RESEARCHERS

 

Marie Montessori

Montessori developed her educational Method through a scientific approach, using observation to understand the learning process for young children. Fundamental to her Method is the belief that children have an innate impulse to comprehend the world around them. This drive to learn can be supported through an environment that stimulates and nurtures the acquisitive intellect of the child. The Montessori classroom emphasizes hands-on, individualized learning within mixed age groups such as 3-6, 6-9, 9-11, etc.. These deep revelations and discoveries about children’s nature revolutionized education in the United States and around the world. Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949, 1950, and 1951.

 

Alfred Bandura

Alfred Bandura believed that much of our learning, and consequently many aspects of behavior and personality, takes place through observing the behavior of others and using observational behavior for modeling. According to Bandura, learning involves not only connections between stimuli and responses but also cognitive representation and rearrangement. A child, for example, who sees that cheating leads to punishment and honesty to rewards decides to model honest behavior. He used the term self-efficacy to describe a persons belief in his or her capability of successfully executing a specific behavior. A strong sense of self-efficacy allows a person to feel free to select, try, and complete behaviors leading to desired outcomes. Self-efficacy is based upon feelings of self-worth; people with high levels of self-efficacy are more likely to attribute success to themselves rather than to chance or to others and to continue to select and control circumstances of their-lives.

 

Makato Shichida

Professor Makoto Shichida is leading a worldwide revolution in education which is changing the way we understand children, their brain capabilities and their learning styles. He is a well-known figure in Japan, having committed the last 40 years to developing techniques to stimulate the early development of the brain. His philosophy emphasizes the importance of parent-child bonding and how this will impact the quality of brain stimulation. He feels that all children are born with unique abilities which are innate and easy to develop with proper training and parental guidance.


Arnold Gesell

Dr. Arnold Lucius Gesell was a psychologist and pediatrician who was a pioneer in the field of child development. He served as an assistant professor at Yale University while studying medicine and developed the Clinic of Child Development there. Considered the father of child development in the United States, Gesell realized the vast importance of both nature and nurture. He believed that many aspects of human behavior, such as handedness and temperament were heritable. He understood that children adapted to their parents as well as to one another. The Clinic of Child Development would expand into The Gesell Institute of Human Development - a non-profit organization dedicated to researching and understanding child growth and development. Gesell laid the foundation for the development of sets of norms illustrating sequential and predictable patterns of growth and development for children.


Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget has profoundly altered our understanding of child development. He created a cognitive-developmental stage theory that described how their ways of thinking developed as they interacted with the world around them. Infants and young children understand the world much differently than adults do, and as they play and explore, their mind learns how to think in ways that better fit with reality. His theory has four stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. During the sensorimotor stage, which often lasts from birth to age two, children are just beginning to learn how to learn. Though language development, and thus thought, does begin during this time, the more major tasks occurring during this period involve children figuring out how to make use of their bodies. They do this by experiencing everything with their five senses, hence sensory, and by learning to crawl and then walk, point and then grasp, hence, motor. During the preoperational stage, from ages two though seven, children start to use mental symbols to understand and to interact with the world, and they begin to learn language and to engage in pretend play. In the concrete operational stage that follows, from ages seven through eleven, children gain the ability to think logically to solve problems and to organize information they learn. Finally, during the formal operational stage, which often lasts from age eleven on, adolescents learn how to think more abstractly to solve problems and to think symbolically.