Social constructivism Learning is socially mediated
Learning is building knowledge as part of doing things with others
Think of a time when someone has supported your learning.
1896 – 1934 but work published much later.
ZPD Zone of Proximal Development
"What a child can do with assistance today she will be able to do by herself tomorrow" (Vygotsky 1978:p87).
Spiral Curriculum-We begin with the hypothesis that any subject can be taught effectively in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development.
Make the knowledge ready for the child rather than waiting for the child to be ready for the knowledge
How we support children's growing understanding
Enactive - knowing how
Knowing is a process not a product
To instruct someone... is not a matter of getting him to commit results to mind. Rather, it is to teach him to participate in the process that makes possible the establishment of knowledge. We teach a subject not to produce little living libraries on that subject, but rather to get a student to think mathematically for himself, to consider matters as an historian does, to take part in the process of knowledge-getting. J.Bruner..
Statistical learning (learning correlations e.g. baby can recognise own feet)
Learning by imitation (e.g. Baby sticking out tongue)
Learning through analogy
Causal learning (explanation based learning)
Are all present in rudimentary form from soon after birth
cumulative learning is crucial
Need to encounter the learning in varied contexts
‘ novice’ system that is very responsive to learning from errors followed by an ‘expert’ system which is more entrenched in its learning
motivation to learn and engagement of an emotional response
memories that can be brought consciously and deliberately to mind (semantic and episodic memory)
knowledge that is usually indexed by changes in performance (for example riding a bicycle)
Do Teachers Help?
Children (and adults) construct declarative memories, and therefore prior knowledge and personal interpretation affect what is remembered.
Adapting our dialogue with young children leads to more organised and detailed learning and memory.
Learning in classrooms can be enhanced by developing self-reflection and self regulation
Recognising that you do not understand is prerequisite of asking for help
Implications From Goswami & Bryant
Thinking, reasoning and understanding can be enhanced by imaginative or pretend play contexts. However, scaffolding by the teacher is required if these are to be effective.
Individual differences in the ability to benefit from instruction (the zone of proximal development) and individual differences between children are large in the primary years, hence any class of children must be treated as individuals.
Report to Cambridge Primary Review
Research Survey 2/1a: Children's Cognitive Development and Learning (Usha Goswami and Peter Bryant) Download from http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/Publications/Publicationshome.html