theorists of development
- Freud’s psychosexual stage theory
- Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory
- Kohlberg’s moral understanding stage theory
- Piaget’s cognitive development stage theory
- Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory
Though many scientists and researchers have approached the study of child development over the last hundred or so years, only a few of the theories that have resulted have stood the test of time and have proven to be widely influential. Among this core group of theories are five that will serve as the basis for the documents in this series. These are:
The theory concerns the emergence and acquisition of schemata – schemes of how one perceives the world – in “developmental stages”, times when children are acquiring new ways of mentally representing information.
Although there is no general theory of cognitive development, the most historically influential theory was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Psychologist (1896-1980).
Vygotsky’s Cognitive Development Theory postulates that social interaction is fundamental to cognitive development. Vygotsky’s theory is comprised of concepts such as culture-specific tools, language and thought interdependence, and the Zone of Proximal Development. Furthermore, the theoretical concepts presented herein provide part of the foundation for constructivism and have contributed greatly to the restructuring of formal educational systems [ 1 , 3 ].
Vygotsky’s Cognitive Development Theory argues that cognitive abilities are socially guided and constructed. As such, culture serves as a mediator for the formation and development of specific abilities, such as learning, memory, attention, and problem solving. It is proposed that culture-specific tools play an integral role in the way children organize and think about the world. These tools may include various social artifacts.
This topic center provides a review of theories of child development for children aged 12-24. For information on parenting and child development of infants aged 0 to 2, please visit our Infant Parenting and Child Development topic center. For information on parenting and child development of preschool children (early childhood aged 3 to 7, please visit our Early Childhood Parenting and Child Development topic center. For information on parenting and child development of middle childhood children (ages 8 to 11), please visit our Middle Childhood Parenting and Development center and Child Development Theory: Middle Childhood center.
Parents gasp and clap in excitement as they witness their toddlers’ first steps, or hear them babble the.