The changes that occur in human beingsbetween conception and death are referred to as: maturation cognitive development growth development
Which of the following is FALSE regarding a general principle of development ? Development is rapid and dramatic. Development occurs at different rates. Development takes place gradually. Development takes place in an orderly sequence.
What is a major issue pertaining to the nature-nurture controversy? Young children demonstrate patterns of behavior or thinking, called schemes, which older children and adults also use in dealing with objects in the world. Development occurs in a smooth progression as skills develop and parents and the environment provide experiences. Is development predetermined at birth, by hereditary factors, or does experience and other environmental factors affect it? All children are believed to acquire skills in the same sequence, although rates of progress differ from child to child.
What part of the brain is associated with higher mental functions?The cortex is a crumpled sheet of neurons that serves threemajor functions: receiving signals from sense organs,controlling voluntary movement and forming associations.The part of the cortex that controls physical motor movementdevelops or matures first, then the areas that control complexsenses such as vision and hearing, and last the frontal lobe,which controls the higher-order thinking processes. 7
What is lateralization and why is it important?Lateralization is the specialization of the two sides, orhemispheres, of the brain. The brain begins to lateralize soonafter birth. For most people, the left hemisphere is prominentin spatial and visual processing.Even though certain functions are associated with certainparts of the brain, the various parts and systems of the brainwork together to learn and perform complex activities such asreading and to construct understanding. 8
Piaget’s Theory (1986 – 1980) Piaget studied his children’s intellectual development from infancy. While studying his children, Piaget developed theories concerning how children learn. His theory of Cognitive Development consists of four stages of intellectual development.
Stage 1 - Sensorimotor During this stage, the child begins to develop: Reflexes Habits Hand-eye coordination Object Permanence (knowing something exists, even though it can’t be seen) Experimentation and creativity. Trial and error experiments
Stage 2 - PreoperationalDuring this stage, the child begins to develop: Ability to represent objects with images and words Language skills ImaginationChildren learn through imitation and play during this stage. They begin to use reasoning, however it is mainly intuitive, instead of logical.
Piaget Stage 2 Preoperational Lack of Conservation
Stage 3 - Concrete OperationalDuring this stage, the child begins to develop: The fundamentals of logic Ability to sort objects Ability to classify objects Understanding of conservation (physical quantities do not change based on the arrangement and/or appearance of the object)
According to Piaget, planned problem solving moves from trial and error to a planned approach at the end of what stage of development? Concrete operational Formal operations Preoperational Sensorimotor The child at this stage can form concepts, see relationships, and solve problems, but only as long as they involve objects and situations that are familiar.
Object permanence – understanding that objects exist even when out of sight – is a hallmark of which of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development? concrete operations formal operations preoperations sensorimotor
Understanding that the volume remains thesame, even if it is transferred from a tall, thincontainer to a short, wide one requires which of the following cognitive abilities? conservation and decentration hypothetical and scientific thought transitivity and reversibility private speech and scaffolding
Piaget’s theories have had a major impact on the theory and practice of education. First, the theories focused attention on the idea of developmentally appropriate education—an education with environments, curriculum, materials, and instruction that are suitable for students in terms of their physical and cognitive abilities and their social and emotional needs.
In addition, several major approaches to curriculum and instruction are explicitly based on Piagetian theory, and this theory has been influential in constructivist models of learning. Berk (2001) summarizes the main teaching implications drawn from Piaget as follows:
1. A focus on the process of children’s thinking, not just its products. In addition to checking the correctness of children’s answers, teachers must understand the processes children use to get to the answer. Appropriate learning experiences build on children’s current level of cognitive functioning, and only when teachers appreciate children’s methods of arriving at particular conclusions are they in a position to provide such experiences.
2. Recognition of the crucial role of children’s self- initiated, active involvement in learning activities. In a Piagetian classroom the presentation of ready- made knowledge is deemphasized, and children are encouraged to discover for themselves through spontaneous interaction with the environment. Therefore, instead of teaching didactically, teachers provide a rich variety of activities that permit children to act directly on the physical world.
3. A deemphasis on practices aimed at making children adultlike in their thinking. Piaget referred to the question “How can we speed up development?” as “the American question.” Among the many countries he visited, psychologists and educators in the United States seemed most interested in what techniques could be used to accelerate children’s progress through the stages. Piagetian-based educational programs accept his firm belief that premature teaching could be worse than no teaching at all, because it leads to superficial acceptance of adult formulas rather than true cognitive understanding.
