Category Archives: Teach Your Children Well

Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)

Born in Western Russia, Lev Semyonovitch Vygotsky was a pioneering psychologist who attended the Institute of Psychology in Moscow where he worked extensively on ideas regarding cognitive development. Because of the political relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, Vygotskys’s work remained unknown to the West for many years. When the Cold War ended, Vygotsky’s extensive work became apparent. In the field of education, Vygotsky is famous for his theories of child development and how children learn. He worked on ideas about cognitive development, particularly the relationship between language and thought. His writings emphasized the roles of historical, ... [ Read More ]


Parents should have no fears about exposing their child to two or more languages from the very beginning. Such simultaneous exposure usually slows the child down a bit in word learning and early sentence construction. Children will probably ‘mix’ words or grammar from the two languages in individual sentences at the beginning. After this earlier, slower period, bilingual children catch up rapidly to their monolingual peers and by age 2 or 3 can readily switch from one language to another. The experts agree that the best way to help a child learn two languages fluently is to speak both languages ... [ Read More ]

Itard, Jean Marc Gaspard (1774-1838)

Today Itard is recognised as one of the founding fathers of special education. He became the first person to develop a student centered approach within his curriculum that emphasized the individual child. His work with Victor known as “The Wild Boy of Aveyron” earned Itard an international reputation. Itard was born in the small town of Oraison in Provence, a province in southeastern France, in 1774. He was later educated to become a tradesman, but during the French Revolution he joined the army and became an assistant surgeon at a military hospital in Toulon. He had no scientific training and ... [ Read More ]

Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow (1954), a humanistic psychologist (focused on potentials), developed a hierarchy of needs from his belief that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. These levels are often represented as a pyramid, with the larger, lower levels representing the lower needs which at a basic level are the equivalent to the instincts of animals. The upper tip represents the need for self-actualisation, the realization of the inner potential. Within the right environment, people thrive but each lower level must be met to enable individuals to move to the next level. Mia Kelmer Pringle (1974) specifically identified the needs ... [ Read More ]

Friedrich Froebel (1782 – 1852) The birth of the kindergarten

It was Froebel, a German educationalist, who laid the foundations for modern education systems based on the recognition that children have unique needs and capabilities. Friedrich was the youngest of six children. His father was a pastor and his mother died nine months after his birth, leaving him to his own devices. Friedrich grew up with a love of nature and a strong Christian faith, central to his thinking as an educationalist. Between 1808 and 1810 he attended the training institute run by John Pestalozzi, accepting the basic principles of Pestalozzi’s theory including permissive school atmospheres as the ideal environment ... [ Read More ]

Maria Montessori The Montessori Method

The Montessori method of education is a revolutionary method of observing and supporting the natural development of children. Montessori educational practice helps children develop creativity, problem solving, and time-management skills, to contribute to society and the environment, and to become fulfilled persons in their particular time and place on Earth. The basis of Montessori practice in the classroom is respecting individual choice of research and work, and uninterrupted concentration rather than group lessons led by an adult. The role of a Montessori teacher differs to that of a traditional teacher. Instead of information passing from the teacher to the student, ... [ Read More ]

Loris Malaguzzi and The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education

It was Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994) who became the inspiration behind the educational experiences in Reggio Emilia. Malaguzzi was a primary school teacher who later went on to study psychology and brought to his lifetime work in education, his interests and experience in theatre, journalism, sport and politics. He is remembered by his colleagues as a very strong character but highly collaborative. Malaguzzi described himself as stubborn, with an iron will. He wanted to win and to carry along with himself everyone who thought like himself, better than himself or differently from himself. As a result, Malaguzzi worked tirelessly with colleagues ... [ Read More ]

Reggio Approach To Early Childhood Education

From the humble beginnings of the first school in Reggio Emilia, Loris Malaguzzi’s objective was to create an classroom environment in which children, families and teachers felt at ease. For children, environments are created where children can express themselves, explore and investigate, think and reflect, be involved in projects, reinforce their identities, communicate and feel their identity and where their privacy is respected. For educators, spaces ensure that they can meet with other adults to share experiences and observations, study and research and have privacy. For parents, spaces are designed to enable them to engage with their children’s learning, hear ... [ Read More ]

Steiner Education

Steiner schools collectively form the largest, and quite possibly the fastest growing group of independent private schools in the world. Each school is administratively independent with established associations that provide resources, materials and offer sponsorship for the movement. Children’s needs are at the forefront of Steiner’s approach to education. Steiner respected the fact that children should not be forced into learning things before they are ready. Steiner’s philosophy also recognizes the value of childhood as a valid phase in itself and not just a preparation for the future. The key role of the teacher is to create a genuine love ... [ Read More ]

Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was a brilliant and original educator, healer, humanitarian and philosopher. Traditionally, women in Italy did not have the same educational opportunities as men. However, Maria won special educational opportunities because of her intellect. She attended an all-boys’ technical school and was interested in becoming an engineer. She was not encouraged to do this and instead studied medicine. Maria Montessori became the first woman to graduate in medicine from the University of Rome. Over the next ten years Montessori studied surgical medicine. During this time she helped other women through higher education and campaigned for equal rights for ... [ Read More ]