Connecting the Dots: Understanding the
Theories and Theorists
Refer to your textbook and to the lecture notes
for more information on all the theories of child development. The points possible for each question are
listed next to each question.
do we use theories to explain child development and learning?
Define classical and operant conditioning.
How are they the same? How are they
Give an example of each.
3. Describe the nature versus nurture debate.
which theorist/ theory from the list below describes the child’s development in
the scenario. Only one theory per scenario. You will use each theory only once.
_____ An infant has developed a strong attachment
to his care giver and cries when she leaves a the end of the day.
_____ A one year old takes her first steps after
pulling up and standing on the shelf.
_____ A two year old picks up a wooden block and
pretends it is a telephone.
_____ To encourage her son to tie his own shoes, she
shows him step by step and then watches and coaches to help him succeed.
_____ An infant cries each night and her parents
come into her room to comfort her.
_____ A child is delayed in his development but is
able to attend a community preschool which promotes his growth and development
while also supporting his impoverished family.
_____ A preschooler is watching another child climb
the ladder on the playground. After watching
repeatedly, she starts the climb herself for the first time.
Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-ecological Theory
Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development
Erikson’s Eight Stages of Man
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory
Piaget’s Stages of Intellectual Development
G. Arnold Gesell’s Maturational Theory