What you have learned in this section
- Some important concepts and theories in the development of children. Starting from the early years, you looked at the importance of secure attachment. In the Strange Situation Test you found that some children may not be securely attached because they have experienced disruption in their lives. The Strange Situation Test was followed by a brief introduction to John Bowlby on attachment theory.
- The views of Jean Piaget. He believed that children go through four stages of development and this is biologically based. In contrast, the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky developed the theory of social constructivism or socio-cultural theory, which argued that social and environmental factors were more important than biology in children’s development.
- The importance of parents as partners, as well as different styles of parenting, through the work of Diana Baumrind. Teaching assistants recognise the importance of working closely with parents and that this relationship can take different forms and be challenging as well as supportive.
- Transitions and how horizontal, vertical and education-related transitions can help us to understand the importance of these moves from one setting to another. You also looked at some of the issues faced by children experiencing these transitions.