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Learning Theories in Childhood

Learning Theories in Childhood

Second Edition
Additional resources:

September 2015 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Focusing on the early philosophies of learning and key behavioural, cognitive, and social theorists, including Locke, Rousseau, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bandura, Bronfenbrenner & Bruner, this popular book provides a comprehensive overview of children's learning. The authors highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical perspective, and encourage reflection on how different approaches impact on the learning environment. The discussion finishes with an exploration of the new sociology of childhood.

New to this Second Edition are:

·          a new chapter on 'What is theory and what is learning?

·          a new chapter on ‘The Changing nature of learning’

There is also a new companion website which features:

·          journal articles to read alongside each chapter

·          podcasts from the authors explaining the key points on each topic

·          links to video material discussing key theories and methods.

You can access the books online materials at

Accessibly written, with key questions and recommended reading included, this book is essential for all those studying on child development, early childhood and childhood studies courses, and for anyone interested in understanding more about how children learn and think.

Colette Gray is Head of Research Development and Principal Lecturer in Childhood Studies at Stanmillis University College, Belfast, and Sean MacBlain is Reader in Child Development and Disability at the University of St. Mark & St. John, Plymouth.

For access to the website
An Introduction to Learning Theories
The Developmental Process Underpinning Learning: The Role of Theory and Philosophy
The Founding Fathers and Philosophies of Learning
Classical and Operant Conditioning: The Early Years Experience
Piaget, Learning and Cognitive Constructivism
Vygotsky: Learning in a Social Matrix
Bandura, Bronfenbrenner and Social Learning
Bruner and Discovery Learning/Constructivism
New Perspectives: Childhood Studies
Theory in Practice: Learning and the Reflective Practitioner
The Changing Nature of Learning

This book features learning theories and early philosophies of learning and encourage reflection on how they impact teaching and learning. It is a useful text for students and anyone interested in understanding how children learn.

Mrs Valentina Theodosiou
School of Arts and Education Sciences, European University of Cyprus
September 9, 2015

Excellent and essential text for foundation degree students who are getting their head around the theoretical perspectives, the toerists on childhood and applying this to practice

Mrs Angela Mahon
Vocational Education , Manchester College of Arts & Techn.
April 12, 2016

Easy to access reference guide across a range of modules.

Mrs Rebecca Kingsley-Jones
Faculty of Education (Frenchay), University of The West of England
January 18, 2016

A really succinct and clearly written introduction to complex theories.

Mr Paul Demetriou-Crane
AEBLS, Havering College of FE & HE
February 11, 2016

excellent introduction to all areas.

Mr Paul Demetriou-Crane
Education and Childcare, Havering College of FE & HE
February 11, 2016

Brilliant resource to explore & embed early leaning theorists, educators & philosophers making links to practice

Mrs Elaine Jones
Childcare Department, Accrington & Rossendale College
January 12, 2016

I found this book simple to read and it had all the key concepts that students would need when completing assessed work.

Mrs Pooja Sharma
Department of Childcare, Harrogate College
February 24, 2016

A clearly written, well evidenced book showing how different theorists have influenced approaches to teaching and supporting children, this encourages critical thought and reflection about how we work effectively with children.

Mr Tim Cooke
Doctoral Programme in Educational Psychology, Southampton University
September 2, 2015

Useful will recommend to team

Mrs Danae Copley
Education , Central Bedfordshire College
November 27, 2015

This book should become hugely popular with the wide range of students currently working towards early childhood studies qualifications at a range of levels: but is also a very valuable tool for more experienced early years professionals keen to develop their skills as reflective practitioners.

Miss Rebecca Elizabeth Pace
Health & Social Care, Walbottle Campus
December 9, 2015

Sample Materials & Chapters

Learning Theories in Childhood Sample Chapter