2. Learning


For some classic behaviourist work see:

Skinner, B. F. (1953) Science and Human Behaviour, New York: Macmillan.

Gagné, R. M. (1965) The Conditions of Learning, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

For Piaget’s classic constructivist work, see:

Piaget, J. (1926) The Language and Thought of the Child, New York: Basic Books 

Piaget, J. (1950) The Psychology of Intelligence, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

A comprehensive introduction to Piaget's work is:

Ginsberg, H. and Opper, S. (1969) Piaget's Theory of Intellectual Development, New York: Prentice Hall.

However, for an important critique of Piagetian theory see:

Donaldson, M. (1978) Children's Minds, London: Fontana.

Most theories of social cognition can be traced back to the work of Vygotsky:

Vygotsky, L. S. (1962) Thought and Language, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978) Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Daniels, H. R. J. (2008) Vygotsky and Research, Abingdon: Routledge.

Others, including Bruner, offer key insights into the significance of learners’ cultural and social contexts in influencing understanding:

Bruner, J. (1990) Acts of Meaning, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Two important books with an emphasis on socio-cultural factors are those by Rogoff and Wenger. Wells and Claxton present international perspectives on the ideas and challenges raised by a socio-cultural perspective of learning, in a modern world that is characterised by complexity and uncertainty:

Rogoff, B. (1990) Apprenticeship in Thinking, New York: Oxford University Press.

Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wells, G. and Claxton, G. (Eds) (2002) Learning for Life in the 21st Century: Socio-Cultural Perspectives on the Future of Education, Oxford: Blackwell.

For books specifically tailored to learning in the early years, try:

May, P. (2013) The Thinking Child: Laying the foundations of understanding and competence, London: Routledge.

Moylett, H. (Ed.) (2014) Characteristics of Effective Early Learning: Helping Young Children Become Learners for Life, Maidenhead: Open University Press

Arnold, C. (2003) Observing Harry Child Development and Learning 0-5, Berkshire: Oxford University Press.  

Smidt, S. (2006) The Developing Child in the 21st Century: A global perspective on child development, Routledge: Oxford. 


Diagrams and figures