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Personal Theory Paper Essay

Abstract

There are many ways is which we can build and create our own theories about child development but the way we do our own theories will significantly affect the way we guide and teach children. My unique personal theory about child development is that children should be guided and treated with respect and dignity. This essay will explain my own personal theory or theories that I would use to greatly guide and help children along the way, I believe that these that I am about to mention are the ones that I feel I would really use later on as I pursue my profession in the Child development Field. A positive approach to guidance makes children and others feel confident, happy, and pleasant. A positive approach does not include shaming, humiliation, ridicule, pressure to compete, nor is it punitive, impatient, mean, or bossy.

Personal Theory 3

Personal Theory Paper

Having your own personal theory means how you will guide children into success in their life’s later on. Making our own personal theory helps us understand, predict, explain and control that reality. Thy are mostly verbal but they can also be mathematical or illustrative. Having our own personal theories really helps learn how children will learn and develop. These several questions that I will discuss are questions that often children caregivers ask themselves:

1. How do you view the course of development is it Continuous or Discontinuous? 2. Is there one course or many courses of development that would characterize all children? 3. Do genetic or environmental factors play a greater role in development?

Highlighting these major questions will give us an understanding as to how children develop and react to the changes around them.

1

Theory is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalized thinking. Depending on the context, the results might for example include generalized explanations on how nature works, or even how divine or metaphysical matters are thought to work.

How do you view the course of development is Continuous or Discontinuous? To me how I view the course of development is it depends on the child’s physical and psychological development. On the Wikipedia article about Child Development in the Continuity section of the article I read this: “Many aspects of developmental change are continuous and do not display noticeable milestones of change. Continuous developmental changes, like growth in stature, involve fairly gradual and predictable progress toward adult characteristics.” (www.wikipedia.com). Although scientists and children caregivers have an interest in identification of developmental milestones, many aspects of developmental change are continuous. An example of a discontinuous development is Freud’s Psycho Sexual stages of development is theorized that children systematically move through oral, anal, phallic, and latency stages before reaching mature adult sexuality in the genital stage.

The same is mentioned for Erikson’s theory of development and Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Theorists who believe children grow continuously believe that kids constantly add new lessons and skills on top of old lessons and though parents cannot see it all the time with their own eyes, children are growing all the time right in front of them. Their bodies make new cells. Their minds learn new skills as they play and interact with other people everyday. On the other hand children who grow Discontinuously believe that children grow in stages as they seem to develop chunks of abilities and to experience events at certain times in life.

Is there one course or many courses of development that would characterize all children? In my view I believe that both one or many courses in development exist. There is not only one course or just many course, in a preschool setting a teacher or caregiver is dealing with children from different backgrounds, culture, and developmental differences physically, emotional, and psychologically. Its important for a teacher or caregiver to really observe and understand if each child has only one course or many courses of development. “When a developmental theory has only one course then it is only said to follow one path, but when a developmental theory involves many courses then it has unique paths for particular individuals across popular contexts.”

(www.wiki-answers.com/Q/Child_development_One_course_of_development_or_many).

Do Genetic or Environmental factors play a greater role in Development? Genetics and the environment shape the development of a human. This fact is mostly known by the idea of nature versus nurture. Scientists have been questioning which of these factors influence upon the various aspects of personal growth. A person’s physical development is strongly affected by their genes inherited from their parents. Parents genes predetermine the limits of an individuals height and other characteristics. (www.teenink.com/opinion). Genetics can have a powerful influence on development, but experiences are also important. For example, while the genetic code contains the information a child is influenced by their surroundings. If a child grows up in a home

Personal Theory 6 that is well off, they may not appreciate the hard work that goes into earning a dollar because everything was given to them. On the other hand if a child grows up in poverty he or she may not want things that have no significance in their life. Child’s growth starts right away and does not end until the child is ready. As a child grows up he or she will learn to think for herself, become aware of themselves, learn to reason, and master language. The environment plays mostly an important part in the child’s skill enhancement in so many ways. First there are hereditary traits that can affect a child. The way they talk, walk, their psyche, cognitive thinking, and more can be due to the environment.

My Own two Major theories of Development

Two major theories that I have experienced while interacting with children is self-direction in which it is the ability to control one’s own behavior, to think for oneself was a basic aim by Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget which have mostly to do with values of freedom and liberty. I have personally come across this because when interacting with children I like to teach them to be more independent with themselves, to be able to do the things by themselves and if they already tried several times and they still need help on doing something then they can rely on me for help.

