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  1.  Early Childhood Education and Education Theory    





    Explain in a reflection what you have learned about the historical roots of Early Childhood Education and Education Theory. Explain how theoretical influences determine instructional practices.
    Write at least two pages, double spaced in Times New Roman 12 point font. Be sure to follow guidelines for writing in APA.



Subject Early childhood development Pages 4 Style APA


The Historical Roots of Early Childhood Education and Education Theory


Early childhood education has existed for centuries.  From the class reading texts, I have learned that education phycology can be viewed as a field of its own and have undergone tremendous changes and transformations to fit the needs of different generations. Different psychologists significantly contribute to the development of early childhood education, as depicted in history. 

Many philosophers, theorists and educators have contributed to the development of the appropriate education system for children. The eightieth-century philosophers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Peztaloz believed in a self-driven learning system that allows children to connect with nature. According to Rousseau, children learn through curiosity (p. 15). His philosophies advocate for less interference of children learning because they exhibit varying interests and different learning ways, just like adults. Johann Peztaloz’s principles insist that children learning should combine natural elements with minimal formal instructions (p. 15. His lessons involved the manipulation of objects where children learned through sensory organs and the ability to recognize shapes. In today’s education systems, some of these principles are still put into practice since most children learn through play and connecting with nature.

The concept of progressive education developed by the America Philosopher, John Dewey, transformed different education curriculums. In his work, learning through social interactions and play in real-life settings that revolves around the interests of children are highly prioritized (p. 15). I strongly support Dewey’s views on early childhood education. In my pre-elementary schools’ days, and as it is the case in most schools today, our learning activities were mostly based on play in natural settings. Everything we did seems good, and we enjoyed and appreciated learning. Therefore, as advocated in his theory, we should concentrate on developing children abilities by recognizing what they are good at rather than feeding them with more complex ideas and concepts.

During Dewey’s time, Fredric Skinner introduced behaviorism theory that appeared to take a different learning approach. Behaviorists suggest that humans learn through imitation, conditioning and association and that the outcomes of learning results in a permanent behavior change (p. 16).  Besides, different theories describing how behaviors can be conditioned through different techniques to shape human life within and outside the classroom have been proposed by many theorists and educators. These conditioning theories offer useful insights into design instructions to support learning and should be incorporated into teacher training (Kaplan, 2018). Many of the subsequent research appear to concur with Skinner’s views. In my opinion, I have learned that behavior is a critical aspect of humans that should be offered keen attention from childhood.

Other philosophers whose theories have benefitted the education sectors are Montessori and Piaget. Jean Piaget is known for developing the theory of cognitive development that describes the intellectual capability of children at different stages of development (p. 17). It involves using assimilation and accommodation learning techniques where the former requires children to incorporate new ideas into the existing schemes, while the latter requires them to derive information from existing schemes (p. 17). This theory has enabled educators to better understand and engage children in favorable learning environments.  On the other hand, the senses and systems theory developed by Montessori encourages teachers to use modelling materials in offering orderly and systematic learning. This can help create an appropriate learning environment that can help nurture skills. 

In summary, many theories developed by different philosophers and psychologists have contributed to developing early childhood education curriculums in many ways. Despite the limited historical understanding of the early childhood education, teaching of childhood education history can lay the foundation for understating and development of school programs (Skjæveland, 2017). The ones mentioned above are a few of the contributors. In my view, it would be better for today’s educators to take into consideration and integrate different theories to come up with the best curriculums for our children.




Course material. The evolution of theory and practice in early childhood education across the twentieth century.

Kaplan, D. (2018). Behaviorism in online teacher training. Psychology09(04), 570-577. doi: 10.4236/psych.2018.94035

Skjæveland, Y. (2017). Learning history in early childhood: Teaching methods and children’s understanding. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood18(1), 8-22. doi: 10.1177/1463949117692262

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