Development psychological theories entail concepts developed in order to explain the cognitive development of human beings in an ever complex environment. Development depends on a combination of both nurture and nature factors. This paper will assess the Neuroconstructivist theory as a type of developmental theory. Kerr notes different reasons explaining the existence of the trend of developing new theories. First, they are developed to replace the old ones. They are also developed to explain what the existing ones do not explain without necessarily discarding them (Kerr, 2007b).
Many questions are asked in the modern society concerning the upcoming theories with respect to the existing ones; do they meet the expectations of the present as well as anticipate those of the future? Would new theories be more appropriate in explaining developmental psychology? This paper will also highlight on the concepts/ideas held by the Neuroconstructivist with regards to its predecessors, to establish if it has new information that it can offer in the field as a new approach in the 21st century. Developmental psychology theories entail a series of theories that undertake to explain cognitive development of human beings especially through processes of pre-conception, birth, early growth until the late ages. The main challenge that faces developmental psychology is to explain the explicit mechanisms involved in the cognitive changes (Westermann et.al,2007).
Most of the theories fail in the field of developmental psychology due to their superficial nature. They have poorly defined concepts as well as lack of in-depth theoretical work. This exposes them to be prone to criticisms on whether they qualify to be part of developmental theories (Hull, 1935). Although Hull notes that the past theories have sufficient information to offer on developmental psychology and refutes the need to develop more, Neuroconstructivism theory has much more concepts to offer. The theory offers up to date issues that are in line with the expectations of the modern state of developmental mechanisms (Marescal et.al, 2007). This therefore allows it to bridge the gap that might seem to exist between the past and the modern state of development. For instance, Jean Piaget’s theory on cognitive development ignores the localisms and gradualism of development and instead emphasis more on verbal judgment and justifications (Newcombe, 2011).
Neuroconstructivist concept argues out that knowledge is built from a context of existing one (Marescal, 2011). According to most psychologists, genes play a little significant role in human development. They are most significant especially in the context of the environment. From their point of view, there is a clear cutline between genetic qualities and the environment and their relative contribution to attainment of knowledge (Meany, 2001). The central tenet of the Neuroconstructivist framework lies in the comprehension of the interaction of the organism with its environment (Mareschal, Johnson, et al., 2007; Westerman et al., 2007).
One of the main successes of the theory is that it is effective in its integration process. It has integrated the existing theories with the current concepts. The effective integration of concepts produces quality information rather than discarding them and dealing exclusively with new ones. Most of the theories on developmental psychology does not strictly adhere to development exclusively. Neuroconstructivist is exclusive of such theories because its premises restrict themselves to the development. Most of them give snapshots of the capabilities and the potentialities of children at different times of their life. For example, at six years, the children normally discriminate different speeches. They lose the discriminatory attitude as soon as they attain 12 years (Weker and Tees, 1984).