How do children learn 2

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How do children learn?

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  • Before they move ask them to take a piece of paper and fold it into for quarters. Then say if you are number 1,4, 7 10 write your answer to the first question in the top right hand corner.
    If you are number 2,5,8, 11 write the answer to the second question in the top right hand corner
    If you are number 3,6,9,12 write your answer to the third question in the top right hand corner
    Now find the other people in the class with your number (there will be one or two others) and share your answers with them. Add into the second quadrant anything extra which comes from this conversation.
    Now find another pair who have looked at your question to talk to (there should be four groups working on each question so they should combine to be groups of 4,5 or 6). Share the points that you have highlighted with your group discussion. Place points from the group discussion into the third quadrant
    Final quadrant discuss how what you have discussed may impact on my teaching.
    After the session in your reading groups make sure that you discuss and make notes on all of the other questions
  • For Piaget, the physical environment is important and the adult role is to make sure that environment is rich and stimulating, then to occasionally ask questions that challenge children's thinking about the environment.
    Piaget focused on the way an individual child acts upon objects in the environment in order to build mental models of the way the world works.
  • It is the work of Piaget and Vygotsky who fundamentally changed the way we view children. Before them we had very different ways of seeing children. Philosophers and theologians such as St Augustine in 4th and 5th century viewed children as creatures of original sin innately wicked. Use of corporal punishment (show them the birch) as ‘God’s instrument to cure the evils of their condition’ Curtis and Boultwood (1961)
    Rousseau in 18th Century changed this view Emile (1762) -- children naturally good and need of rescue from the bad world ….young children as innocents. Learn through natural circumstances.
    Currently there is the focus on seeing children as co constructors of their learning and this is fundamental to the EYFS there is still a focus on behavourist approaches too. You can see this idea of the children as passive recipients of the knowledge we decide they need to know in the more formal educational contexts. Ie they set teaching lessons and children receive that teaching no learning happens without teachers. We do not believe this which is why we have child intitiated activities we believe that they are active participants in their own learning. You might also find that people whose main area of work is with children with SEN mya also show this philosphy/pedagogy
    Seeing ourselves as co-constructors allows us to see children’s misconceptions as part of a learning journey and not just wrong!
    Working in this way allows the adult to work with the children in both adult directed and child initiated activities building on opportunities that come about through play. They can model curiosity, cooperation, respect for evidence, persistence and resilience
  • Constructivism is a psychological theory of knowledge which argues that humans generate knowledge and meaning from their experiences. Piaget's theory of constructivist learning has had wide ranging impact on learning theories and teaching methods in education and is an underlying theme of many education reform movements. Research support for constructivist teaching techniques has been mixed, with some research supporting these techniques and other research contradicting those results.
    Key ideas:
    Child as a scientist- learning through exploration
    Highlights the significance of learning through PLAY over instruction
    Child CONSTRUCTS own understanding with practice/ experience
    Schemas
    Piaget called the schema the basic building block of intelligent behaviour – a way of organizing knowledge. Humans have an innate tendency to organise thinking into ‘cognitive structures’ – ways of making sense of experience through organised systems of actions.
    Children’s skills evolve & develop with experience.
    Assimilation, accommodation and equilibrium; new information is incorporated within existing schema (assimilation), or may require the development of new schema (accomodation). When a child's existing schemas are capable of explaining what it can perceive around it, it is said to be in a state of equilibrium, i.e. a state of cognitive (i.e. mental) balance. Equilibrium occurs when a child's schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation. However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurs when new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas (assimilation).
    Equilibration is the force which drives the learning process as we do not like to be frustrated and will seek to restore balance by mastering the new challenge (accommodation).
  • You need to put this slide into play to see how it works.
    It is a very simple way of explaining schema
    This is how I talk to the slide
    First remember that Piaget was a Swiss biologist so the terms he uses are influenced by this.
    Schema is a Swiss term which he defined as roughly meaning an organised pattern of thought or behaviour. You cannot see schemas as they are an internal process within the brain you can only deduce that they exist through what you see. Piaget spent a lot of time watching children learn and this is how he explained it.
    Start slide: Equilibrium
    When a child is not learning they are in a resting state which he called Equilibrium.
    Press for Schema
    In equilibrium typically a child will have a number of schema which may be innate or learnt from previous experience. Even newborns have schema e.g. they respond positively to patterns which look like faces (and of course real faces) they have a sucking reflex and moro reflex etc
    Press for Disequilibrium
    When something new comes along for a child to learn they are immediately put into disequilibrium. Sometimes you can see this by the child’s reaction (look of confusion, puzzlement, looking intently etc)
    Press for Accommodation and Assimilation
    The response to disequilibrium (if learning takes place) is either accommodation or assimilation
    Accommodation – where a new schema is formed
    Assimilation – where the new information is incorporated into an existing schema
    Press again Adaptation
    This process either assimilating the information into an existing schema of accommodating and making a new schema is called Adaptation.
