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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 8     Introduction journey inspiring and empowering, as she transformed her teaching prac- tices, environment, and curriculum based upon her research and knowledge of child development theories. Today Crystal is able to clearly articulate her foundational philosophy of education. Her journey provides inspiration for educators who desire to be a force of change in ECE. Our Hopes for You We hope this book helps you to develop a solid understanding of early learn- ing theories. Knowing the theories is essential since they offer teachers a reflective perspective and a way to respond to children’s thinking and ideas. Early learning theories strengthen the decisions teachers make about how to support children’s learning within a theoretical framework. While know- ing theory is one component of being an effective teacher, educators also need to be able to apply their knowledge of theory to real-life situations. Throughout this book, we hope the theories will help you gain understand- ing of how children learn and grow and guide you in supporting children’s development. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL