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  • 1. CONTENT 1. Gestalt Psychology 2. Cognitive Theory 3. Cognitive Instruction Theories a. b. c. d. 4. Piaget – Theory of Cognitive Development Bruner – Discovery Learning Difference Between Bruner and Piaget Ausubel – Meaningful Learning Theory Cognitivist Coffee Min-kyung, Lee Melissa Inglis-Elliott
  • 2. 1. Gestalt Psychology Cognitive theories grew out of Gestalt psychology. Gestalt is roughly translated as “configuration,” or “pattern,” and emphasizes “the whole” of human experience. Gestalt views of learning have been incorporated into what have come to be labeled cognitive theories. Two key assumptions underlie this cognitive approach: (1) the memory system as an active organized processor (2) prior knowledge
  • 3. 2. Cognitivism : developed as a reaction to behaviorism. Cognitivists objected to behaviorists because they felt that behaviorists thought learning was simply a reaction to a stimulus and ignored the importance of thinking. As opposed to Behaviorists, Cognitivists focus more on the internal mental processes (including insight, information processing, memory, and perception) and connections that take place during learning. Aspect Cognitivism Behaviorism View of Learning Process Internal mental process (including insight, information processing, memory, perception) Change in behavior Locus of Learning Internal cognitive structuring Stimuli in external environment Purpose in Education Produce behavioral change in desired direction Develop capacity and skills to learn better Four orientations to learning (after Merriam and Caffarella 1991: 138)
  • 4. Cf. Chomsky’s black box Comparison between Cognitivism and Behaviorism
  • 5. 3. Cognitive Instruction Theories a. Jean Piaget While recognizing the contribution of environment, Piaget explored changes in internal cognitive structure. His theory of cognitive development suggests that children move through four different stages of mental development.  Cognitive Development Stages -> His theory focuses not only on understanding how children acquire knowledge, but also on understanding the nature of intelligence.
  • 6. b. Jerome Bruner The outcome of cognitive development is thinking. The intelligent mind creates from experience “generic coding systems that permit one to go beyond the data to new and possibly fruitful predictions.” (Bruner, 1957, p. 234).  Discovery Learning Theory Important Outcomes of Learning Concepts and categories Problem-solving procedures invented previously by the culture Ability to “invent” these things for oneself Identify variables, collect and interpret data  Generate hypotheses in order to better describe and understand relationships between concepts The continuous cyclical process of learning requires learners to interpret the data, reject hypotheses, and make conclusions about information. *Criticism: For discovery to take place, students must have basic knowledge about the problem and must know how to apply problem-solving strategies.
  • 7.  Piaget considered human beings go through a 4-step cycle of change. The process itself is set and automatic. Bruner, on the other hand, did not believe in stages. He merely defined different representations or modes of transference of knowledge, and the environment played a supporting role to the internal capabilities of the learner (Driscoll, 2000).
  • 8. c. David Ausubel A cognitive learning theorist who advanced a theory which contrasted meaningful learning from rote learning. “To learn meaningfully, students must relate new knowledge (concepts) to what they already know. He viewed learning as an active process, not simply responding to environment.”  Meaningful Learning Theory Ausubel stresses meaningful learning, as opposed to rote learning or memorization; and reception, or received knowledge, rather than discovery learning. Key concept : Cognitive structure Learning to Ausubel is bringing something new into our cognitive structure and attaching it to our existing knowledge that is located there. This is how we make meaning, and this was the focus of his work.
  • 9. 4. Cognitivist Coffee If you were at Starbucks and these individuals each walked in an ordered something . . . what would they order, why, how might they place their order (use theory to inform their actions)? •How do you view the process of learning? •Where is the locus of learning? •What is the purpose of education?
  • 10. • How do you view the process of learning? (Internal mental process (including insight, information processing, memory, perception, e.g., Ausubel): The exchange between “Dr. B.” and “Joe.” • Where is the locus of learning? (Internal cognitive structuring, e.g., Piaget): The woman on her phone talking about her boyfriend, who sometimes acts like he is 5 (“Preoperational”) rather than 25. •What is the purpose of education? (Develop capacity and skills to learn better, e.g., Bruner): The woman forgets her password and decides to use a mnemonic device to remember it better in the future.
  • 11. References,11172,2580422-content,00.html’s-theory-of-language/