Relevance Of Jean Piaget's Theory

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Early childhood educators play an important role in the psychological development of young children. In order to do this most effectively, it becomes useful to employ different developmental theories to guide teachings. Jean Piaget’s constructivist theory describes how children come to understand things in their environment. Similarly, Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory gives direction to maximize a child’s learning. These theories both become instrumental in ensuring that children are provided with an environment, which is both conducive to learning and development psychologically. This paper will address the benefits and risks associated with the implementation of these theories.
An understanding of learning is a key element for any educator.
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It does so by explaining how children process information, and draw conclusions from this information. As discussed in lecture, children respond to all kinds of environmental stimuli, both positively and negatively. If we follow the theory that children take in information from their environment, they then process it by creating and testing hypotheses. This is done through two adaptations to environment, assimilation and accommodation. Children both integrate new information into existing schemes, or they can alter their schemes through new information. Another tenet of Piaget’s theory is the idea of the active child. This is referring to the thought that children will actively seek out their own environment and attempt to make sense of it. This is reflected in the way emergent curriculum is used in the classroom, to create an environment that caters to the children’s …show more content…
Two important aspects of this theory are scaffolding and the zone of proximal development. Scaffolding works by integrating a framework to assist the child, which is then taken away as the child is successful in a task. Followed closely to this is the zone of proximal development, which helps us to understand how children process information from their environment. From this we can also determine the ways in which children draw conclusions based off of this information. If we offer assistance to children to extend their thinking with guidance from an ECE, then we can encourage them to draw conclusions that are correct. This is important to ensure that we provide a stimulating environment to children, and pay attention to their interests and questions so that they understand these new concepts in a way that they can contextualize. By understanding each child’s zone of proximal development and how to apply scaffolding, educators can assess when to step in and offer guidance and when to let a child make their own discoveries. The implementation of this strategy early on can enable both early childhood educators and parents to help the child reach their potential, in regard to psychological

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