Student Resources

Welcome to the companion website for Learning Theories in Childhood 2nd Edition. We hope you will enjoy reading the book and using this site, which is intended to enhance the diverse and sometimes challenging views contained in the book.

Learning Theories in Childhood 2nd Edition comes with a wide range of additional resources, all available on this companion website. Make the most of:

  • reading more widely! A selection of open access SAGE journal articles  and book chapters to help expand knowledge and reinforce your learning of key topics
  • hear it from an expert! Listen to podcasts from the book’s authors discussing the key concepts in each chapter to help you think more critically
  • weblinks direct you to relevant resources to deepen your understanding of chapter topics with visual examples.


About the book

Focusing on the early philosophies of learning and key behavioural, cognitive, and social theorists, including Locke, Rousseau, Montessori, Piaget, Vygotsky, Bandura, Bronfenbrenner & Bruner, this popular book provides a comprehensive overview of children's learning. The authors highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical perspective, and encourage reflection on how different approaches impact on the learning environment. The discussion finishes with an exploration of the new sociology of childhood. 

New to this second edition are:

  • a new chapter on 'What is theory and what is learning?’
  • a new chapter on ‘The changing nature of learning’

Accessibly written, with key questions and recommended reading included, this book is essential for all those studying on child development, early childhood and childhood studies courses, and for anyone interested in understanding more about how children learn and think.


About the authors

Dr Colette Gray is a Chartered Developmental Psychologist at Stranmillis University College, a College of The Queen’s University of Belfast. She is a Principal Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, was until very recently the Head of Research Development and a Visiting Professor (Child Development & Education) to the University of St Marks & St John’s Plymouth. She has studied and taught a range of undergraduate and post graduate degree modules to students for more than 20 years. Editor of the International Journal of Early Years Education, she continues to develop her research interests in the field of participatory research which children and marginalised groups, the impact of special needs on children’s learning, and the ethical implications of research involving vulnerable groups. Married for 40 years, she is the proud grandmother of three pre-schoolers Jacob (3 yrs 6 months), Isabelle (20 months) and Isaac (15 months).

Sean MacBlain is Reader in Child Development and Disability at the University of St Mark and St John. Before taking up his current position Sean worked as a Senior Lecturer in Education and Developmental Psychology at Stranmillis University College, a College of Queens University Belfast. Prior to working as an academic, Sean worked as an educational psychologist in Belfast and Somerset, and continues in this field in his own private practice, SMB Associates SW LTD ( Sean's research interests include the professional development of teachers and Early Years practitioners and the social and emotional development of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Sean is married to Angela and lives in Somerset, England.