Recent Theory About Influences On Young Children’s Learning Free Writing Sample

Early childhood education and child development have long had a close relationship. Early childhood education and care require a strong understanding of child development since it helps determine the children’s instructional needs by identifying their developmental stage. One theory or collection of theories does not predominate in child development, which needs to be unified with a single integrated set of theories (Picciano, 2021). Instead, there are numerous conflicting theories in the area. When research findings contradict a hypothesis, it is adjusted to fit the data better. Only a few developmental theories explain how children’s growth develops over time.

Five main theories explain children’s growth:

  1. Ecological
  2. Constructivist
  3. Behaviorist
  4. Psychoanalytic
  5. Maturationist

Maturationist Theory

According to the maturity theory, a person’s genetic makeup has the most significant influence on the way their children develop. Their genetic aptitude advances as they grow. Rude environmental conditions cannot produce or enhance their aptitude; they can only delay it. According to this approach, learning opportunities for kids need to be developmentally appropriate. Children will not learn and progress optimally when faced with challenging situations. The philosophy of the maturationists offers fundamental knowledge that primarily influences early childhood education theory and practice (Saracho, 2023). It impacts how educational scholars, policymakers, and practitioners understand how young children develop and what it means for their study and education. The maturationist theory started to be discredited by researchers. It received criticism for implying that some kids had genetic defects or could not succeed in school. Researchers, educators, and developmentalism began looking for a different way of thinking to support children’s intellectual growth and be acceptable in environmental interventions or educational programs.

Constructivist Theory

Cognitive psychology, particularly the constructivist ideas of Jean Piaget, Lev Semenovich, Vygotsky, and Jerome Bruner, is another developmental theory that has impacted early childhood education. Constructivists believe that people actively create knowledge regarding their experiences (Clark, 2018). Children generally have some understanding of the world from infancy. That information makes it easier for them to interpret how they see the outside world. Similar to how new information helps people to alter their understanding. In contrast to behaviorism, which is a different theory, constructivism places the burden for learning on the students rather than the teacher. It is an important element of constructivism.

Behaviorist Theory

Early in the twentieth century, the behaviorist approach to development and learning gained traction. Ivan Pavlov first developed it in Russia, and John Watson, Edward Thorndike, and B. F. Skinner’s investigations impacted it there. To quote Reimann (2018): Early childhood special education has been impacted by behaviorism, mainly when working with kids who have significant mental problems. Special educators have used the behaviorism idea to develop training programs for children with impairments. An increasing number of early childhood special educators are using constructivist teaching strategies in early childhood special education programs.

Psychoanalytic Theory

An understanding of how the unconscious influences a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions are provided by psychoanalytic theory. It is applied to describe how people behave. For instance, the person’s anxiety might have been brought on by traumatic events from their childhood that they were unable to recall, but caused problems as an adult. Childhood experiences impact an individual’s adult life and help shape their personality (Stein & Sandler, 2018). According to psychoanalytic theory, early experiences have a lasting impact on an adult’s personality and psychological development, taking into account both typical and atypical human qualities.

Ecological Theory

The ecological theory focuses on how crucial the environment is to kids’ education and development. According to this hypothesis, the environment impacts children’s growth in every way. Every time, their environments are different. Children may find it challenging to comprehend the implications because they are entwined with how they usually develop. The understanding of the habitats of the children is used by ecological theory to explain, organize, and clarify their impacts (Davey, 2018). This plan takes into account recent developments in ecological psychology.


Clark, K. R. (2018). Learning theories: constructivism. Radiologic Technology90(2), 180–182.

Davey, G. (2018). Ecological learning theory. Routledge.

Picciano, A. G. (2021). Theories and frameworks for online education: Seeking an integrated model. In A guide to administering distance learning (pp. 79-103). Brill.

Reimann, A. (2018). Behaviorist learning theory. The TESOL encyclopedia of English language teaching, pp. 1–6.

