The child goes through certain phases in this development continuum with distinct periods in his life, such as toddler, preschooler, school aged and adolescent, to finally forming his own identity. The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the more popular theories on child development.
Although psychologists have put forward many theories regarding child development, it is the purpose of this brief paper to limit the discussions to only five of the more prominent ones. A child development theory is a set of organized principles designed to help adults understand a child and thereby contribute to his or her development through caring and teaching. The theories can help adults on what are the best ways to teach a child based on the aforesaid principles in the hope they will work to the best ways of bringing up the child, molding his thinking and influence his behavior. Psychologists and scientists are not totally agreed on which theory is the best which is why there are many theories on child development. However, these theories are still useful, in the sense they have practical applications in the classroom setting wherein knowledge of theories are put to the test, so to speak, on whether they are valid or not in terms of applicability.
Social Learning Theory – this theory states that children learn from adults by observing their behaviors. In other words, a child imitates what he or she sees an adult is doing. In this part of the theory, it is therefore very important that adults exhibit the right behaviors when in front of a child. The strategy is to show to the child good and proper behavior in certain situations so they will know how to act in each situation as they grow older and eventually become adults. A social learning theory emphasizes that actions of parents and peers greatly influence an action of a child where the child acquires new skills and gains knowledge by new information shown by actions. Observation, imitation and modeling are the