Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators - Sticks & Stones Education

Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators

Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators

100 (almost!) Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators 

Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators: When I sat down to write this resource about early childhood theorists and theories, I didn't anticipate a list of over 80 names, pedagogies and influential people ... Some of these theorists and thought leaders for early childhood educatorsI had never heard of, which of course led me to research them more. And what should I do with all this deep dive rabbit hole research? Write about it of course!

Initially I was going to write a simple blog article about theories and the Early Years Learning Framework, but once I started creating a list, the more names I found. I couldn't leave any out, because so many of them influenced each other. So who are all these theorists and thought leaders for early childhood education who are shaping the way we teach and learn and think?

Although as someone who is freshly diagnosed ADHD I should have perhaps expected this. The more I worked on this list, the more I remembered the names that have influenced my thinking and career over the decades, and I of course had to add them to the list and share them with you.

Stay tuned and watch this space! The goal of this blog is to have a list of 100 early childhood theorists and influential people who have changed the landscape of early childhood for Australian children and educators. In time, I will write about, or link to each name which will in turn become a valuable resource for you.

  1. Lesley Abbott
  2. Mary Ainsworth
  3. Anarchy and the EYLF Pirates
  4. Chris Athey
  5. Bank Street
  6. Albert Bandura
  7. Stephen Bavolek
  8. Diana Baumrind
  9. Being, Belonging, Becoming - The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
  10. Jay Belsky
  11. Benjamin Bloom
  12. John Bowlby
  13. Pierre Bourdieu
  14. Urie Brofenbrenner
  15. T. Berry Brazelton
  16. Tina Bruce
  17. Jerome Bruner
  18. Bush Kinder
  19. Childspace with Toni and Robin Christie
  20. Guy Claxton
  21. John Comenius
  22. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi - Theory of Flow
  23. Edward de Bono
  24. Valerie Daniel
  25. John Dewey
  26. Margaret Donaldson
  27. Mary-Jane Drummond
  28. Judy Dunn
  29. Carol Dweck
  30. Rudolk Dreikurs
  31. 8 Ways of Learning - Aboriginal Pedagogy 
  32. Erik Erikson
  33. Julie Fisher
  34. Forest Schools
  35. Paulo Freire
  36. Friedrich Froebel
  37. Sigmund Freud
  38. Howard Gardner
  39. Arnold Lucius Gesell
  40. Daniel Goleman
  41. Magda Gerber + Tom Forrest
  42. William Glasser
  43. G. Stanley Hall
  44. Martin Hughes
  45. Susan Isaacs
  46. High/Scope
  47. Lilian Katz
  48. Lawrence Kholberg
  49. Alfie Kohn
  50. David Kolb
  51. Ferre Laevers
  52. Joy Lubawy
  53. Wendy Lee + Margaret Carr - Learning Stories
  54. Martin Luther
  55. Loris Malaguzzi + Reggio Emilia Approach
  56. Abraham Maslow
  57. Margaret McMillan
  58. Maria Montessori
  59. Janet Moyles
  60. Nature Pedagogy
  61. Vivian Gussin Paley
  62. Mildred Parten
  63. Ivan Pavlov
  64. Jean Piaget
  65. Steven Pinker
  66. Emmi Pikler
  67. Christopher Phoenix 
  68. Sandi Phoenix 
  69. Dr. Louise Porter
  70. Carl Rogers
  71. Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  72. Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
  73. Kenneth H Rubin
  74. Barbara Rogoff
  75. Robert Owen
  76. Burrhus. F. Skinner
  77. Benjamin Spock
  78. Waldort Steiner
  79. Te Whariki: The New Zealand Early Years Curriculum
  80. Colwyn Trevarthen
  81. Lev Vygotsky
  82. Nathan Wallis 
  83. Claire Warden 
  84. Gordon Wells
  85. John B. Watson
  86. Margy Whalley
  87. Dylan Wiliam and Cognitive Load Theory
  88. Robert Gagné
  89. David Sobel
  90. With more Theorists and Thought Leaders for Early Childhood Educators to come! 

My great-aunty Frances Snyder was a teacher from the age of 17. She was a nun who lived in Los Angeles and was part of the order Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Three hundred of the 600 nuns, rebelled in the late 1960s. Women shouldn't work for free, and these 600 women were working in 68 elementary schools and 11 high schools, one college and two hospitals. This feminist movement makes me proud, because Aunt Frances and her dearest friend Liz Maloney and 298 other women stood their ground.

These women were influenced by Carl Rogers. And years later Aunt Frances and Liz went to work with William Glasser, travelling the country and working on his theory. So, this article is dedicated to Frances and Liz, and all the amazing women who walked with them, taught them, or were taught by them over the decades of their careers. 

 *This blog was also published on the 14th of April 2023 for Reflections of an Educator, a business I co-founded back in 2016 under the name Educator's Symposium & Resource Emporium. 

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