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Socio-Cultural Influences Development

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jstar
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An essay that critically examines the role of practitioners in recognising the socio-cultural influences on the development of children

In the development of provision for children, traditional developmental theory has been highly influential:
Over the years I have become frustrated by the strident emphasis on developmental theory in early childhood education
(Walsh 2005:40)
Particular relevance has been held concerning constructivist theory and the work of Piaget (1977) and Vygotsky (1978):
The academic understanding of learning that underpins current trends in early childhood education are most significantly based upon principles of social constructivism that are drawn from both Vygotsky and Piaget
(Anning et al 2008:153)
Typically, traditional child development theory is thought to give order and meaning to a child’s progression in terms of physical, social, emotional, cognitive and language development and provides practitioners with a set of normative descriptors from which a child’s development can be measured. However, more recently these notions have been questioned and there has been a growth of theory from a socio-cultural perspective: recent challenges to ways of understanding and living in the world have included issues of difference, identity, culture, intellect, and economy…Early Childhood Educators have responded in various ways to such diversity. Many continue to support the developmentalist notion of the universal child…still others merge a variety of perspectives in efforts to meet the challenges of diversity in its various forms
(Grieshaber & Cannella 2001:3)
These perspectives hold particular relevance for childhood practitioners, influencing both policy and practice. For the purposes of this essay there will be recognition of the influence of traditional development theory, its location within current policy, with particular…...

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