Supporting Children's Learning: A Guide for Teaching Assistants explains all the key ideas on how children learn and how best to support children in that learning. Covering all major themes, this book offers an introduction to main theories of learning and development from birth to primary including brain and emotional and social development; an introduction to what motivates learners to learn, and how much learners understand about how learning takes place; a glossary of terms; and case studies, research summaries and tasks for reflection.

Learning and Development

Learning and development

This chapter begins to answer these questions:

  • What is theory? What can we know and use?
  • What are the issues in learning and development? Nativism or Empiricism? Continuous or discontinuous? Stability or change?

In thinking about some answers we will meet cavemen, a Greek philosopher, the birth of psychology, and today's theories. We begin to consider the impact of psychology and other knowledge on teaching and learning.

Theory, What's That?

What do you think of these statements?

  • ‘I always take an umbrella with me, it stops it raining.’
  • ‘You wait ages for the bus; then, three come at once.’
  • ‘Children born on a Sunday always have a sunny nature.’

These are the sorts of informal theories that many of us have about day-to-day events. In the first statement the ...

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