Human Developemnt Across Lifespan

Category: Human
Last Updated: 26 Mar 2021
Pages: 4 Views: 140
Table of contents

Lev Vygotsky

Vygotsky’s theory is the idea of Zones of Proximal Development (ZPD) “the distance between the actual development level an individual has achieved (his or her independent level of problem solving) and the level of potential development he or she could achieve with adult guidance or through collaboration with other children. ” (Bredekamp, 117) In New Zealand early childhood education, they believe that the understanding of a child’s ZPD is important because it allows teachers and caregivers to scaffold appropriately in order to help children reach their full potential.

Self-regulation and private speech are also important aspects of Vygotsky’s theory. He theorized that children need to master these skills in order to be successful. If children are able to master these skills, they will be able to demonstrate self-discipline and improve their executive function. The educator is a co-constructor of knowledge with the child. Instead of lecturing or direct instructions, the educator allows and guides the child to come to his or her own understanding of the material.

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An educator in the early childhood ecntre will aid and support the child in their own discovery and initiative through a concept called, the zone of proximal development (ZPD). The ZPD allows a child to tackle a problem that is sufficiently novel to attract and maintain a child’s attention, yet not so difficult that the solution cannot be perceived (Edwards, 2005). To expand this concept to the centre, the teacher will ‘set up’ activities for children that are just beyond the children abilities and then guide and support the children to come to a solution themselves with minimal help from the educator.

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner developed the theory postulates that there are seven or more intelligences that each individual is born with and is needed to live life well (Smith, 2002, 2008). As people develop new knowledge, often these intelligences complement each other (Hatch, Gardner, 1989). In New Zealand early childhood education they believe that in Gardner’s Multi Intelligence theory, the learner is seen as an active participant in their own learning. When new knowledge is presented to the chid, the child will utilize different intelligences in order to synthesize and analyse the new information.

The theory of MI properly accounts for the fact that children learn in different ways and use different cognitive capabilities to construct knowledge. It also emphasizes the importance of using a diverse curriculum in the centre that utilizes different subject areas such as music, fine arts and physical activities. For example, if a teacher extends children’s learning, he or she can show some pictures, use real things, sing a song, each method of learning in this case will appeal to the learning styles of different children.

In MI theory, the adults can take a broader view of learning to include all intelligences and consequently plan and deliver activities that will allow children to learn through intelligence that they are strongest in. Taking this approach to learning, adults are able to give their children extended opportunities to construct new knowledge that makes most sense to them and can therefore be readily applied to situations.

Erik Erikson

Erikson developed the view that each person experiences a set of “conflicts” that need to be resolved during each of the eight stages of development, the first three stages pning early childhood.

These conflicts arise from demands made on a child by his parents of by society in general. As each conflict is resolved, the individual becomes ready to grapple with the next stage. When conflicts are unresolved, they remain issues for the individual to struggle with later in life. In New Zealand early childhood education they used Erikson’ theory as a based on theories and practices in Ece setting. For example the first three stages of psychosocial development.

Stage 1:

Trust versus mistrust (birth to 1 year of age).

During this time, the infant struggles to develop trust in the world. Erikson felt that children learn to trust when educators and parents are nurturing, responsive and reliable.

Stage 2:

Autonomy versus shame and doubt (18 months to 3 years).

This stage is characterized by the child’s increasing desire to discover. Educators and parents help children by understanding the child’s needs for both independence and dependence. Erikson believed that, if this fails to occur, a child will experience feelings of shame and doubt.

So there, this is the stage where you teach independence, not at birth.

Stage 3:

Initiative versus guilt (3 to 6 years old).

At this time, the child is eager to master new skills, use language to ask questions, and interact with other peers. At the same time, the child still relies on the comfort and security provided by educators and parents. If a child’s developing sense of initiative is neglected or ignored, Erikson stressed that the child’s misguided energy could result in verbal or physical aggression. Teachers who apply psychosocial development in the classroom create an environment where each child feels appreciated and is comfortable with learning new things and building relationships with peers without fear" (Tamara , 2010, para. 1). In New Zealand Early Childhood education one of their goals is from Te Whariki curriculum Strand 2 that they implement in the every centre, the belonging where children experience an environment where they know they have a place and feel comfortable with the routines, custom, and regular events.

Educator encourage initiative in young children, they believe that children should be given a great deal freedom to explore their world. They should be allowed to choose some of the activities they engage. If their request for doing certain activities is reasonable, the request should be honoured and they provide exciting materials that will stimulate and extend their imagination.

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Human Developemnt Across Lifespan. (2017, May 25). Retrieved from

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