3 Piaget’s TheoryOrganismic theory: rooted in biological concepts about the development of organisms.The organism is affected by, and affects, its environment.The cognitive “organism” strives toward equilibrium: a balance between the dual processes of assimilation and accommodation.Development proceeds through a fixed sequence of qualitatively distinct stages.Adolescent thinking is fundamentally different from the thinking abilities of children--not simply more or better.
4 Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor(birth - 2 years)Preoperational (2-7 years)Concrete (7-11 years)Formal (>11 years)Sensation --> motor behaviorUse symbols to represent objectsMaster logic, develop rational thinkingDevelop abstract and hypothetical thinking
5 Effects of Adolescent Thought on Personality and Behavior Idealistic RebellionHypocrisyLack of creativity (due to pressures to conform)EgocentrismPseudostupidityDaydreamingSelf-concept
6 Forms of Egocentric Thinking (lack of subject-object differentiation) SensorimotorPreoperationalConcreteFormalUnable to differentiate self from objects.Unable to differentiate symbols from their referents.Unable to differentiate thoughts from perceptionsUnable to differentiate own thoughts from thoughts of others.
7 Egocentrism in adolescence Imaginary audience ideationadolescent belief that there is an audience “out there” observing his/her actionsPersonal fableadolescent belief that s/he is a unique person, invulnerable to harm.
8 Cognitive Changes in Adolescence Better able to think about what is possible, instead of limiting their thinking to what is real.Better able to think about abstract concepts.Begin thinking more often about the process of thinking itself.Thinking tends to become multidimensional, rather than limited to a single issue.More likely than children to see things as relative, rather than as absolute.
9 Thinking About Possibilities Imagine four poker chips:one red, one blue, one yellow, and onegreen. Make as many different combinations of chips, of anynumber, as you can. Use R, B, Y, & G to record your answers.Adolescents don’t need actual poker chips on hand to work out this problem. They can reason systematically in terms of what is possible.Develop hypothetical (“if-then”) reasoning abilities.
10 Thinking About Abstract Concepts ANALOGY: Sun: Moon: : Asleep : ?a. Stara. Bedc. Awaked. NightAbstract thinking permits the application of advanced reasoningand logical processes to social and ideological matters: faith,politics, relationships, fairness, honesty, justice, friendships.
11 Thinking About Thinking: Metacognition Better able to manage and to talk about, and explain, their own thinking.Increased introspection, self-consciousness, and intellectualization.Extreme self-absorption:imaginary audience ideationpersonal fable
12 Thinking in Multiple Dimensions Can think about problems in multidimensional ways.What were the causes of the Civil War?Child: “to free the slaves.”Adolescent: “states’ rights; freedom from oppressive centralgovernment; slavery…”Able to think about self in others in increasingly differentiatedways: “shy, friendly, honest, ambitious, a little lazy…”
13 Relativistic Thinking More likely to question others’ assertions and less likely to accept “facts” as absolute truths.Belief that “everything is relative” tends to become overwhelming at times--so much so that adolescents tend to become skeptical about everything!
14 Cognitive Development of the Adolescent: Helpful Hints for Teachers Challenge students’ thinking by helping them to see things thatmight not fit with their prior schema;Challenge students to modify old schemas by presenting them withinformation to form new schemas;Concrete operational thinkers need to see what is being talked aboutand they need lots of hands-on activities to grasp the concepts;Be aware of students’ readiness and maturity level in dealing withthe physical, emotional, and social changes in their lives;
15 Remain flexible in expectations for middle schoolers because each student may be at a different stage of cognitive development;Allow each student to progress at own rate of growth;Plan learning activities that are appropriate for developing effective, concrete thinkers before moving on to more formal operational activities for students.Provide a variety of approaches and examples to students because there are different cognitive levels among students in the classroom.
16 Implications for Teaching Social interchange is more effective than authoritarian,teacher-centered approaches to instruction.Adolescent students need multiple opportunities toobserve, analyze possibilities, and draw inferences aboutperceived relationships.Discussions, problem-solving activities, and scientificexperiments encourage the development of formal thinkingand problem-solving skills.Give explicit feedback and encouragement; allow time forreasoning capacities to develop.
17 “The principal goal of education is to create [persons] who are capable of doing new things--[people] who are creative,inventive, and discoverers. The second goal of education is toform minds which can be critical, can verify, and not accepteverything they are offered…We need pupils who are active,who learn early to find out by themselves, partly by their ownspontaneous activity and partly through material we set up forthem; who learn early to tell what is verifiable and what is simply the first idea to come to them.”-Piaget (1972)
18 Implications for Education The first prerequisite for educating adolescents is to develop effective modes of communicating with them.The second concept of education important for adolescents is the need to aid them in modifying their existing knowledge, while helping them learn new information.Education must not dull adolescents’ eagerness to learn by overly rigid curricula that disrupt the student’s own rhythm and pace of learning.