Theorist Fact Sheet
Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Had new ideas about how to change education such as all children, boys and girls should be universally and equally educated. All the towns and villages should have a school. Schools should educate the whole child, intellectually, religiously, physically and emotionally. John Cominius (1592-1670)
Believed the first years were important times in children??™s development. He also believed that children learned best in natural real-world settings and that movement and activity were crucial to healthy learning. Thought learning should be enjoyable and wanted to educate everyone. Jean Rousseau (1712-1778)
Thought formal education should be withheld until after twelve years old. Children should learn from nature around them and use new sensory experiences. Children should be able to choose their own learning experiences. First to recognize that children are different from adults, in the way they think and reason. Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827)
First to recognize the importance of observing and planning learning experiences for children. Saw every child as having the ability to learn. Felt that a good student-teacher relationship was important. Also that children learn through their peers and sensory experiences. Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852)
The father of modern kindergarten. Emphasized the benefits of early childhood play. Importance of singing both at home and school for young children. Developed what we now call circle time. Maria Montessori (1870-1952)
Felt that children with special needs were eager for learning experiences and if given them would develop more normally. Developed an educational program and opened Casa de Bambini in Italy. Margaret McMillan (1860-1931)
Concerned about health problems of children growing up in low income areas. Founded Open Air Nursery to help correct problems-emphasized outdoor play also provided baths, clean clothes, healthy meals, medical and dental care. Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
Zone of proximal development- gap between the child??™s independent performance and that which can be done with the help of an adult or peer. Language and learning, play and social interaction were all components in a child??™s learning process. Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Believed all children go through psychosexual stages of development for children: oral stage (0-1), anal stage (1-3), phallic stage (3-5), latency stage (5-11), and genital stage (11+). He felt these stages and how they are handled shaped a person??™s personality later in life. Jean Piaget (1896-1939)
His theory was constructivist learning, in this children create their own learning experiences and the teachers guide them. Children are encouraged to interact with their environment in order to gain new knowledge. John Dewey (1859-1952)
Started the progressive movement in American education. Felt that education should be consistent with real life events. Education should teach common values of society to children. True education involves social interaction of peers and adults. Children??™s own instincts and desires should drive teacher??™s planning. Learning should be active. Erik Erikson (1902-1994)
Proposed three main additions to Freud??™s work, emphasis on healthy personality, epigenetic principle, which means personality is primarily determined by genes, also the psychosocial stages of development which is from birth to well into adulthood. Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)
Humanistic psychologyfocuses on basic goodness of the child, human needs, and the importance of self. Also developed a hierarchy of needs, stating that the most basic needs such as food, shelter, must be met before higher level needs such as affection can be achieved. J. McVicker Hunt (1906-1991)
Argued that young children learn a great deal as they interact with the people and things in their environment. Was the first to suggest that low-income families could improve their IQ when provided with learning experiences in their early years. Benjamin Bloom (1913-1999)
Like Hunt increased the interest in early childhood education, promoted the idea that intelligence was influenced by environmental factors. Jerome Bruner (1915- )
Felt that children should be challenged and taught the basic concepts of math and science and how to study at an early age. Arnold Gesell (1880-1961)
Observed and took data about typical changes in development in growth and behavior. Created comprehensive information about typical behaviors of development for children from birth to adolescence Patty Smith Hill (1868-1946)
Created two important institutions, the laboratory nursery school at Columbia University and helped to create the NAEYC, national association for the education of young children. Her ideas became foundation of education practices. Lucy Sprague Mitchell (1878-1967)
Created the Bureau of Educational Experiments, which created a model program for researchers and teachers to study. Later renamed the Bank Street College of Education, and is still influential. Types of Programs Fact Sheet
The Montessori Program
Created by Maria Montessori in Italy around 1907. Emphasis of curriculum is on work tasks, not play time as many early childhood programs do. Children are free to choose what they want to work with, however they are to be used in only one specific way. The materials are specifically designed, and only when a child completes that task can they move on to the next. The materials also are gradually more difficult or complex as they are completed, provide self correction, and sensory input. Classrooms are carefully organized so that all the materials are easily found and all the furniture is child sized. The High Scope Curriculum
Based on the theories of Piaget. To develop conceptual understanding uses the plan-do-review sequence, where children plan what they want to do during free plan and then later review what they learned during the activity. Classroom divided into centers for learning experiences. Consistently structured days which include plan-do-review times and also small and large circle times. The Bank Street Model
Uses the developmental interactionalist method, which address the whole child, intellectual, social and emotional learning. Three major theorists influence the foundations of the curriculum; Erikson, Piaget, and Dewey. During much of the day the children choose their own activities The Reggio Emilia Program