    Press again
    Equilibrium
    So once child has adapted to the new information learning has taken place and they go back to equilibrium until something new comes along and the cycle is repeated
    Press until you get the third and last equilibrium
    Now you understand the process lets look at an example.
    Press again
    Bricks are wooden and cuboid
    This child has a schema for blocks and believes that all blocks are wooden and cuboid because that is ther experience. They are in equilibrium with this information.
    Press again
    But then someone gives them arch shaped bricks. They go into disequilibrium
    Press again and again
    and explore and play with the arches until they adapt to them.
    Press again they respond by changing their block schema to include arches bricks are wooden cuboid and arch shaped. Which process did they undergo?? Answer: Assimilation
    Press again
    They stay in equilibrium until something new puts them into disequilibrium …plastic bricks and the cycle repeats so that they end up with assimilating the information and changed schema of blocks Bricks are wooden, cuboid,arch shaped and plastic.
    Note: I don’t give a very good/clear ref to this slide because it comes from an NVQ level 3 textbook. I don’t want them to follow it up. It is too simplistic for our students so if they want to refer to schema like this I refer them to Erica and Nadia’s chapter which they have just read.
  • For Piaget, the physical environment is important and the adult role is to make sure that environment is rich and stimulating, then to occasionally ask questions that challenge children's thinking about the environment.
    Piaget focused on the way an individual child acts upon objects in the environment in order to build mental models of the way the world works.
  • Social Constructivism: Lev Vygotsky
    Dies age 30; His work was not translated for 30 years
    KEY CONCEPTS...
    Astonishing parallels between this and Piaget’s perspectives suggest that the time was right for this kind of thinking...
    Moves away from scientific conceptions of human behaviour/ seeking an ultimate explanation or formula...
    People are ‘incomplete’ without interaction with others
    Social constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge that applies the general philosophical constructionism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artefacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed within a culture of this sort, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture on many levels.
  • Video link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BX2ynEqLL4
    Activity involves finding the word which links three words.
    Divide class in half and Give everyone a sheet of questions (one is harder than the other) make sure that half the class have one sheet while the other half have the other. Allow about 4 mins to try to complete the sheet explain we are hoping that they can’t do them all!!! and then ask them to stop. Hopefully they will not have been able to solve them all.
    then give the answers to the problems they did not have and ask them to pair up with someone who did a different sheet.
    Their job now is to facilitate the learning of the other person. Think how you might help someone to solve these problems. Stay calm give clues support their thinking. Give them 4 minute for each sheet
    Discuss
  • ZPD is the room for extension: the ‘gap’ between known & unknown
    In contrast to Piaget’s ‘solo’ scientist, Vygotsky argues that development occurs with others before individual
    A child can achieve more with support/ encouragement of others than without, although we typically measure what children can do unaided and not potential with others!
  • A and B task
    Object hidden in place A on a number of accassions substage 4 babaies find it but whan hidden in a different por=sition place B they again look in place A whereas sbstage 5 babies look in place B
    2 cardboard rabbits one tall one short and a screen. Rabbits travelled behing screen to emerge other side babies watched and looking measured until habituated got bored no longer interested.
    Then new screen with a window in middle high up so when tall rabbit travelled behind could see his head. Possible and impossible event short rabbit travelled behind screen and then other side not seen through window. Then tall rabbit travelled behind and appeared on other side but also did not appear in window impossible event. Increased looking at impossible event. She concluded babies know more about the properties of objects and their permanence than Piaget suggested.
  • BRUNER began work in the 50s/60s USA
    Developed Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s ideas
    Children have an innate desire and capacity for learning
    READINESS- he believed that children needed to reach an appropriate developmental level in order to be able to make the best use of school-based learning experiences
    e.g. not beginning to write formally until showing definite signs of readiness in pre-skills
    Teachers should identify the child’s learning stage and then help them move on by ‘scaffolding’ the next task creating challenge but not beyond capacity.
    SPIRAL CURRICULUM revisiting learning objectives at different ages [stages] to rehearse skills with the benefit of broader experience links to NC
    THE LEARNING CONTEXT the importance of personal relevance-
    Learning through play/ investigation: exploring core skills in a meaningful setting- e.g. money via shop role play; SS&M through model making/ construction play
    ROLE OF LANGUAGE –peer & adult language interaction as a central feature of supporting & extending learning
    Importance of understanding how language develops in order to understand how to facilitate learning [
  • SCAFFOLDING... Building on ZPD
    Creating a supportive environment with social interaction to enable learning – in a broader sense scaffolding is what we all do all the time – in particular Bruner noted this in the way in which parents and children interacted.
