Complete Early Childhood Discussion (SHASTA)

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Week 2 Discussion: Understanding Child Development Theory

Course Objective 1: Examine and discuss major theories of child development.

Theories help us interpret and predict the developmental process. While they are not always correct, they provide a useful framework for making sense of what might seem like confusing or random behaviors. The purpose of this discussion is to explore how child development theories apply to your own experiences, either as a child or a parent.

What stories can you tell from your own experiences that illustrate classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and social learning theory?

What about experiences that illustrate the stages of development expressed by Freud, Erikson, and Piaget?

(For example: Freud’s theory is based on the idea that early experiences drive later behaviors. Can you think of examples from your own life when this was true for you?)

Which theories seemed more relevant to you? Why?

At the beginning of each story, in parentheses, indicate the theory or theorist you believe your story illustrates. Use quotes or references to the text to demonstrate your understanding of the theory or concept.