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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET 10 Part 1 Theories allow relationships to be established and implications to be explored between collected facts. Theories increase curiosity and move educators to further reflect, question, and research their own practices. Think of the theories as a woven tapestry that creates a solid base to inform the work you perform with children. Each theory serves a func- tion and offers a different view of how children grow and develop. Theory inspires the use of research-based teaching strategies and the creation of new and innovative perspectives. To better understand the theories, it is crucial to take a closer look at how each theory demonstrates and supports development. Exploring Multiple Theories Even though many of the theories include specific developmental stages, it is important to point out that these stages are not static and should not be used to assess deficits. They instead offer a view of multiple possibilities into the way children grow and develop. For instance, recognizing that trust is something that is built throughout the life span and not just a stage in the first year of life opens further possibilities and applications of Erikson’s theory. Theories do not function in isolation. The theories in this book share commonalities and challenge the discrepancies in each theorist’s thoughts and principles. Each one offers an important contribution to your work with young children, and thus the theories need to be fully integrated as a framework for the decisions you make in your work with children. Jean Piaget (1896–1980) In Plain View: Piaget’s Theory Defined P iaget is regarded as an influential researcher and theorist in the field of developmental psychology and in the study of human intel- ligence. Piaget focused his research on how children’s minds work and develop. He spent much of his professional life listening to and observ- ing children and then analyzing his resulting data. Piaget’s cognitive COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL