative players. They begin to
interact with others in play and start to develop friendships and the
preference of playing with certain other children.
5. 4 years and above- they become co-operative player. Playing together
with other children and sharing goals for their play.

Types of Play and their value for child development and learning:

1. Imaginative Play

This includes pretend, fantasy and symbolic play. Imaginative play develops
self- expression as well as giving children the opportunity to explore their

It helps children see things from others point of view and develops social
skills. Ideal first toys for imaginative play includes: puppets, and puppet
theatres where your child can create and play out scenes and stories from
their imagination.

2. Construction Play

Construction is a process of building an end product from range of materials.

However the end product is not the most important thing, especially for the
younger child.

It promotes manipulative skills and also encourages children to develop their

language skills by talking about what they are doing. Suitable toys includes:
Teifoc bricks, Eitech tractors and cars, PlayMais cars and tractors, natural toy
made of maize.

3. Creative Play
Creative play covers range of activities from art and craft to self- expression
through music and dance.

4. Physical Play

It covers many different indoor and outdoor activities. It does not only
encourages healthy living habits, but results in better eating and sleeping
patterns as well as developing self- confidence and physical competence and
develops both fine and gross motor skills, as well as muscle control.

Sigmund Freud “Psychoanalysis and Learning”

Psychoanalysis, theoretical system of psychology based on the work of

Sigmund Freud on the basis of which psychoanalytic psychotherapy is
practiced. Psychoanalysis may be defined as human nature interpreted in
terms of conflict. The mind is understood as an expression of conflicting
forces—some conscious, the majority unconscious. Psychoanalysts are
practitioners of psychoanalytic psychotherapy and place emphasis on the
importance of unconscious forces in the way the mind works. Psychoanalytic
theory of human mental functioning can be understood as follows.

Freud noted that, while some experiences are directly accessible in people’s
conscious minds, other experiences have to be thought about or
remembered—he called this the “preconscious”. Furthermore, he recognized
inaccessible experiences that people cannot directly think about or
remember as the “unconscious”. He postulated that experiences in the
unconscious were actively kept there by a process called repression.

Unconscious experiences are not regarded as subject to the same logic that
is characteristic of conscious experience. Unconscious ideas, images,
thoughts, and feelings can be condensed or dramatized in the form of
abstract concepts and imagery. Certain objects may be represented
symbolically by images of other objects, although the resemblance between
the symbol and the original object may be vague or far-fetched. The laws of
logic, indispensable for conscious thinking, do not apply to these
unconscious mental productions.

Recognition of these modes of operation in unconscious mental processes

made possible the understanding of such previously incomprehensible
psychological phenomena as dreaming. Through analysis of unconscious
processes, Freud saw dreams as serving to protect people against disturbing
impulses arising from within and related to early life experiences. Thus,
unacceptable impulses and thoughts, called the latent dream content, are
transformed into a conscious, although no longer immediately
comprehensible, experience called the manifest dream.

Often the relationship between the original experience and the unconscious
symbolic representation can seem obscure. These relationships can be

John B. Watson “Behaviorism and Learning”

Behaviorism was first developed in the early 20th century by the American
psychologist John B. Watson. The dominant view of that time was that
psychology is the study of inner experiences or feelings by subjective,
introspective methods. Watson did not deny the existence of inner
experiences, but he insisted that these experiences could not be studied
because they were not observable. He was greatly influenced by the
pioneering investigations of the Russian physiologists Ivan P. Pavlov and
Vladimir M. Bekhterev on conditioning of animals (classical conditioning).

Watson proposed to make the study of psychology scientific by using only

objective procedures such as laboratory experiments designed to establish
statistically significant results. The behaviorist view led him to formulate a
stimulus-response theory of psychology. In this theory all complex forms of
behavior—emotions, habits, and such—are seen as composed of simple
muscular and glandular elements that can be observed and measured. He
claimed that emotional reactions are learned in much the same way as other

Watson's stimulus-response theory resulted in a tremendous increase in

research activity on learning in animals and in humans, from infancy to early

B.F. Skinner “Operant Conditioning and Learning”

Skinner is the leading figure in Behavioral Psychology; he noted two types of

conditioning: Operant and Respondent. Operant learning results from an
organism are operating on its environment. Whatever it does that proves
instrumental in obtaining its objective is reinforced by obtaining of the

Skinner believed that education should maximize knowledge. This is done

through operant conditioning, though building up a student’s repertoire of
responses. He insists that when students can answer questions in a given
area, and speaks and write fluently about the area, then, by definition, they
understand the area.

Skinner also suggests that teachers should use techniques that produce
meaningful behavioral changes. Though teachers may sometimes use
primary reinforcers such as candy, condition reinforcers such as good
grades, promotion and prizes. He favored the use of teaching materials,
programmed instruction, and behavior therapy, for it can provide immediate
reinforcement and help bridge the gap between the students’ behavior and
the more instant conditioned reinforcers such as promotion or grades.
Skinner is against the use of punishment in the classroom, not because it will
not control behavior but it may produce a host of negative emotional

According to Skinner, teachers cannot always wait for behavior to manifest

itself; therefore they must sometimes shape the behavior of the individual.
By means of innovations such as videotape replay, for example, students see
themselves in action and discover their deficiencies. Such devices prove
beneficial in reinforcing learning in large classes, in which the teacher is
unable to cope with all the individual problems that arise.

Skinner influenced education as well as psychology. He was quoted as saying

"Teachers must learn how to teach ... they need only to be taught more
effective ways of teaching." Skinner asserted that positive reinforcement is
more effective at changing and establishing behavior than punishment, with
obvious implications for the then widespread practice of rote learning and
punitive discipline in education. Skinner also suggests that the main thing
people learn from being punished is how to avoid punishment.

Skinner says that there are five main obstacles to learning:

1. People have a fear of failure.

2. The task is not broken down into small enough steps.
3. There is a lack of directions.
4. There is also a lack of clarity in the directions.
5. Positive reinforcement is lacking.

Skinner suggests that any age-appropriate skill can be taught using

five principles to remedy the above problems:

1. Give the learner immediate feedback.

2. Break down the task into small steps.
3. Repeat the directions as many times as possible.
4. Work from the simplest to the most complex tasks.
5. Give positive reinforcement.
John Bowlby “Attachment Theory and Learning”

The British Psychologist, John Bowlby pioneered the Attachment Theory. So

what is Attachment Theory? According to Bowlby it is a psychological,
evolutionary and ethological theory concerning relationships between
humans. The most important tent or attachment theory is that a young child
need to develop a relationship with at least one or primary caregiver for
social and emotional development to occur normally. The theory was
formulated by psychiatrist and psychoanalyst John Bowlby.

Based on evolutionary principles that increase infants’ survival through

specific behavioral and emotional propensities designed to keep infants close
to their primary caregivers and out of danger.

Infants and children build mental models of themselves and of their

relationships with significant people in their lives and that these models are
based on their relationship or interactions with caregivers overtime.

Key Features of Bowlby’s Theory of Attachment

1. Monotropy- babies form only one strong attachment, usually to the

mother and this attachment forms during the first year of life.
2. if attachment has not formed by age three then it is too late even six
months after it is difficult.
3. secure attachment to the primary caregiver is essential for positive
future social, emotional, and intellectual development.
4. attachment once formed, if interrupted, will have severe consequences
on the child’s emotional, intellectual and social development.
5. reciprocal- the attachment process is two way.
6. critical period between six months and twenty four months when it is
crucial for the baby to be with caregiver.
7. maternal deprivation is the term used by Bowlby to describe the
serious developmental impairment that is caused by being separated
from the mother in infancy.

Quality of Attachment

1. Strongly influenced by experiences and repeated interactions between

the infant and the primary caregiver.
2. success depends on the caregivers’ ability to understand and respond
to the infant’s physical and emotional needs.
II. From the selection of theorist above, pick out five theories
that are evident in the classroom setting for early childhood
learning. Cite three examples for each.