    In his research on the cognitive development of children (1966), Jerome Bruner proposed three modes of representation:
    Enactive representation (action-based) -  It involves encoding action based information and storing it in our memory. For example, in the form of movement as a muscle memory, a baby might remember the action of shaking a rattle.
    Iconic representation (image-based) - This is where information is stored visually in the form of images (a mental picture in the mind’s eye). For some, this is conscious; others say they don’t experience it. This may explain why, when we are learning a new subject, it is often helpful to have diagrams or illustrations to accompany verbal information.
    Symbolic representation (language-based) - In the symbolic stage, knowledge is stored primarily as words, mathematical symbols, or in other symbol systems.
  • Urie Bronfenbrenner a Russian American Pyschologist
    we all experience more than one type of environment, including •  the microsystem - the immediate environment in which a person is operating, such as the family, classroom, peer group, neighbourhood, etc.  • the mesosystem - the interaction of two microsystem environments, such as the connection between a child’s home and school, Home system <---> School system •  the exosystem - the environment in which an individual is not directly involved, which is external to his or her experience, but nonetheless affects him or her. An example of an exosystem is the parent’s workplace. Although a child may never have any role in the parent’s workplace, or, in fact, never even go there, the events which occur at the parents’s place of employment do affect the child. For example, if the parent has a bad day at work, or is laid off, or promoted, or has to work overtime, all of these events impact the family and the child.• the macrosystem - the larger cultural context, including issues of cultural values and expectations• the chronosystem - events occurring in the context of passing time.
    These events may have impact on a particular birth cohort.Each of these systems are characterised by roles, norms (expected behaviour) and relationships. For example, an individual usually acts differently within his or her own family than within a classroom. The person may speak more often at home etc
    Ecological systems model
    Consider: 1)What difference would it make to a child’s learning if the school and home had a good relationship and 2) how would this differ if they had a poor or non existent relationship
  • Return to key questions. For Vygotsky, Bruner & Bronfenbrenner:
    Group to discuss three key questions:
    How do children acquire knowledge?
    What is the adult’s role?
    What is the child’s role?
    Group to note down responses on large sheet.
  • How do children learn 2

    1. 1. How do children learn? Key Learning Theories 2 Constructivism Social Constructivism
    2. 2. Today we are thinking about... • Key theories of learning; Last time: Behaviourism Social Learning Theory This time: Constructivism Social Constructivism • How theories of learning relate to practice
    3. 3. Reading Feedback
    4. 4. Theories of learning Big Questions How do children acquire knowledge? What is the adult’s role? What is the child’s role? Constructivism Social Constructivism
    5. 5. Children as coconstructors of knowledge • Children as competent and confident learners with their own theories about the world and how it works • Children and adults will bring their own ideas, theories and experience and knowledge and seek to make meaning as they explore and investigate together • Adult needs to acknowledge children’s skills and knowledge and realise that they do not have control over the final outcome of the experience.
    6. 6. Constructivism • Key Ideas • The child constructs meaning of the world through exploration and experimentation. Learning is active • The child evolves & refines schemas with experience and practice. • Child as scientist • Key Individuals • Jean Piaget • Key Concepts • Schema, Stages of Development • Implications • Individual experiences • Age appropriate curriculum
    7. 7. Piaget’s stages of development
    8. 8. Constructivism (Piaget) Big Questions How do children acquire knowledge? What is the adult’s role? What is the child’s role?
    9. 9. Social Constructivism • Key Ideas • The child constructs meaning of the world through exploration and experimentation. Learning is active • The child evolves & refines schemas with experience and practice. • Child as scientist • Key Individuals • Jean Piaget • Key Concepts • Schema, Stages of Development • Implications • Individual experiences • Age appropriate curriculum
    10. 10. Vygotski Video Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development
    11. 11. Zone of Proximal Development
    12. 12. How do we support learning? • Learning happens as the child adapts to the environment. The ’little scientist’. • Learning happens as a more able other supports the child in understanding their environment through social interaction.
    13. 13. Jerome Bruner (1915 -) • Key Ideas • ‘Readiness’ for learning • The spiral curriculum • The learning context –social/cultural implications • The role of language in thinking & reasoning: a ‘tool of thought’
    14. 14. Jerome Bruner (1915 -) • Key Ideas • Scaffolding • Creating a supportive environment • Importance of social interaction (scaffolding occurs all the time – parents, other children...) • Challenge • Development: • Enactive representation – doing • Iconic representation – pictures and patterns • Symbolic representation – language
    15. 15. Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005)
    16. 16. Social Constructivism Big Questions How do children acquire knowledge? What is the adult’s role? What is the child’s role?
    17. 17. For next time... • Parker-Rees, R. (2010) ‘Active playing and learning’ in Parker-Rees, R. and Leeson, C. (eds) Early Childhood Studies: An introduction to the study of children’s worlds and children’s lives (3rdEd), Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd • Consider the questions: What does play look like? Why is play considered to be important for learning? •

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