Saracho, O. N. (2023). Theories of Child Development and Their Impact on Early Childhood Education and Care. Early Childhood Education Journal51(1), 15-30.

Stein, R., & Sandler, J. (2018). Psychoanalytic theories of effect. Routledge.

Recruitment And Retention In Hiring Officers In Criminal Justice Sample Essay

The criminal justice system in the USA consists of the police, courts, and correctional services. The main role of the field is to ensure that law and order are maintained while the offenders are granted justice. The police force works under pressure and requires sound judgment at all times. Despite the challenge, police officers must retain composure, weigh the consequences, and act according to reason. One of the key challenges in the police force is the recruitment process, where women and minority communities feel that they have been left out.

Consequently, the police force expresses a negative public perception which hinders people’s interest in joining. Consequently, the recruitment process is affected, jeopardizing the quality of service delivered. Throughout enforcement history, one of the significant challenges has been recruiting and retaining officers to the service. The deficit in the police department staff jeopardizes efficiency, and strategies are required to improve the recruitment and retention of officers.

Overview of the Recruitment Process in the Criminal Justice System

Hiring challenges in law enforcement agencies motivated numerous research on the best strategies to recruit and retain staff in the police force. It is imperative to note that the service has been under severe scrutiny by public media and has often been termed a corrupt and unethical profession. Population diversity has increased people’s expectations of the police service. The key motivation for why people join the police force is job security and eagerness to serve the community. The number of women in the police force is slightly lower than that of men. Family obligation is one of the barriers preventing women from joining the police force. Women and minority communities comprised 14.6% of the police force. The lower percentage makes the minority feel less involved in day-to-day community policing. The ill feeling affects the relationship between the police and the people. Racial discrimination further affects the relationship between the police and civilians.

Recruitment and retention of officers is arguably the most significant problem facing the police force. The challenge jeopardizes the effort to serve the people, and despite the efforts, the police force cannot serve the Americans the best it can serve. President Barrack Obama issued an executive order in 2014 to investigate issues affecting the police service, and device means to ensure that the department worked under the law to serve the people. The first recommendation of the task force was to build trust and legitimacy. Recruitment and retention could be improved if the command staff builds legitimacy and trust in the police force. The then president of the USA met all the law enforcement, religious, and societal leaders to ensure that they formulate policies to improve the performance of the police department through better treatment of staff.

Resignation, termination of service, and retirement are the key ways people quit service. However, most organizations have more people joining than the number of people leaving. The exponential population growth cascaded with social ills such as drug abuse and gun control in the USA requires an effective police department. The increased number of resignations in the US police force will likely hinder performance in the discourse. A key recommendation to enhance recruitment in the police force was to ensure that every recruitment must comply with the diversity rule of reflecting all the people in the community. The recruits must include language, gender, race, and language and life experiences. When people feel represented in the police force, their relationship with the community is improved. Consequently, the recruitment agencies were to initiate precise and ethical practices for recruitment to ensure the population demographics have been provided.

Historical Context of the Criminal Justice Recruitment and Retention

Security is one of the basic human needs that must be provided for quality of life. The police force as part of the criminal justice system in the USA traces its origins in 1636 in New York. The department started as a watch system where volunteers watched as others slept to improve neighborhood safety. As the population grew and the American Revolution began, there was a need for a more coordinated security force to assure the trader’s safety as they traversed from one part to another. The village elders formed the constables to maintain security within the given jurisprudence. In 1838, the idea to have municipal central police serve the people was developed when village heads had security personnel coordinating with the others from the following villages. The police posts had four main features related to recent police posts. The police posts were publicly supported, and villagers had to contribute to the people’s well-being.