1. Erikson’s “The Emotions and Learning Theory”

Erikson’s second stage, autonomy versus shame and doubt, marks the
beginning of self-control and self- confidence. This is very evident in the
classroom setting and according to Erikson he had clarified the examples
such as:

• Young children are capable of doing more and more on their own.
• They must begin to assume important responsibilities for self care like
feeding, toileting and dressing.

• During this period parents must tread a fine line; they must be
protective – but not overprotective.

2. Jean Piaget “Logical and Thinking and Learning Theory”

Piaget’s theory is also very evident in the classroom as children will

maximize their intellectual capacity in every area.

Examples such as:

• Can sort and match items according to simple attributes (size,

function, colour ).

• Draws a recognisable picture of their family.

• Names basic shapes and colours.

3. Howard Gardner “Multiple Intelligences and Learning Theory”

Howard Gardner also had collaborated with his colleagues and created the
Project Spectrum.
The project Spectrum is designed to observe each child in a developmental
area whether he nurtured and mastered his capability in a certain
intelligence type.

Examples that are evident are:

• A child working in a developmental area partularly on the Reading Area

enjoys the skill of Linguistics.
• The intelligence of the child may also affect his social development. If
the child is a Naturalist and enjoys experimenting plants and animals,
therefore, he joins forces to other children who were also Naturalists.
• Most children can be very bodily Kinesthetic. Children of different ages,
grade levels, back ground, etc., can be possibly positioned in the
intelligence of Bodily- kinesthetic.

4. Sara Smilansky “Play and Learning Theory”

Smilansky’s observations and evidences on play is apparent on a classroom

setting. Not just only inside the classroom but outside the classroom as well.

Examples such as:

• Children love pretend plays, imaginative plays, as long as they want to
act out with each other and playing with puppets, toys, etc. They
always make toys as their props to experience and share stories with
one another.
• Construction plays is always present in the environment. Children are
always focused on the blocks and other toys that are very
constructional. Lego blocks are their favorite toys to construct followed
by toy cars, toy tractors, etc.
• Children always likes creative play especially if it expresses to
themselves. They do what they want in creative play like singing and
dancing. There are times that singing plays can be their playing bets
on who’s going to be the best singer of them all.

5. B.F. Skinner’s “Operant Conditioning and Learning Theory”

Skinner’s Operant Conditioning portrays significance in the classroom.

Examples of these are:

• If the child is good in class, he receives stars stamped on his hands.

• Children who always play and cooperate fairly will be given a prized
candy and sweets.
• Punishment is not intended in a preschool classroom, but the teacher
will correct the child if he is doing distractions in the class.

III. Considering that you are now in the teaching field, which
three of the selection of theorists above, do you appreciate
best terms of its applicability of the theory in the classroom
setting. Support your answers with examples.

As a future Preschool Teacher, I would like to choose the theorists like Sara
Smilansky, Howard Garner and B.F. Skinner. These three theorists that I have
chosen are very remarkable in their influences in Education because they
have contemporary examples established in a classroom setting.

On Smilansky’s theory, she stated that play has different stages. As what I
have cited some examples of play, it is significant to let the children express
themselves freely so that they will know that having a freedom of playing will
give them more opportunities and meaningful experiences to be gained in
the classroom.

Gardner’s Theory usually on the Project Spectrum design is a powerful

observational proposal to observe the intelligence of the child, not only to
the type of intelligence but the extent to other aspects of their development
as well. That is why observation is always a guiding principle for the teacher
so that and I believe that observing my children individually will let me know
their intelligence usually to what they are capable of doing and most likely
focusing on their strength areas.

On Skinner’s Theory is a behavioral process wherein there will be so many

praises and punishment present in the classroom. As to what I have cited the
examples of Skinner’s theory, always praise a child if he’s doing well in the
class. I will not tolerate such punishment if the child is weak and does not
cooperate. I have mentioned earlier that observation is always the first step
getting to know the child how he feels positively or negatively before giving
out praises and punishments. Unless of course if the child exhibits distracting
behaviors in the classroom I would put him in the corner and let him not join
the other children until he should say sorry for what he was doing. Prizes can
be very reinforcing to children, so I am giving them prizes after their
cooperative activities is successfully accomplished.



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