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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

Catholic Charities Neighborhood Services, Inc. | Evaluated Learning Experience

Theories of Childhood: Dewey, Montessori, Piaget, Erikson, and Vygotsky (380)

45 hours (15 weeks).
Various child care facilities associated with the Caritas Training Center.

September 2005 - June 2021. 

Instructional delivery format: 
Traditional classroom model
Learner Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: choose relevant ideas from the five theorists and apply them in the preschool Montessori classroom; identify classroom presentations that illustrate ideas such as scaffolding and zone of proximal development; recognize which children are still in Piaget's preoperational stage and adjust presentations accordingly; dialogue with children in exploring causality and create presentations of materials which further knowledge; observe the learning processes of social interaction involved in play; record learning outcomes in social, emotional, physical and cognitive areas using theories of development found in the ideas of the five theorists; and plan changes in the learning environment which best serve developing needs.


This course explores the ideas of five theorists associated with early childhood practices through readings, discussions, and comparison of ideas. Students examine cognitive and social development and the role of play in a child's development. Students explore the ideas of Montessori along with those of the other prominent Early Childhood Theorists examining cognitive and social development and the role of play in child development; compare the theorists approaches to life and human development by considering the value of learning through experiences upon the environment and the effect of social community upon the emotional growth of children; observe children in a classroom setting and discuss children's learning processes and social interactions;  field test the approaches of theorists, such as Piaget's conservation and correspondence of quantity and conservation of length and ideas about causality with four and five year olds. Students also compare recent studies of the developing brain in infants and toddlers with ideas expressed by the theorists.

Credit recommendation: 

In the lower division baccalaureate/associate degree category OR in the upper division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in Education, Sociology, Human Services, Early Childhood, Psychology or Montessori Education (8/06) (11/11 revalidation) (11/16 revalidation).