Education theories are important sets of ideas that are developed to explain every step of the development stage of the learner. These theories help to predict behavioral developments of individuals; these predictions are explained and proven using the same theories. These theories are categorized under five main perspectives depending on their approach to the concept of human development. The five categories are The Lifespan, Cognitive, Ecological and System, and Psychodynamic approach. There are several human development theories that provide explanations for the different behaviors and stages in human development. The psychosocial theory by Erickson explains the causes and difference between integrity and despair, trust and mistrust, identity and identity confusion, as well as autonomy and doubt. The behaviorism theory which was developed by Watson explains human behavior from the perspective of their learning experiences which include assimilation of what they see others do. Operat’s conditioning theory is another learning theory developed by Skinner which explains that behavior is lost or repeated depending on the consequences experienced after one does them the first time. The social learning theory is of a similar opinion to Watson’s human behaviorism explaining that behavior is acquired from seeing and assimilation. Other famous theories include Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory that show how needs affect behavior.
The five theories that have been very helpful to me are the Psychosocial theory, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Conditioning theory, Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory, and Levinson’s theory. Psychosocial theory explains and differentiates between the various human behaviors. This theory has helped me as a kindergarten teacher to understand and differentiate between the various behaviors that I observe in children. It has provided me with an insight into human behavior; now I am in a better position to understand and assist my students more effectively. The second important theory to me is the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. This theory will help me as a person to organize all my needs according to priority starting with the most important and essential need to the less urgent ones. This way, I will be able to be organized and not overwhelmed by all the needs and wants that I have. This theory also helps me to understand other people like my family, friends, and students. I will be able to solve my students and my sibling’s needs too with the help of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid.
The third theory is the Conditioning Theory. This theory states that human behavior can be controlled through the consequences of an individual’s action. It is also applicable to my teaching career. I will be able to control my student’s behavior by rewarding them when they show good behavior and reduce bad behavior by taking corrective actions against such behavior. As a teacher, I will also ensure that the environment surrounding my learners is conducive for development. This is because according to Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory, the surrounding environment and culture determines the kind of behavior that an individual acquires during development. I will, therefore, ensure that the class and school area promotes the acquisition of positive behavior by my students. The fifth theory that I consider important for my own welfare is the Levinson’s theory as it is going to help me plan my entire life and set goals at each stage in my life (Peet & Hartwick, 2009).
All leaders need to know how to meet their subject’s needs so that they can soon develop effective leadership. For this reason, I am going to apply the hierarchy theory to every leadership role that will be assigned to me. This way, I will be able to arrange all the responsibilities assigned to me and plan them from the basic to self-actualization; by doing so, I will achieve co-operation and motivation from my subjects.
Maslow’s theory explains that human needs are organized and should be solved starting with the most important ones such as safety and health. As the individual progresses in life, he/she develops other needs such as esteem needs. A leader can address self-esteem needs through recognition of the individual contributions from their subordinates.
Levinson’s concept will also be important and applicable to organize my goals, because people will be looking up to me as their leader to give directions on what to do. Levinson’s theory defines what an individual should attain and their expectations at every stage in their life. He also counsels that people should do analysis of their progress to ensure that they do not lag behind the normal human development.
As a leader, I will also use reward and corrective measures to motivate my subjects and discourage unwanted behavior. Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Theory which offers an ecological approach to explaining behavior suggests that the surrounding environment, people, and culture affect one’s behavior. In my leadership area, I will ensure that I develop a culture that encourages teamwork, hard-work, and determination. Besides creating an appropriate physical working condition, I will also ensure that I interact with positive like-minded individuals and leaders.
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Levinson’s theory has enabled me to lay down everything that I want to achieve at each stage of my life. The specific goals that I plan to accomplish are to become an education professor and a leader and create a stable family within the next ten years. In my plan, I have broken these goals into small steps that I will keep achieving within shorter periods of time. In the short-run, I hope to attend all my classes and graduate with my Master’s degree. I am also making new friends and relationships and establishing values that will guide me throughout my career life. After achieving my Master’s, I am going to look for a job that will enable me to become independent and pay for my PhD course. After establishing my career life, I am going to start a family. This will be around the age of 32. Between the age of 32 and 52, I will be raising my family, lecturing education courses at the university, and participating in leadership positions.
From the last chapter about dying and death, I have learnt that it is part of the human development stages. This awareness has helped me personally not to be afraid of death. I will also be able to deal with grief if I happen to lose any family member, friend, or a loved one. From a leadership perspective, I have learnt about the various stages of bereavement. This awareness will help me to offer support to colleagues if they happen lose their loved ones. I will also be able to understand them as they deal with the grief. It is also crucial to plan life and enjoy all the stages so that when the age of dying approaches, I will not be anxious or regretful about how I spent my life. My children will also be well prepared to deal with the pain (Peet & Hartwick, 2009).
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From the story of the eagle and her children, I have learnt that as a future parent and leader, I will sometimes need to use a bit of force to get my subjects out of their comfort zones so that they can excel in their responsibilities. I have also been able to understand that it is normal for my parents to give me more responsibilities to get me started in life. This lesson has been a push itself. I have been given several challenging tasks to research and handle, but I now appreciate all of them, because they have enabled me to learn a lot (Peet & Hartwick, 2009).