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ECS4221 Early Childhood Education Paper Editing Services
Early childhood education is branch that is related to the teaching of young child and it is the age where a child can adopt new things easily i.e. called learning. Learning is a continual process and essential for the stages of development of child at early childhood education. There are various theories of learning which can offer some insight in the child’s development and also offers guidance to the carers into the stages of development of child. There are three most effective approaches for learning i.e. Behavioral, cognitive, and humanist which are very useful when applied through practice (Roopnarine and Johnson 2013).According to behavioral approach learning occurs when there are the changes in behavior of child and process is dependent on conditions. According to cognitive theories learning is an internal process where intellectualness plays a vital role i.e. information is integrated into one’s structure of intelligence. Finally humanist approach of learning believes whole person is responsible for learning and learning can only take place if person is self-determined to learn. Being an early childhood educator there should be consider two views of leaning i.e. behavioral view of learning and humanist approach of learning and it is very necessary to be aware of these two views of learning for the betterment of development of child (Elango, et al. 2015).
Comprehensive Critique Of Two Well Used Views Of Learning:
Behaviouralview of learning
(Duchesne, and McMaugh, 2015)Behavioural view of learning focuses on the behaviours of the child which is observable. It falls under two categories i.e. classic and operant and many people are very familiar with the operant conditioning where reward is the key of learning for desired behaviour. B.F. Skinner has researched a lot and spent lots of time to explore operant conditioning and according to him “behaviour is a learned response” when classic conditioning is a natural response of behaviour. This view of learning believes that child is started with a clean slate and reinforcement i.e. positive and negative reinforcement shapes the behaviour of child and it increases the chances of things that they will happen again. Student actively responds to the provided reinforcement which is broke down the task into small parts and it is the responsibilities of the educator to give immediate feedback to the child. Environment i.e. surrounded you influences behaviour and researcher believes that behaviour is the result of the interaction of people with the environment. According to it this view generally take assumption that the results of the leaning is the driving force for change in behaviour and change in environment around us. Environment changes the behaviour of individual. It has various applications in conventional learning and education and it is very relevant approach to shape the skill of child. A general and simple way for an educator for shaping the behaviour of child is to give feedback to the child e.g. praise, compliment, encouragement, and acceptance. An educator can ask questions in the class to praise the child for attempting rather thinking about right answer because normally the educator only praise those students who gives right answers to the questions (Gavetti, et al. 2012)
Some behaviourist has established some theories related to behavioural view of learning which are outlined below:
Pavlov (1849 - 1936)a Russian scientist has discovered conditioning and as per his theory all the behaviour is reflexive in nature. He has answered the most aroused question i.e. difference between the common behaviour and instinctive according to him instinct behaviour is same as motivation sometimes. At more abstract level all the learning are result of classical conditioning (Levey and Martin, 2013).
Watson (1878 - 1958)was the most famous personality in the history of psychology. His contribution in psychology was that he has launched a book names “Mechanism explains behaviour” which is very helpful to understand psychology and behaviour. He was only person who convinced the psychologist that behaviour is in nervous system and as soon as we will understand the brain most of the conflict can be resolved.
Skinner (1904 - 1990)is the greatest behavioural psychologist and was concerned about the stimuli-response connections. He has researched in the different way which was opposite to all the views and theories by determining the force that affects the learning after the act was performed and their stimuli responses. He developed that responses i.e. reinforcement decides the chances of happening of event again, if there is the positive reinforcement than there are high chances of repeating action and vice versa (McLeod, 2007). Theory of Skinner is most beneficial theory for the entire educator especially in early childcare because it helps to understand the basic needs and behaviour of child. There are basically two types of learning that takes place in the within this view i.e. classical conditioning and operant conditioning (chacter, 2011).
(Henton and Iversen, 2012) It is essential for the educators to determine the relationship between behaviour and the stimuli of environment that affects the development of child. Educators attempts to apply many techniques for that because it necessary for the child’s development and their behaviour, for this action collection of the information will be initial step and can be done by determining some question given below:
1.What kind of modification is required by behaviour?
2. Environmental factors that maintains the behaviour of children.
3.About the positive reinforcement factor.
