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Learning Approaches, Theory, and Practice

Becoming a professional in the field of early childhood education requires you to become familiar with the various developmental theories as well as research that studies the effectiveness of various learning approaches. Throughout the last two weeks, you have learned about these different theories and approaches to learning. After engaging in discussions with your classmates, you now have ideas about which theories and approaches you would like to use in your work with children. Using the steps below, you will sort through these theories and approaches to shape who you are as a teacher and what you believe about how children learn best. This assignment will also help you prepare for your final assignment.

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, access the APA Template (available in the online classroom) for assistance with the writing process, formatting, documentation, and citations in your written work.

Step 1: Reflect back on your initial response in the “Aspects of Theories” discussion from Week Two and the “Learning Approaches” discussion from this week. Using the theories and approaches that were discussed, fill in the table below by ranking each according to how you connected with them (“most connected” at the top and “least connected” at the bottom. Be sure to delete the example row provided).

Theorists/Theories – Most connected to least connected

Learning Approaches – Most connected to least connected

Ex: 1. Piaget – Theory of Cognitive Development

Ex: 1. High Scope

1.

1.

2.

2.

3.

3.

4.

4.

5.

5.

6.

 

7.

 

8.

 

Step 2: Using the table as a guide, research your top two theories and top two learning approaches. You will create a word document or a PowerPoint presentation that contains your responses to the points below as they are applied to each of your top two theories and top two learning approaches.

  • Summarize the underlying principles or ideas for each of your two theories and for each of your top two approaches.
  • Explain why your top two theories and your top two approaches are important to understand and how each will benefit your work with children.
  • Discuss how your top two theories and your top two approaches will help you to be an effective teacher.
  • Summarize the similarities you see between the theory and model of those you ranked first. For example, if Piaget’s theory of cognitive development was your top theory and the Reggio Emilia approach was your top learning approach, share how these two ideas support one another.

Step 3: Submit your assignment to your instructor as a Word document or as a PowerPoint that contains your table from Step 1 and your responses to the questions from Step 2. Whichever option you choose, you will also need to follow APA format and include title and reference pages. In addition, the information in your assignment needs to be supported by the textbook and at least one additional scholarly source. Be sure to cite your sources in the Word document or PowerPoint and list them on the reference page/slides. If you need assistance with making sure that your paper or references are properly formatted in APA, please utilize the APA Guidance link that is located within the Learning Resources tab on the left hand side of the course or visit the Ashford Writing Center.

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