Early childhood educators Essay

What contribution to the field of ECE did this theorist make? When and Where? Identify historical issues and current trends in the early childhood care profession. Share an example of how the theorists work is used today.

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Rousseau was the author of several education books; he proposed that children be educated in moral, harmonious environments free from adult dominance (Follari, 2011). Rousseau was influential in both Europe and America in the mid to late 1700’s. Rousseau emphasized out of the home schooling and viewed children as innately good. Rousseau reduced the importance of learning by reading and emphasized learning by experience. An example of his work is seen today as children learn through play.


Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi published a book in 1801 that helped influence the development of seeing his theories put into action. The “Pestalozzi method” was put into practice in 1805 at his school in Yverdon (Johann, n.d.) Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi was an education reformer who was very passionate about getting education to poor children and teaching methods designed to strengthen the students own abilities. He wanted children to be taught as a whole ( Follari, 2011). An example of Pestalozzi’s work can be seen through field trips, puzzles, blocks, and physical exercise.


Froebel made Kindergarten spread like wildfire through Europe and eventually to the U.S. He created what is known as Froebel gifts. He designed balls, wooden block, tiles, sticks, and rings to demonstrate that children could learn while at play (Follari, 2011). Froebel based his beliefs in teaching children on rationalism. He thought children could gain knowledge by logically thinking through concepts from a given premise. He started by giving his gifts and having the children work through them (Follari, 2011). An example of Froebel’s work can been seen through Kindergarten (Follari, 2011).


Elizabeth Peabody opened the first English speaking kindergarten in Boston, MA in 1859(Follari, 2011). She also created the American Froebel Society to provide some regulations and originality of kindergarten programs. (Follari, 2011). Elizabeth Peabody was against the hands-on objects method of instruction. She liked individualized instruction instead. She thought children needed careful direction to develop properly (Follari, 2011). An example of her work is the acceptance of kindergarten as an accepted institution in U.S. education (Today, n.d.).


During the 1970’s and 1980’s, Piagets theories inspired the transformation of European and American education (Follari, 2011). Piaget believed learning occurs as a result of experience, both physical and logical. He thought knowledge could not truly be formed until the learner has matured to the mental status that the learning is specified to. He believed that children made moral judgments based on their own observations of the world (Follari, 2011). Piaget’s theories were used in the developing of the Dynabook programming system (Jean, n.d.)


Lev Vygotsky proposed a theory of the development of higher cognitive functions in children that saw the emergence of the reasoning as emerging through practical activity in a social environment. Most of his work was influence in Eastern Europe in the 1920’s and later on in America (Lev, 2013) Vygotsky believed that children organized their thinking by private speech. His theory suggests that children have developmental rages which the child can be assisted in operating at higher levels than are possible alone (Follari, 2011). An example of his work would be scaffolding (Follari, 2011). Gesell

John Dewey’s education philosophy helped forward the progressive education movement, and spawned the development of experiential education programs and experiments (Follari, 2011). John Dewey believed that education should be based on children’s interests and should involve them in active experiences. He thought an active curriculum should be integrated rather than divided into subject matter segments(Follari, 2011). Problem solving activities.

Follari, L. M. (2011). Foundations and Best Practices in Early Childhood Education: History, Theories and Approaches to Learning (2nd ed., pp. 24-47). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. Jean Piaget. (n.d.). Jean Piaget. Retrieved from http://www.nndb.com/people/359/000094077/ Lev Vygotsky. (2013, November 17). Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Vygotsky Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi: Pedagogy, education and social justice. (n.d.). Infedorg. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/johann-heinrich-pestalozzi-pedagogy-education-and-social-justice/ Today in History. (n.d.). : May 16. Retrieved from http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may16.html

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