4. Acceptance of individual differences in developmental progress. Piaget’s theory assumes that all children go through the same developmental sequence but that they do so at different rates. Therefore, teachers must make a special effort to arrange classroom activities for individuals and small groups of children rather than for the total class group. In addition, because individual differences are expected, assessment of children’s educational progress should be made in terms of each child’s own previous course of development, not in terms of normative standards provided by the performances of same-age peers.
5. Piaget emphasized the role of two types of relationships: constraint and cooperation in moral development. Relationships of constraint involve unilateral respect and the imposition of views from authority. In contrast, relationships of cooperation are best suited for the development of knowledge because they involve mutual respect, and each person is obliged to listen to the other and to fully explain themselves. This situation is most likely to lead to mutual understanding, which is essential in the development of all forms of knowledge.
Use concrete props and visual aids whenever possible. Preoperational Present problems that require logical, analytical thinking. Concrete-Operational Help students develop their ability to see the world from someone else’s point of view. Preoperational Give students the opportunity to explore many hypothetical questions. Formal-Operational Give opportunities to classify and group objects and ideas on increasingly complex levels. Concrete-Operational
Limitations on Piaget’s Theory Although Piaget’s influence on Developmental and Educational Psychology has been enormous, recent research do not support all of his ideas. Almost all psychologists agree with his descriptions on the way children think, but many of them disagree with his explanations on why thinking develops the way it does.
Problems With Research MethodsMuch of the criticism of Piagets work is in regards tohis research methods. A major source of inspiration forthe theory was Piagets observations of his own threechildren. In addition to this, the other children inPiagets small research sample were all from well-educated professionals of high socio-economic status.Because of this unrepresentative sample, it is difficult togeneralize his findings to a larger population.
Problems With Formal OperationsResearch has disputed Piagets argument that allchildren will automatically move to the next stage ofdevelopment as they mature. Some data suggests thatenvironmental factors may play a role in thedevelopment of formal operations.
Underestimates Childrens AbilitiesMost researchers agree that children posses many of theabilities at an earlier age than Piaget suspected. Recentresearch on theory of mind has found that children of 4- or 5-years old have a rather sophisticated understanding of theirown mental processes as well as those of other people. Forexample, children of this age have some ability to take theperspective of another person, meaning they are far lessegocentric than Piaget believed.
The model underestimates young childrens abilities andoverestimates older childrens abilities.In Piagets model, children have limitations in logical thinkinguntil the age of seven due to "perceptual centration,""irreversibility" and "egocentrism." However, critics say manychildren are able to overcome these limitations at the age of fiveor six. So this generalization may not fit all children. Againcritics say there are many children who are not able to thinkabstractly and hypothetically during the period of 11-15.Particularly, the age of 11 is too early to start complex mentaloperations.
The model overemphasizes biological influence oncognitive development.According to the model, every child goes through similarstages of cognitive development and environment andeducation have little influence on these stages. An importantimplication of this assumption is that educations contributionis not so powerful on cognitive development.
Piagets model implicates that the teaching process shouldbe student-centered, that is, the student should be mainsource of information in the educational process.The major task of the teacher is to design an environment that isconducive to active involvement and learning, but nottransmitting knowledge to the student directly. The teacher is afacilitator only. The child will actively explore the outside worldand try to make sense based on his/her cognitive level ofoperation. An imposition on him/her will confuse the childespecially if that impositions is not parallel to his level. Thisposition brings out an implication about the role of schools andteachers in childs learning a passive one. This implication iscriticized by many educators since it underestimates childrenslearning abilities and the influence of schooling on childscognitive development.
What would you do?The District’s program demands a unit about poetry that includes alesson about symbolism. You are worried that many of your fifth gradestudents are not ready to understand this concept so abstract, so youdecide to question some of them about what is a symbol.“They are big metal plates that sound when you clap them” – saysEstela as she waves her hands like a big drum.“Yes, -adds Juan-. My sister plays them in her highschool band.”You realize that they are in the wrong road, so you try again. “I’m nottalking about the cymbals, but about symbols, like rings are the symbolfor marriage, or a heart is the symbol for love, or…”You feel all the astonished looks. Pedro tries: “You mean like theOlympic torch.”“And what is what it represents, Pedro?”, you ask.“I already told you, the torch”, he answers wondering how somebodycould be so obtuse.
Answer these questions:1. What do these reactions tell you about the children thinking?2. How would you approach this unit?3. What else could you do to “listen” to the thoughts of your students and adapt what you are teaching to their level of thought?4. What would you do for your students to acquire the concrete experience about symbolism?5. How would you decide if the development of the students is not enough for this material?
Compare and Contrast Share with a partner the answers you gave to the 5 questions. Are they similar? Are they very different? Talk with your partner. Discuss options of examples. Write guidelines for the class.
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