Ch 1: History & Theories of Early Childhood Education

About This Chapter

Learn the history and theories of early childhood education with help from bite-sized lessons, mini-quizzes and a practice exam. These learning and study tools can strengthen your understanding of this subject as you aim to excel on a test, enhance your educational career or gain personal knowledge.

History & Theories of Early Childhood Education - Chapter Summary

This chapter offers a historical and modern-day look at early childhood education and explores cognitive, social and moral development in children. Gain greater insight into theories from Vygotsky, Piaget, Bruner and many others. Choose the lessons you want to review, and assess your comprehension by taking short lesson quizzes. Get a broader understanding of the lessons by taking the practice exam. Once you've completed this chapter, you will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the history of and current trends in early childhood education
  • Describe Piaget's theory and stages of cognitive development
  • Explain Robbie Case's neo-Piagetian perspective on development
  • Share details about Lev Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development
  • Define the zone of proximal development and scaffolding in the classroom
  • List and describe Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  • Exhibit knowledge of Bruner's scaffolding and constructivism theories
  • Identify and describe Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development
  • Provide details about Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences and its impact on education
  • Examine the ecological systems theory of development from Bronfenbrenner
  • Discuss the game stage in sociology by George Mead
  • Explain Carol Gilligan's theory and Kohlberg's stages of moral development

15 Lessons in Chapter 1: History & Theories of Early Childhood Education
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
History of Early Childhood Education

1. History of Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is an important first step in formal education for many young children. In this lesson, we will discuss the general history of early childhood education.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Definition, Theory & Pyramid

2. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Definition, Theory & Pyramid

Why is it that when some of our needs aren't met, it's almost impossible to concentrate on other ones? Psychologist Abraham Maslow spent his career looking for these answers. Watch this lesson to learn about some of his most important conclusions.

Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development: Conflicts & Growth

3. Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development: Conflicts & Growth

Erikson identified eight stages of psychosocial development, with each stage presenting a conflict that must be overcome. This lesson will discuss the conflict and growth associated with each stage of development.

Current Trends in Early Childhood Education

4. Current Trends in Early Childhood Education

This lesson is about current trends in early childhood education. We will outline three current trends in early childhood education and discuss what these trends look like in the classroom and how these trends impact student learning.

Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

5. Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development focuses on how learners interact with their environment to develop complex reasoning and knowledge. This lesson will focus on the six basic assumptions of that theory, including the key terms: assimilation, accommodation and equilibration.

Jean Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

6. Jean Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget developed a theory of cognitive development that described and explained the changes in logical thinking of children and adolescents. Within that theory, he identified four stages of cognitive development through which all learners must proceed. This lesson will introduce you to and differentiate between those stages.

Robbie Case's Theory of Development: Neo-Piagetian Perspective

7. Robbie Case's Theory of Development: Neo-Piagetian Perspective

The Neo-Piagetian perspective stemmed from criticism of Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development theory. This lesson will discuss the Neo-Piagetian perspective and Robbie Case's Theory of Development.

Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development

8. Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development

The role of culture and social interactions are imperative to cognitive development, according to psychologist, Lev Vygotsky. This lesson will discuss how social interactions play a role in cognitive development of children, provide an overview of Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory and describe the stages of speech and language development.

Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding in the Classroom

9. Zone of Proximal Development and Scaffolding in the Classroom

Psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed a theory of cognitive development which focused on the role of culture in the development of higher mental functions. Several concepts arose from that theory that are important to classroom learning. This lesson will focus on two concepts: zone of proximal development and scaffolding.

Jerome Bruner: Scaffolding and Constructivism Theories

10. Jerome Bruner: Scaffolding and Constructivism Theories

Find out who Jerome Bruner is, and his role in identifying theories of scaffolding and constructivism. Read the lesson, then take a brief quiz to test your new knowledge about education theories.

Howard Gardner: Theory & Impact on Education

11. Howard Gardner: Theory & Impact on Education

What does it mean to be intelligent? In this lesson, we'll explore the multiple intelligences theory of psychologist Howard Gardner, including the different types of intelligence that Gardner proposes and his impact on education.

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development: Definition & Examples

12. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development: Definition & Examples

Learn about Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory in this lesson and explore the five levels of the environment that can influence human development.

Carol Gilligan's Theory of Moral Development

13. Carol Gilligan's Theory of Moral Development

How does one choose between right and wrong? Are there differences in moral development based on gender? Psychologist Carol Gilligan proposed a theory that highlights the differences between male and female moral development.

Game Stage in Sociology: Definition & Overview

14. Game Stage in Sociology: Definition & Overview

The game stage was first developed by sociologist George Mead. In this lesson, learn more about the game stage and self-development and look at some examples.

Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

15. Kohlberg's Stages of Moral Development

How do people learn to make morally sound decisions? To illustrate Kohlberg's levels of moral development, we'll follow Lauren as she makes difficult decisions.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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