Download Theories of Development – B

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If a child is behaving in a negative way, reward only their good behaviors to stop the negative
Shaping behavior involves the following components:
Targeting the desired behavior, ex. Jill needs to put away her toys
Fixing the behavioral baseline, ex. every evening by 6:30 PM her toys should be in their bins
Selecting the reinforcers, ex. She will receive extra story time at bedtime when she puts her toys
away 3 nights
Analyzing the task and sequencing the segments, ex. describe and demonstrate the desired
behavior or show what putting away the toys properly looks like
Systematically applying the reinforcers, ex. keep a record of nights toys are put away correctly
and promptly reward on the third, sixth and ninth nights with extra story time!
The overall goal is for the task to become intrinsically rewarding to the child so the adult does not have
to supply the reinforcements or rewards. Ex. Jill will realize it is wonderful to have extra story time and
to wake up each morning to an organized room. Soon she will do this on her own without needing the
extra storytime.
The Behaviorist theory addresses the emotional, social and mental development of children. It does not
address the physical component, only assumes that children will develop physically based on their
genetics and a healthy environment.
II. Maturationist Theory – Jaques Rosseau
Think of a seed! When given rich soil, water and plenty of sunshine it unfolds into a gorgeous
healthy plant for all to enjoy.
Maturationist believe that each child follows a predetermined inner schedule of development
physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually. A child will develop to his potential when placed in an
optimum environment. This development will be slowed or retarded if the environment is not ideal.
Experience is always filtered by the child’s maturation level. This theory is not widely held, however
many schools do screen children based on developmental tests.
III. Constructivist – Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner and George Forman
Have you ever built a structure with Legos following the directions or guide? You build from the
base up to the top-right? If it does not look or perform correctly, you go back and check the
directions and diagrams.