The police posts in the past, like the contemporary stations, are accountable to the central government. The officers were recruited into full-time employment and served the community with their futures secured by their jobs. Further, the police posts had permanent rules to be followed to enhance service delivery. The recruitment levels started changing as people had different perceptions of the police force. As the slave trade began in the USA, patrolling was one of the critical roles in the police force. Slave lords hired them to profile people according to their races and exploit them. 100% of the forces were whites and were used to brutalize the blacks. The poor relationship between law enforcement agencies and African Americans worsened. The Missouri protests in 2015 presented the police force as an agent of racial discrimination, and its relationship with society was further ruined. Minority representation in the workforce was used as proof of racial discrimination. The worsening relationship between the police and the civilians reduced the job satisfaction rate.

Four Eras of Policing

Failure to diversify the police force became a significant cause of failure in the criminal justice system. The officers recruited in the contemporary world differ from those in previous times. The history of the American police department can be divided into four distinct eras. The political era happened between 1840 and 1930 and was characterized by urbanization and the industrial revolution. The relationship between the community and the police force was at its worst. The reform era happened over fifty years between 1930 and 1980, when activists tried to spate politics from the police service to ensure that they serve people regardless of their political affiliation. The era reorganized how the police operated and ensured that all their relationship with the citizens was enshrined in the law. The third and most significant phase of police history is the problem-solving era, where the police were supposed to improve their relationship with society.

The homeland security era is the last phase of history and focuses on resources and how they can be used to prevent crime and ensure that the law is enforced to the letter. In all of history, recruitment, and retention has been the biggest challenge. Further, the recruitment of minorities and women into the police force affected how people related to society. Innovation is, therefore, key to ensuring that the recruitment and retention strategies are applied to have police recruited in the right proportions to represent diversity. The world navigates the information age. Most of the information is available on the internet. Actions against the will of the people lead to demonstrations. Technology advancements have further improved the recruitment process, and the feedback mechanisms provided by technology are likely to improve the retention of the police department.

Ethical Issues

Employment of Women into the Police Force

Diversity is critical to improving the service delivery in the police force and the entire criminal justice system—failure to give women and minorities fair representation in recruitment results in unethical practices. A diverse workforce forms a better police force to show cooperation with other members of society. If diversity is increased in the police force, the relationship between the police and the citizens is improved in the long run. Discrimination is practiced in the police force during recruitment since the women and men were exposed to similar training exercises, discouraging more women from joining the forces.

Further, the male-dominated cultures in the police force discourage women from joining the forces. They, therefore, make it almost impossible for the few females in the forces to be retained. The resignation letters received from the female officers are more than the male officers.

Employment of Minority into the Police Force

Minority representation in the police department is far less than in whites. The whites-dominated police force makes the other minority races resent the force and has a poor relationship in the discourse. Female officers have also experienced challenges that have affected female recruits. The key determinants that affect the recruitment and retention of women and minorities in the police force include external and organizational predictors such as discrimination. Motivation, attitudes, and recruitment strategies do not encourage the diversity of the teams. The attitudes that have been changing in the recent past affect more police officers and make them resign from working in other areas. Barriers in the screening process jeopardize the diversity in the recruitment of the police force. Addressing the issues will likely improve the quality of service the department offers.

The feminist theory is a unique framework to explain how conflict affects the maintenance of gender roles. Women play a critical role in the day-to-day running of families and society. If they are not involved in police management, the relationship between the police force and society may be affected by the perception created. The theory, therefore, suggests that perpetuating male dominance in the police force without considering the role of women is likely to affect the operations. Different racial groups residing in the USA, such as Indians, Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics, have long been discriminated against. Racial discrimination creates animosity between groups of people and makes their relationship deteriorates. Racial discrimination in the police force prevented the fair distribution of recruitment opportunities for minorities. Consequently, only the favored majority enjoyed recruitment.

The ambivalent prejudice theory explains the cognitive dissonance between people when they realize they have conflicting beliefs compared to other groups. The mixed feelings, behavior, and beliefs make the different groups despise each other and may eliminate the respect people have for each other. The hatred, therefore, jeopardizes diversity, and the police force is affected by the discourse. It takes people who respect each other to work together. The few minorities who have a chance to work in the police force are affected by racial discrimination, and some are forced to resign. Gender and racial discrimination are the key issues affecting the police department.

