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Infant Toddler Development Training
Module 1, Lesson 2

Activity #1

Review the linked material associated with the six major theories of child development: Some sources are in the Resource Bank while others are available as online links.

  • Behaviorist Theory
  • Erikson's Stages of Development
  • Cognitive Development Theory
  • Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory
  • Social Development Theory
  • Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory

After reviewing the above resources, reflect on which theory of child development is most representative of your own beliefs about children. Think about why you have chosen the theory you have. Did you choose the theory based on your own upbringing, your own personal experiences, or educational experiences?

Consider how your own personal belief system of child development can influence how you interact with children.


Activity #2

A mother describes her child as being extremely shy, withdrawn, and isolates herself from her peers. The child goes out of her way to avoid other children and does not speak to any other child.

Write out some specific strategies you would discuss with the parent to solve this problem from a psychoanalytical theorist viewpoint? How would you promote attachment and autonomy once a sense of trust is acquired?


Activity #3

Poverty is a very debilitating condition for children and families in this country. Poverty can cause delays in cognitive development and language in young children and can have an effect on their socialization and emotional well-being, not to mention physical growth and health. According to the 2000 census, 18.8 percent of children under the age of five living in Florida are living in poverty. Children born in poverty are at a higher risk of death from infections and parasitic diseases, drowning or accidents (Puckett & Black, 2001). Children in poverty are also more likely to be premature, and exhibit low weight for their height which can affect brain growth and development. Families can face many stressors as a result of poverty.

Using the diagram of the bioecological system below, develop one strategy per layer to help a child/family living in poverty.

Bioecological Image

Adapted from: Kopp, C. B., & Krakow, J. B. Child Development in Social Context.


Lesson 2 Highlights

This lesson provided a basic overview of six of the more common theories on child development. It is important for the ITDS to be knowledgeable of the various theories on child development. One's own personal theory about child development can assist in making consistent decisions when the need arises. Planning for implementation of services needs to be consistent in order to provide a conducive environment for the child and his/her family.


Berk, L. E. (1999). Infants and children: Prenatal through middle childhood. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Kopp, C. B., & Krakow, J. B. (1982). Child development in social context. Boston: Addison Wesley Publishing

Puckett, M. B., & Black, J. K. (2001). The young child: Development from prebirth through age eight. Columbus: Prentice-Hall.

Trawick-Smith, J. (2003). Early childhood development: A multicultural perspective. Columbus: Prentice Hall.


  • Jean Piaget Biography
  • Jean Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development


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