Behaviourism – changes in what pupils do [Video 1] Constructivism – changes in how students think
Constructivism: Theories of Cognitive Development Psychological Constructivism: Jean Piaget (1896-1980) Social Constuctivism: Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) Jerome Bruner (1915 - )
What is development ? Development proceeds in a somewhat orderly and predictable pattern; there are developmental milestones. Yet different children develop at different rates. Yet development occurs via both spurts and plateaus. And development is continually affected by both nature and nurture.
Jean Piaget Theory of Cognitive Development Schema Assimilation Accommodation Equilibrium
Jean Piaget: Constructivism Sensorimotor: 0-2 actions are ego centric, child is focussed on the here and now Pre-operational: 2-7 actions are internalised, classes not discriminated hierarchically, absolute view of the world, egocentric, begin to look for reasons and decentre Concrete Operational: 7-10 ideas cannot be manipulated purely mentally but can make abstraction Formal Operational: 11+ no need for concrete props, hypothetico-deductive thinking, no longer limited to personal experience, self-reflective
Jean Piaget: Constructivism Criticisms Sequence of the stages is supported, but the ages identified for each stage are debated. Piaget may have underestimated young children’s cognitive capabilities. [Video 2 12.22-17.44] Piaget may have overemphasized the importance of interaction with the physical environment. Social interaction may be more influential than realized. Lack of emphasis on language acquisition and development.
Lev Vygotsky Theory of Cognitive Development: Social Constructivist Theory Culture is prioritised Language is the medium through which we learn More Knowledgeble Other (MKO) modelling Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) ‘What a child can do today in co-operation, tomorrow he will be able to do on his own.’ Vygotsky [1962 p67]
Jerome Bruner Learning involves the search for patterns, regularity and predictability. Instruction helps in the discovery of such patterns and is necessary for experiences to be transformed into rational thinking. This is the idea of scaffolding. Social experience plays an important part in cognitive development. Prior understanding and new knowledge is used to problem-solve.
Constructivism: Implications for pupils’ learning? Learners are purposeful and active. They bring prior concepts to the learning situation. Knowledge is personally and socially constructed. It is problematic: does it fit experiences?Is it coherent with other aspects of knowledge? Teaching is not the transmission of knowledge, but the organisation of expierences and activities which promote learning. Teacher as facilitator.