Proposed Plan

Negative perceptions about the police department affect people’s decisions regarding the recruitment process. When the perceptions are managed, people will likely make better decisions and serve the justice system with high patriotism and commitment to the process. Therefore, the initial plan is to deal with the perception and ensure that all people have a positive perception of the profession and a better relationship with the society in which it operates. One of the most appropriate plans is to formulate police academies to build patriotism. Further, investing in technology and social media helps the police force get the required feedback for societal decision-making. The recruitment must be changed to allow minorities and women to be offered chances to increase diversity in the team. When women and minorities have a share in the recruitment process, and the practices are customized to care for the women’s needs, recruitment and retention would increase.

Creation of Police Academies

Regular police recruitment introduces civilians to the police force through application and interviews, and those who pass are regarded as part of the police force. The traditional recruitment method makes the profession like any other ordinary service delivery work. It is imperative to note that the police force career requires passion and motivation to serve people better. When a person perceives it as a typical career for job security, there is a likelihood that the officer will quit service whenever a new opportunity arises. A police academy is a unique college where the law enforcement agency prepares people to be responsible officers in the long run. It prepares a person to become a responsible and patriotic officer because they are hired at a tender age. Their perception is changed and aligned with how the police officers are expected to behave in the discourse. The police academy can be the right place to teach about the six pillars of 21st-century policing to make the police officers aware of the challenges affecting the force and overcome them.

The laws regulating the police academies must be regulated to have women and minorities given a chance to be part of the officers serving in the police force. Having minorities and women offered specialized training, their perception of the police force will change, and their perspectives and service delivery will be made better. Since the installation of the official police training in 1908, the incorporation of academic and social principles in the police force helped police obtain the right skills and passions. Incorporating the skills and passion would increase retention and generate more interest for people to join the police force.

Adjusting Recruitment Laws to Increase Diversity

The employment of women and minorities in the police force is an antidote to improving the relationship with society. Setting a rule, say, one-third gender rule to preserve a third of the recruitment slots for the ladies and expose them to unique training principles for a better outcome in the discourse. Further, the increased diversity can be achieved through increasing the online presence for more people to be aware of the recruitment and simplifying the application process. Previously, the application process took a lengthy bureaucratic process, discouraging women and minorities from applying. However, reducing the bureaucracy and allowing people to apply directly from the comfort of their homes is likely to increase their interest. A multipronged internet technique helps people from all walks of life to interact with the police and makes it better to understand the police. When the recruitment process is made easier for minorities and women, it becomes easier to incorporate them into the service.

Intrinsic Motivation for the New Recruits

Resignation of officers from law enforcement agencies and loss of interest in the application process may be facilitated by a lack of motivation. When people join the forces solely for monetary gains are likely to shift loyalty whenever a new opportunity arises. However, intrinsically motivated people are likely to be more dedicated officers in the service. The police academies must be made so that the recruits understand the policies of the law enforcement agencies and find happiness in their job. The three critical prongs for intrinsic motivation include autonomy, mastery, and purpose. When police officers find purpose in their duty and have the autonomy to deliver the services, they are more effective and less likely to resign. Further, the increased satisfaction in the job encourages others to join the forces, and more people will want to join the church.


The police force serves an essential purpose in the criminal justice system. The main role includes law enforcement, ensuring law and order, and preventing crime. The police department has existed since its formation in the 1600s and has been evolving to ensure better service delivery. One of the most evident challenges is recruiting and retaining staff in the police force. Further, the relationship between law enforcement agencies has been in jeopardy because of the discrimination witnessed in the delivery of the services. Diversity is the antidote to improving the relationship between the police force and society. Further, intrinsic motivation, the formation of police academies, and investment in technology likely eliminate the agency’s challenges. Inclusive laws and policies cascaded with the recommendations by the six pillars of 21st-century policing are the keys to ensuring that all people are involved, and service delivery is improved.


