K3D210- How Current Theories of Play Can Inform Practice

1948 words 8 pages
K3D210- How current theories of play can inform practice

There are many theories into how children develop and how they learn. These are extremely important as they can be applied to modern strategies used for child behaviours. Presently, learning theories are placed into 3 categories:
Behaviourist approaches – children learn as a result of what they see and what happens to them.
Constructivist approaches – children learn actively rather than passively.
Information processing- children learn cognitively.
There have been many theorists who have opposing views on how and why children behave and how they learn. I will discuss 4 theorists, their theories and how they have influenced and shaped work with children.
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BURRHUS FREDERIC SKINNER was born on 20th March 1904 in Pennsylvania. Initially Skinner decided to attend Hamilton College in New York with the intention of becoming a writer. He received a B.A in English Literature in 1926. After attempting to become a writer of fiction for a year after his graduation, Skinner decided that he did not possess enough world experience and no strong personal perspective from which to write. During this time, Skinner had begun to take more interest in the actions and behaviours of those around him, and some of his short stories had taken on a psychological slant. He decided to abandon literature and seek admission to Harvard University as a graduate student in psychology. Whilst he was still a student, Skinner invented the Operant Conditioning Chamber. The behavioural response or action of the subject within the chamber (usually a lab rat) was measured when the subject was delivered a primary reinforcer or unconditioned stimulus such as food or water. A cumulative recorder was invented to graphically record the results of the tests. This provided a powerful analytical tool for studying schedules of reinforcement. This became known as Operant Conditioning.
The essence of the operant conditioning theory is that learning is based on the type of consequence or reinforcement that follows an initial behaviour. Skinner