The core of the practice of these theories is to inculcate growth of a child. The general framework of practise includes following points: holistic approaches, responsiveness and collaboration with children, learning through play, intentionality, environments, cultural competence, continuity of learning and transitions and assessment and evaluation. With the theories to provide insight and interpret complex learning process we would try to understand how these theories incorporate pedagogy practices for above mentioned practice framework.
Some of the theories which mainly affect early childhood education and care are:
Developmental theory- involves that a child learn by exploring with concrete materials. Pedagogical practice ensures that teachers plan the classroom with great care.
Behaviourist theory– believes that behaviour is something that can be learned and is mainly response driven. Pedagogical practices related to this belief assure that teachers strengthen apt behaviour by way of reward system.
Socio-cultural theory- puts emphasis on participation and relationship development of a child. It allows the child to be interdependent. Teachers for pedagogical practices related to this theory take care of child’s social and cultural background. A process of responsive listening is used here.
Critical theory– looks at a child as an individual with rights and authority of decision making. Pedagogical practise ensures that families and children both participate with the teacher towards child’s growth and development.
Post structuralist theory– this believes that in different groups child tends to showcase complex and varying identities. For pedagogical practices of this theory, teachers focus on dynamics of child while interacting in group (Child Australia).
As Dr. Haim G. Ginott, a famous child therapist and clinical psychologist said, “Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression”, it becomes a natural duty of education providers to show them right path and inculcate a habit of lifelong learning. We have seen that both Maria Montessori Method and Rudolf Steiner’s Developmental Theory share a common goal at heart, which is to ensure a well rounded development of an individual. The receptiveness and learning zeal is at peak in the children of two to five years of age. The right kind of pedagogical approaches and practices for early childhood education would go in a long way to create a secure, independent, and hardworking and peace loving individual. Sowing these seeds early in a child’s brain would make it easy for them to face the difficulties of harsh world and also give him courage to work for the betterment of the society on whole.