Agadullina, E., Lovakov, A., Balezina, M., & Gulevich, O. A. (2022). Ambivalent sexism and violence toward women: A meta‐analysis. European Journal of Social Psychology52(5-6), 819-859.

Castaneda, L. W., & Ridgeway, G. (2010). Today’s police and sheriff recruits. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, available at https://ric-zai-inc. Com/Publications/cops-w0592-pub. Pdf (accessed May 22, 2018).

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Cordner, G., & Cordner, A. (2011). Stuck on a plateau? Obstacles to recruitment, selection, and retention of women police. Police Quarterly14(3), 207-226.

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Research Critique: Qualitative Essay Example

This article by Francis et al. (2022) discusses the experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the study examines how school closures and the subsequent return impacted parent-teacher interaction. Six key themes emerge from the survey: parents directing school decisions, teacher inability to meet parent expectations, communication between parents and teachers, parents stepping into the role of teacher, parent exhaustion, and teacher helplessness.



This article by Francis et al. (2022) examines the experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their purpose was to understand how parent-teacher interactions were affected by the sudden school closures and subsequent return. Through an analysis of their interviews, the authors identified six themes associated with parent-teacher interactions: parents directing school decisions, teacher inability to meet parent expectations, communication between parents and teachers, parents stepping into the role of teacher, parent exhaustion, and teacher helplessness. In their conclusion, the authors assert that teacher training and additional support for teachers of special education students should be implemented to ensure all students receive appropriate education during the pandemic and beyond.


As outlined in Francis et al. (2022), nine teachers of students with severe disabilities (S.D.) were recruited for the study using convenience sampling techniques. All researchers involved in the study were females with experience teaching students with S.D. in U.S. public school settings. Recruitment took place from three suburban school districts located in the mid-Atlantic. Participants were either white/Caucasian (n = 7) or Hispanic/Latino (n = 2). The ages of participants ranged from 18-54 years old, with 56% having three to four years of experience teaching students with S.D. Three participants were teaching in primary schools, two mid-secondary schools, and four secondary schools. Finally, while all participants taught students with S.D., the individual disability labels of their students varied (e.g., intellectual, developmental).

Research Design

This study by Francis et al. (2022) utilizes the qualitative research approach of narrative inquiry to examine the experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and how this departure of normality has impacted parent-teacher interaction. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 teachers across 5 U.S. states. Through the analysis of the interview transcripts, six themes emerged to explain their experiences: parents directing school decisions, teacher inability to meet parent expectations, communication between parents and teachers, parents stepping into the role of teacher, parent exhaustion, and teacher helplessness. These themes provide a more nuanced understanding of how the pandemic has affected the dynamic between parents and teachers.

Method of Data Collection

Francis et al. (2022) conducted interviews to explore the experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities regarding their interactions with parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three rounds of semi-structured interviews were conducted, one when schools initially closed in March, one during the summer recess in June-July, and one around one month after schools reopened in September-October. The interviews aimed to gain insights into topics such as transitioning to online instruction, initial reactions and challenges experienced by participants and their students, the support provided, strategies to engage students, COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and the evolution of online instruction. All interviews were recorded via Zoom and ranged from 30-60 minutes. All participants engaged in the three rounds of interviews, though one left the teaching profession during the summer. The research team maintained a running record of field notes and debriefed after each interview.

Method of Analysis

The research team employed a three-stage manual coding process to analyze the data (Francis et al., 2022). During the first stage, the team identified initial keywords, repetitive refrains, and significant statements in one of the transcripts. During the second stage, the team compared and contrasted their codes, determined emerging and irrelevant codes, and refined existing codes. The third stage involved re-coding all interview transcripts with the finalized codebook. The codes from the codebook included “feeling overwhelming,” “Equity,” and “Family Needs.” After coding, the research team analyzed key cross-cutting themes across three data collection points.