I have a younger sister who I have been helping my mom take care of ever since my sister was three years old (now she is eight years old) she does like to do things by herself independently but now that she is growing up, I have noticed that she is always wanting someone to do the things for her. Like there are times in the mornings when she feels lazy to do her own bed so she always tends to ask for my help only even though she also has other older sisters and an older brother she still only asks for my help, sometimes it is kind of annoying for me when she only asks for my help it almost seems like if I was her only sister. I am tend to loose my patience at times but that is when I Personal Theory 7 say to myself to calm down and realize that she likes to spend quality time with me, even if sometimes it is annoying. I want her to rely on me for help but what I want her to realize is that she also has to do her own things. When she is in a tight situation then that is when she can come to me for advice. My other theory is the imitation experience, when a child sees someone clapping then after seeing the grownup clap the child claps back just the same way the grownup did it.

Helping a child read picture books can help develop schemas in child development. A schema can be defined as a set of linked mental representations of the world, which are used both to understand and respond to situations. The assumption is that we store these mental representations and apply them when needed. (www.simplypsychology.com/piaget.html). For example, a person might have a schema about buying a meal in a restaurant. The schema is a stored form of the pattern of behavior which includes looking at a menu, or during food, eating it and paying the bill. This is an example of a schema called ‘script’. Whenever they are in a restaurant, they retrieve this schema from memory and apply it to the situation. The schemas Piaget described tend to be simpler than this-especially those used by infants. He described how as a child gets older-his or her schemas become more numerous and elaborate.

An example of an initial schema is when the teacher is showing the children how a dog looks from a picture book, therefore the children begin to develop an understanding of what a dog looks like just by looking at the picture book. Experience in practicing the skill can be provided by adults at strategic moments when the child shows readiness, thus enhancing development. Expert teachers are sensitive to children’s readiness in many learning domains. Children seek ways to gain experience when they find a new skill fascinating. (Hildebrand pg. 29) I would watch children climb up and down a mountain when they learning to climb.

When observing I would also listen to the children’s conversations, to me it is Personal Theory 8 interesting listening to the way children use words to connect them into sentences that are filled with fantasy, imagination and curiousness all over listening to their conversations also makes me wonder sometimes if they are imitating a grown-up from their own family or if it comes from their own active imagination, it almost seems like they have an inner drive to excel. I would never like to hinder a child from saying anything they wish to say but I would also watch carefully that any child does not swear because a young children’s mind is always active and open; and when they are toddlers everything the grownups say or do they will want to do it also because they are at a period where they want to try everything you do also, so we as their caregivers have to be extra careful what we say or do because what we do or say will greatly affect the child in the present and later on in their life.

Conclusion

Even though I have never had professional early child development teaching experience I know that in the several years of taking care of my sister I have at least gained some basic experience and have seen some of the theories that I mentioned in this essay in action with my younger sister. To me the course of development is both continuous and discontinuous depending on how each child develops. Learning about these theories and finding out more information about the many courses or just one course of development made me see that there are many courses of development based on the many developmental theories and stages each child goes through in life. Lastly I discovered that both genetic and environmental factors can affect children greatly in the present as well as later on in life. As I said earlier if a child is brought up in a negative environment then that will definitely affect the children emotionally as well psychologically.

References

Continuity and Discontinuity in Development http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_development Oswald, Angela. Child Development Stages versus Continuous Development. Retrieved from: http://www.sevencounties.org/poc/view_doc.php? type=doc&id=7920.. Cabi816, Greenville, SC. Teen Ink. Genetic Versus the Environment and their Effects on the Development. Retrieved from: http://www.teenink.com/opinion/current_events_politics/article/155563/Geneti cs-V-The-Environment-And-Their-Effects-On-Development/ McLeod, Saul. (Published 2009, Updated 2012). Simply Psychology. Jean Piaget. Retrieved from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/piaget.html Hildebrand, Verna and Hearron, F. Patricia. Guiding Young Children. Sixth Edition. (1999). Merrill, an imprint of Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle, New

Jersey and Columbus, Ohio. Chapter 2 Knowing Children as a Basis for Guidance. Speed of Development.


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