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Cognitive-developmental (Social constructivist)

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive-developmental (Social constructivist)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive-developmental (Social constructivist)
Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

2 Social Constructionist Approach
Constructivist theorists believe that learning is an active, constructive process. They emphasize the interaction between biology (what you are born with) and the environment (Nature and Nurture) Through this interaction people actively construct or create their own representations of reality. New information is linked to prior knowledge, and so the way each person sees the world is subjective/different. Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

3 Piaget Piaget is recognised as having influenced the way young children are studied and observed. He believed that children were active in their learning Piaget believed that babies are born with the ability to adapt to and learn from the environment. E.g. they don’t have to be taught to crawl or walk (Oates, 1994) He developed the idea of schemas – that we create a set of ideas about the world (a bit like stereotypes) We develop schemas for all aspects of life and the world If we find new information fits with an existing schema it is assimilated into that schema If we find new information does not fit we make a new schema - accommodation Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

4 Piaget’s stages Piaget believed that the mental processes we are born with are primitive, basic patterns of actions he called Sensorimotor schemes. (Oates, 1994) Sensory motor: months/2years Pre-operational: 2 – 6/7years Concrete operations: 7 – 11 years Formal operations: years Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

5 Critics of Piaget His suggested ages and stages underestimate children’s abilities. Children have often been able to conserve and decentre at much younger ages than he suggested Some psychologists disagree with the idea of stages (discontinuity) and feel that children learn as more of an ongoing process (continuity) Piaget’s work was culturally biased as he used only white European children Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

6 Key People Some critics of Piaget include Vygotsky, Bruner and Donaldson who agree with many aspects of his work but have developed their own perspectives on it They agree that children learn through interaction with their environment; they are active in their learning (Nurture) Experiences and environment shape our learning. Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

7 Vygotsky Shared Piaget’s view that children were active in their learning Placed more emphasis on the role of language in the cognitive process Social development and interaction with people is also an important part of cognitive development; particularly the role of sensitive adult Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

8 Zone of Proximal Development
Vygotsky believe that children had unlocked potential that adults had to discover This is referred to as ZPD The ZPD is the gap between what the child can currently do and what they have the potential to do Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

9 ZPD Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

10 Bruner Influenced by Vygotsky
Did not agree that children passed through stages (discontunuity) but rather they developed different ways of thinking – modes of representation (continuity) Enactive - approx 0-1years Iconic – approx 1-7 years Symbolic – approx 7 years onwards Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

11 Language and thought Bruner felt that there was a link between language and thought. The appearance of language allows children to think in symbolic ways (language is symbolic) Language allows us to categorise things Category learning occurs when people come to understand that certain objects or entities belong together in particular categories. This is still a popular theory among many psychologists Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

12 Bruner’s scaffolding To Bruner the role of the adult was important in children’s learning Scaffolding was his idea that adults can help children find their way to the top of a problem Adults scaffold by providing elements of a problem, maintaining children’s interest and point out information or giving support that will allow them to increase their knowledge and reasoning. Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

13 Donaldson Margaret Donaldson (1926 - )
Margaret Donaldson is a constructivist. She began her career in developmental psychology when the dominant theory was behaviourism. She spent a term with Piaget in 1957, but although she was impressed by his methods, she was not convinced that he was necessarily right. Donaldson was also influenced by Vygotsky and Bruner and worked with both at Harvard in the 1960s. In 1978, Donaldson published the book Children’s Minds Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

14 Donaldson Donaldson came to the conclusion that children made errors because they were not only responding to what they were being asked to do but also trying to understand the meaning of the task. They were seeking to make ‘human sense’ of the situation. Donaldson’s theory focusses on the concept of embedded and disembedded thinking. Thinking that is embedded or placed in a familiar context makes ‘human’ sense and is more easily understood by children who are able to reason with it. When children are asked to do something outside their limits of human sense, that is, when something is unfamiliar or unrealistic, their thinking is disembedded and it fails to make sense. Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

15 Donaldson Relating to practice
Donaldson challenged Piaget’s theory of children having a ceiling on their thinking. She encouraged practitioners to seek out what children are able to do rather than focussing on the things they cannot do. She believed that in order to educate young children effectively, practitioners must ‘decentre’ and try to present things from a child’s point of view Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

16 Activity Consider the influence of each of these on current practice.
Give examples of how the key ideas have been put into practise. Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

17 Activity Interactive activities e.g. ICT – Active learning
Group work - ZPD Discussion – Scaffolding & ZPD Student led activities; projects Experimentation e.g. science activities – active learning Exploration; natural environment, sand/water- active learning Field trips/outings - active learning Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

18 Reference List Learning-Theories (2008) available art
accessed 05/04/08 Miell,D., Pheonix,A., Thomas.K., (2002) Mapping Psychology 1, Milton Keynes: The Open University Y Letson 2007 (Miell et al 2002)

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