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Essay on Theories on Human Learning and Cognitive Development in Young Children

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Learning is the keystone to American society. It has brought society trough times of economic darkness, religious revival and social instability. Learning has always been debated in the context of when does the learning start in human development, Is learning the result of nature taking its course as was argued by rationalist like Plato and Rene Descartes. According to (Bee&Boyd, 2007) Rationalist view point on education is entrenched in the idea that ( “knowledge is inborn”). On the other end of the spectrum you have Empiricists like John Locke who believed that learning was something someone would have to teach a child, he believed a child had no previous inclinations about anything and, that child could only learn by being taught by a outside force. After reading over the chapters the authors believes that learning is observational. Take the Little Albert study done by (Waston&Rayner,1920) the experiment had a baby who they placed in the room. When little Albert was put in a setting with the mouse Watson would make noises that they baby did not like. The baby linked the noises that affected him with the mice, little Albert would in turn run and cry when he would see the mouse. The author believes that this shows how the baby observed the mouse, made a connection with the mouse and noise affecting him and then learned that when the mouse was around he would be the reason for his discomfort and tried his best to distance himself from the mouse. This shows the author when a child is introduced into a new situation the child will observe and learn how to adjust to the situation to best fit their needs. Lil Albert could have like the mouse at first but when noise started to accompany the entrance of the mouse, he learned to run and ...


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...r. The reason is that the both theory’s can happen without interfering with each other, for example when a child is old enough to walk there are steps the baby has went through to get to this point, that is a clear example of a baby getting old enough in this or her cognitive development to understand the process of walking. When the baby goes through this process he or she is also observing the way the people are around are moving and stepping, this is where the observational piece comes into play. The author believes that all human development theories are intertwined with each other. There is no one way child development can be explained every human is unique in their development, while they may hit major points in their development around the same age or time each child the author believes has individual traits that make each child’s human development different.


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