Figure 1 – types of reinforcement and punishment
Positive reinforcement:to show the effect of reinforcement Skinner performed an experiment in which he placed a hungry rat in a box that contained a lever and as the rat moved it would knock the lever. As this action occurs the food pellet will drop in container. After some attempt the rat learned to go straight to have the food. Positive reinforcement improves the behaviour of an individual by being aware of consequences of the particular action as observed in the experiment done by skinner. It is rewarding technique like you are rewarded for the action for example if your educator would give you reward for completing the class work so you will repeat the action again and again and it strengthen the behaviour of an individual (Sokolowski and Abramson, 2010).
Negative reinforcement:it consists of the removal of rein forcer i.e. unlikeable because it is essential to avoid such kind of unpleasant rein forcer for the betterment of the child’s behaviour. For example if your educator says that if you will not minimum 15 marks out of 30 than you will have to pay $10 so you will try to attempt that to avoid paying and it gives strength to behaviour. To explain this force Skinner performed an experiment by the same box and rat which was used in positive reinforcement. In this case knocking the lever leads to electric current that discomforts the rat so to avoid that somehow rat learned to move straight. So to get desirable objective the unpleasant rein forcer is removed by rat in the experiment (Carvalho and Hopko, 2011).
Punishment:it is entirely opposite process of reinforcement which weakens the responses rather than strengthens it. It contains some aversive and unlikable event that weakens the behaviour of child and creates some problems which are outline below:
1.It is non-forgettable event
2.It can become the reason behind aggression i.e. aggressive way to resolve problems
3.It can create the fear against the object or events like fear of school if someone gets punishment there
4.It is not necessary that it only leads to the desired behaviour; it may have opposite impact on child
Gaps that behavioural view of learning may leave:
1.It just avoids the mental process which is very important, as per many behaviourist learning can be done only from experiences.
2.Use of animal for the experiments are criticised because humans are more complex and sensitive than animals.
3.The main principles cannot judge spontaneous behaviour.
4.It ignores the biological factors presence in human.
5.According to this view human is a passive leaner but as per other psychologist human is an active agent and can control their own will.
6.It doesn’t explain some learning like recognitions of new language pattern for child.
7.As it is activity of mind, cannot account all kind of events and activities.
Humanist approachof learning:
(Duchesne, and McMaugh, 2015) A humanistic approach involves the concept that an individual can learn by observing behavior of other and there is no need to change the behavior i.e. behavior change doesn’t occur. If an educator wants to use humanistic approach for the development of child so educator should have the children who work in groups so the children can observe the behavior of classmates and can evaluate their own progress. It focuses on developing child’s self-concept and self-determination; it moves away from traditional behaviorist theory and focuses on the potential of an individual because everyone has their own unique personality and perception. Humanism which is most important in this view of learning is also known as third force in psychology. This approaches is based on the observation of an individual that how an individual is responded to the external environment. This approach can be found in many other approaches like person-centered approach, student-centered learning, discovery learning, and co-operative learning. As an educator if anyone denies that a student doesn’t have talent and educator is not able to recognize the potential of student it is not possible for the educator to get answer of these question about child i.e. who they are and who they could be. If children feel good about themselves then it is the positive start because feeling good about ourselves gives idea about the strengths and weakness (Tangney, 2014).
There are some key principles of humanistic approach:
1.Child should be able to adopt thing that has to be learned according to interest.
2.According to this theory grades are irrelevant and only self-evaluation is essential because grades doesn’t encourage child for personal satisfaction.
3.Both feeling and knowledge has same value when using humanist approach of learning.
4.A non-threatening environment should be provided to the children so they can feel safe.
5.Leering of a child should be self directed
There is some key proponent of humanist approach of learning:
John Dewey (1859 - 1952) a great psychologist states that education is to be grounded in real experience. Child should be provided many opportunities that favours the development and gives real world experience to them.
David Kolb (1939)a great American theorist proposed an experimental learning model which consists of four major elements i.e. concrete experience, observe that experience and provide reflection, formation of concepts on the basis of reflection, and testing the new concepts.
Carl Rogers (1902 - 1987)is known as the founder of person-cantered psychotherapy, invented counselling, and proposed humanist in the education system. According to him personal involvement is essential to get the topmost level of learning i.e. person should be self-initiated (Rogers, 2012).
Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970)is considered as the father of humanistic psychology and proposed a Maslow’s theory which is based on the statement that experience is initial or primary phenomena for the better research about the human learning and behaviour. He basically proposed hierarchy of needs in year 1943. He just divided motivation of human into hierarchy, which is reflected as a pyramid. The bottom of the pyramid is for basic needs of human while top part of the pyramid is filled with complex needs of human. A schematic diagram of Maslow’s hierarchy is given below (Block, 2011).
