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Three Child Developmental Theories

There are a number of theories as far as child development is concerned. The theories include Bio-ecological Theory, Social-Cognitive Theory and Information Processing Theory. Below is a comparison of these theories.

Urie Bronfenbrenne rdeveloped the Bio-ecological Theory. Urie believed that the growth of a child is determined by the relations among the school environment and the environmental systems around them. Normally, there are five discrete systems within the environment which are related to a child’s relationship with the school environment and their recreational environment including the Church. The various systems include: the chronosystem, the exosystem the mesosystem, the macrosystem and the microsystem. In these systems a child develops due to the fact that all of these systems do work simultaneously with each other. With time, these systems are likely to change and changes in one of the systems always have an affect onother systems. Generally, child development is based on the environment within these systems and what the child is subjected to within the particular environment.

Albert Bandura developed the Social Cognitive Theory. He did show that the social environment and cognition have various interactive roles as far as behavior and learning among children is concerned. Through this theory he further noted that children basically learn by observing both the environment and the people around them. Just like Bronfenbrenner, he also developed steps within his theory to show the interaction of his philosophy and cognition. The four steps were attention, retention, motivation and production. Attention: Children cannot learn unless they concentrate on what is happening in the environment around them. Retention: The child ought to recognize the observed behavior and also retain information for a period of time. Motivation: Children will in broad-spectrum perform the act only if they have some drive or a given reason to do so.

Production: The child must be physically and intellectually capable of producing different or specific actions.

An additional model of learning how children develop cognitively is the Information Processing Theory. This model which was developed between 1960 and 1970 and it explains the acquisition of information in a gradual manner. Normally, it is parallel to how a computer works. It does conceptualize children’s mental processes through storing, decoding and encoding. Most children have developed the skills to focus attention for extended periods by the age of 5 and identify previously encountered information, recollect old information, and reconstruct it in the present.