This article by Francis et al. (2022) examined the experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Six key themes emerged from the study: parents directing school decisions, teacher inability to meet parent expectations, communication between parents and teachers, parents stepping into the role of teacher, parent exhaustion, and teacher helplessness. Parents were seen to direct school decisions, creating rifts between teachers and parents. Expectations from parents were deemed too high for the reality of the situation. Communication between parents and teachers was difficult, with many parents not responding despite attempts by teachers. Furthermore, parents had to step in to fill the role of teacher, and both parents and teachers became exhausted from the changes brought about by the pandemic. Finally, teachers felt powerless to collaborate with and support families.

Critical Analysis

Further Research

Francis et al. (2022) thoroughly analyze parent-teacher interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic for students with severe disabilities. This study uncovers several vital themes that require further exploration to make evidence-based policy recommendations. Specifically, the study highlights the need to investigate the long-term effects of the pandemic on parent-teacher relationships and how this will affect the child’s educational outcomes. Moreover, it is imperative to understand better the strategies teachers and parents need to enhance the learning outcomes of students with severe disabilities. Additionally, further investigation should be conducted to determine the impact of COVID-19 on the resources available to special needs teachers. Lastly, the authors recommend researching how technology can be better utilized to help bridge the communication gaps between parents and teachers.

Threats to Validity/Undocumented Bias

Francis et al. (2022) aimed to explore the struggles of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors employed qualitative interviews and thematic data coding to determine six main parent-teacher interaction themes. The lack of comparison to other countries or populations weakens the generalizability or transferability of the study, and the limited number of participants may present a credibility issue. Furthermore, the study needs more contextual information and addresses the power dynamics between schools and parents (Hays & McKibben, 2021). Moreover, the limited sample size and self-reported data may also present a bias in the sampling process. Finally, the study fails to mention any potential political, cultural, and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original Insight/Criticism

Francis et al. (2022) provide a comprehensive analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on parent-teacher interactions of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities. The authors effectively communicate their main points to the audience and employ descriptive statistics for adequate support. Additionally, the authors provide an insightful look at how parents had to adjust to multiple roles associated with their employment, household caregiving activities, and supporting their children.

Implications of Findings

Francis et al. (2022) examine how parent-teacher interactions were impacted by the rapid shift to online instruction and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings offer practical implications for educators, researchers, and practitioners who support the educational needs of students with severe disabilities. The exploration of the six key themes highlights the unique challenges faced by the parents and teachers of those with severe disabilities, aiding in understanding the difficulties and stresses accompanying pandemic-induced schooling.


The article by Francis et al. (2022) provides a unique insight into the difficulties faced by both teachers and parents during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. The study highlights how parents had to shift between multiple roles while trying to support their children despite the changes. In contrast, teachers had to figure out how to address parental expectations best while navigating online instruction with little preparation. With professional experience, I see the difficulty of such a situation, as there is often an inherent tension between a parent’s expectations of the teacher in an already challenging teaching context. This article affirms the importance of open dialogue between parents and teachers to work together for the best outcomes for the child effectively. From a Biblical perspective, Proverbs 12:15 (ESV) reminds us to “accept instruction from whoever gives it, and you will gain even more understanding,” which speaks to the need for both parents and teachers to be in genuine collaboration to address the needs of the student with severe disabilities successfully.


English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online.

Francis, G. L., Raines, A. R., Reed, A. S., & Kinas Jerome, M. (2022). Parent–teacher interactions during COVID-19: Experiences of U.S. teachers of students with severe disabilities. Education Sciences, 12(7), 488.

Hays, D. G., & McKibben, W. B. (2021). Promoting rigorous research: Generalizability and qualitative research. Journal of Counseling & Development, 99(2), 178–188.