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Memory and the Child Werner vs. Vygotsky. Heinz Werner (1890-1964) Born in Vienna, Austria in 1890 Bright and studious Loved music and planned to be.

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Presentation on theme: "Memory and the Child Werner vs. Vygotsky. Heinz Werner (1890-1964) Born in Vienna, Austria in 1890 Bright and studious Loved music and planned to be."— Presentation transcript:

1 Memory and the Child Werner vs. Vygotsky


3 Heinz Werner ( ) Born in Vienna, Austria in 1890 Bright and studious Loved music and planned to be composer and music historian Class incident – changed major to psychology and philosophy Gestalt philosophy Came to America in – Professor at Clark University Biographical information from: Crain, William. Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications. Fifth Ed. New Jersey: Pearson: Prentice Hall, 2005.

4 Werner’s Key Terms Eidetic imagery – The “pure memory image” of something, as if the image in one’s mind is actually the percept itself. Physiognomic perception – The perception of an object from an emotional viewpoint, as the child is affected by what he sees. It is the attribution of expressive features to any object, even inanimate. Synesthesia – The combination of more than one sense in perceiving an object. This makes a rich, vivacious perception. Geometric-technical perception –The tendency to use objective and measurable properties in perception. This is a completely abstract, objective approach to perception. Microgenetic mobility –The ability of some adults to revert from geometric-technical to physiognomic perception.

5 Heinz Werner – His Theory Discontiuous Development –Orthogenic Principle Organic whole Differentiation Hierarchical integration Self-object differentiation Physiognomic Perception – younger children Geometric-technical perception – older children/adults

6 Lev Vygotsky ( ) Born and raised in Byelorussia Republic Exceptionally bright child Graduated from Moscow University Teaching Stunning psychology presentation Research and development of theory Works not published until much later Biographical information from: Dixon-Krauss, Lisbeth. Vygotsky in the Classroom: Mediated Literacy Instruction and Assessment. New York: Longman Publishers USA, pp.2-3

7 Vygotsky’s Key Terms Natural mental behaviors – the elementary, biological abilities of the brain. This and other “lower…mental behaviors,” according to Vygotsky, are shared with some animals. Cultural mental behaviors –the culturally developed, higher mental actions that are unique to humans. These behaviors are more complex and are self-directed. Signs - psychological tools – –“artificial, or self-generated, stimuli.”. Objects, behaviors, or other stimuli which people use to augment their natural mental capacities. They give people control over their mental behaviors. Examples: language, reminders. When signs are used, behavior is said to be “mediated behavior.” Internalization – The progressive transfer from external social activity mediated by signs to internal control. Semiotic mediation –The process by which, through the use of signs, natural mental behaviors are developed into higher, cultural, mental behaviors Definitions from Vygotsky, Mind in Society, Dixon-Krauss, Vygotsky in the Classroom: Mediated Literacy Instruction and Assessment, Bodrova, Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education., and Crain textbook.

8 Lev Vygotsky – His Theory Sociohistorical theory of development There are two lines of development: “the elementary processes, which are of biological origin…and the higher psychological functions, of sociocultural origin…The history of child behavior is born from the interweaving of these two lines.” - Mind in Society A. Leontiev’s study on mediated memory –Younger children – little or no use of signs –School-age children – use of external signs –Adults – internalized use of signs

9 Werner and Vygotsky’s views on memory Werner “As one would expect, the capacity for retention during childhood has been found to increase with age… We know at least one of the principal causal factors: viz., the growing capacity of the child to organize material to be retained.” Vygotsky “ In the elementary form something is remembered; in the higher form humans remember something.”

10 Guiding Questions Is it really true that older children, whom Vygotsky would say have culturally acquired better memory skills, but who no longer have the richness of perception and eidetic imagery that Werner says younger children possess, will remember more than the younger children? Will a structured, logical approach to memory hinder the natural ability of the younger children while assisting the older?

11 I.The kindergartners will do better overall II.The kindergartners’ scores will not improve when they are asked to remember. III.The third graders’ scores will improve when they are asked to remember

12 Procedure 5 Kindergartners and 5 Third Graders 2 Scenes –Farm Scene Discussion of objects and details Not told beforehand to try to remember Asked how they remembered –Beach Scene Discussion of objects and details Told beforehand to try to remember Asked how they remembered

13 The Scenes # 1: Farm Scene # 2: Beach Scene

14 Scoring Object remembered correctly: +1 point Detail remembered correctly: +1 point Incorrect object or detail: -1 point

15 The Result

16 Overall

17 The Scores – Kindergarten and Third

18 How the Kindergartners Remembered Sam “I watch TV a lot.” “TV again. ‘Cause I can remember stuff on it.” Tracy Because I think in my brain, and I think quietly.” “Because I thinked, and I thinked really hard. And tried to remember.” Ryan “That was easy, because I looked, and my brain was telling me.” “I was looking very carefully, and my ears were turned on, and my brain was clicked on.” Sara “I picture them in my mind.” “I tried to remember. I pictured them in my mind.” Laure n “Because I looked at it really good.” “’Cause I looked at the picture a long time, and I looked at it really good.”

19 How the Third Graders Remembered Timmy “I looked at them, then tried to remember them. I just tried to remember.” “By looking at them really hard and trying to memorize them. Like look at it two times, and then after you’re done, you can close your eyes and try to think of it.” Joe “By memorizing it. ‘Cause the color they are and the animal they are. I pictured them in my head.” “I pictured them in my head. And I remembered them, in my memory.” Elizabeth “By seeing the pictures, and not forgetting what they were.” “By putting them into my head and by looking at the pictures for a minute, and by taking a picture of them.” Marisa “I just pictured them in my mind.” “Just by memorizing them in my head. I just see them in my head and keep thinking about them.” Maria “By looking at the background of the farm. Like looking at a farm with animals and seeing some of the animals in this scene.”

20 Conclusions I. K over 3 rd overall: WRONG! II. K wouldn’t improve: RIGHT! III. 3 rd would improve: WRONG!

21 Limitations Distractions Kindergartners and third graders too close in age Should have encouraged the children to give more details on their own, when discussing the picture the first time

22 Other Questions How much of a difference does it make when things to be remembered are discussed, and not just seen? What about the other senses? Which played a more significant role in memory: Werner’s development, or Vygotsky’s social conditioning? Or a mixture of both?

23 Links: Werner overview: 5106ch05.htm 5106ch05.htm Vygotsky overview:


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