Figure 2 - Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Needs at the bottom are very basic needs of human like food, water, sleep, and warmth and these needs are essential to get fulfilled. So as theses needs are met human can move to the safety and security needs which includes out of danger, environmental security, and emergency control (Einstein, A et al. ND). The need of safety also includes saving of money, job security, health and other insurances. One physiological and safety needs is satisfied person moves to next leave of pyramid i.e. called belongingness that consists of love, friendship, intimate relationship with others, and close friendship. As these three types of needs are satisfied or met father person tries to attempt next level of needs i.e. esteem needs which contains achievement either in organization or in institute, independency, competency in work, and appreciation. The last stage of pyramid as shown n figure is self-actualization which is a process of consistently growing to get potential and it is the kind of need where person wants to become everything according to the capacity. So according to it educator should be focused on the development of self-esteem of child and it leads to the better relationship between child and educator(Duchesne, and McMaugh, 2015).
Gaps that behavioural view of learning may leave:
1.Small choice of content of a curriculum and time of educator or resources are shared.
2. It promotes frustration like it creates confusion for the people because whatever they think for themselves may be out of their capacity.
3.It is centred on western culture and can create bias among people coming from different cultures and having beliefs according to it.
4.For applying this at workplace a huge experience is required because here educator facilitates the children for doing thing their own way.
5.As every child has unique identity they need different learning style and it is not possible for educators to provide everything to every child.
The essay highlights two theories of learning which are essential at the early childhood education for the development of child. This theories help educator to understand needs of child and it also helps to elaborate how children learn and grow, how their behaviour is modified, and developed. Understanding about the factors that is essential for growth and improvement of child is necessary for both families and educator of children. These theories can help educators to learn how to spend more enjoyable time with children and reinforce them.
Most Strongly Aligned Theory of Learning
The theories of learning elaborate how children change grow and learn over the course of childhood and these theories focus on various factors of development which includes social, cognitive, and emotional. As far as my view is concerned Behavioural view of learning or behavioural learning theory is suitable for the young children (i.e. from pre primary to year 3) because humanist approach is possible as they are not able to take any kind of decision about anything. Behaviourism states development occurs in continuous way and basically child falls among natural development that develops and changes the behaviour of child according to the external environment. According to this theory child should forget their old behaviour and should learn new one which helps them to develop. It is kind of science which is further devoted to the improvement of behaviour of children and this behaviour can be understood by observation of relationship between behaviour and the environment that leads to desired behaviour. This approach always involves the sharp observation of children’s behaviour and their consequences, better utilization of resources to get the desired outcomes and remove the unpleasant outcomes. This approach also known as behaviourism or behaviour modification which is mostly used in education setting. Behaviour of child is observable and measurable also contains behaviour i.e. automatically generated known as reflexive. Child who is having operant behaviour i.e. behaviour maintained by consequences and it is increasing so it is matter of concerns for the educator. It can be resolved by using reinforcement either positive or negative, positive reinforcement includes food, attention, or any other thing that ensures the happening of event again. A basic example of positive reinforcement is praying for desirable event or thing.
Observation plays an important role in behavioural view of learning so for all the educators should understand the role of observation in early childhood education. The observation of behaviour includes how each child is behaving, learning, reacting to external environment, and interacting with other when exposed to outside environment. After observation it is responsibility of educator to reflect all the information and then find what action or reinforcement can be used for the development of the child for providing them desired outcomes. A great observation can result in all the information about child like strength, weakness, beliefs etc. which can be further used to improvement of child. As you start observing in early childhood education you will manage the needs and will be able to monitor the progress of the child. There are various categories of observation by behaviour of the child can be improved over the period of time and these categories are emotional, physical, and skills. This observation will further help to understand about the child in which are of development he/she is getting failed and to understand the main issue with their development. It will also be easier to communicate with the parents of the child if educator will have all the detailed data of child about their behaviour among all the children in the class room and at external environment. Observation helps in accurate assessment of behaviour that leads to accurate progress report card of development of child and elaborates the child’s performance or action against the task assigned so for the better development of child this theory can be effective and easy in application(Duchesne, and McMaugh, 2015).
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