HIS BIOGRAPHYRobert Siegler was born in Chicago in 1949. His parents had left Germany 10 years earlier because they were afraid of the threatening situations of war. His parents were afraid to get killed, therefore decided to come to the United States. Schools Dates Degree MajorHe received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Univ. of Illinois 1970.He went to graduate school at SUNY at Stony Brook 1970-1974 where he received a Ph.D. in Psychology Memberships in Professional Organizations:He is a current member of the American Psychological Association Society for Research in Child Development Cognitive Development SocietyAchievements He has publish 8 books, has edited 5 more, and has over 200 publish articles He was also honored the Distinguish Scientific Contribution Award in 2005 by the American Psychological Association His book Emerging Minds was recognized as one of the best psychological books in 1996. He was also asked to join the National Mathematics Advisory Panelto recommend ways of advancing mathematicseducation in the U. S.
HIS PATH TO PSYCHOLOGYWhen he was in high school he would wonder why country leaders acted in ways which affected their countries whether in positive or negative way in the past, and how those actions influenced their present and possibly their future. When I read this I was thinking that his thoughts on this were referred to when his parents left Germany due to war. So I think this is why he was first interested in history and consider that he was already thinking as a psychologist.In college, he was initially pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics, but during his junior year in college he was simultaneously taking a boring economics course with an interesting psychology course in perception. At the end, he ended up graduation with a psychology degree.
When he started graduate school, he was undecided whether to go into clinical psychology or cognitive development. Why Children Cognitive Learning?He decided what he wanted while working with his advisor Robert Liebert who is a tall and imposing man, and saw how a 5yr old girl defied him by saying that a large and thin glass had more water than a shorter and wider glass container. He was intrigue by the girl’s thinking process and how she did not change her mind, or choice for that matter after Mr. Liebert was explained to her how she was incorrect. This is when Robert Siegler decided that he wanted to research children's’ cognitive learning development.
Siegler’s Research have contributed to better understanding on why low income children’s performance may be low in in math and what are the reasons for that. He also compares why low income children perform lower than middle or high income children when they first enter school. All this analysis is done through the understanding of his research from children’s numerical perception of numbers.He then proposes that children go through a variety of approaches when choosing an answer in math. This is explained with his proposal of the Overlapping theory, which I’ll explained further into the presentation.
So what Siegler is saying is that low income children are at a disadvantage when they enter school because they have very poor conception of numbers, they really don’t understand the magnitude of numbers. They don’t understand the true value of numbers. In this example, 2nd grade students were asked to estimate the approximate position of 71 in a scale ranging from 1-1000. This illustrates where the average of the choices were made. Now, I know that we can think or say that this is a difficult concept for them to grasp at this age, but it is not. And what Siegler is saying is that even in from pre-k – 3rd, the estimations from children are off on scales of 1-10, 1-100, or 1-1000. His research exhibits the struggles that children have with estimating, magnitudes, identification, and to a minor extend counting.
These were the board games that were use in the study.The Number Board Game- child spin a spinner with numbers (1-10). Let’s say for example that he was at 3 and spun a 4, he would say/count 4,5,6,7.The Color Board Game- the same principals applied. Logarithmic and linear study"We think this numerical representation skill is a key part of math learning in general," he noted.
Number Line Estimation: LinearityIn this task, children simply had to estimate a given number. The result shows the Mean to be approximately 15% in the initial evaluation. Then we can see how the improvement of accuracy estimation after playing with the number line board. The follow-up was made after 9 weeks.The colored board game shows minimal effects.Magnitude ComparisonThe child had to identify which number was bigger. After the two weeks, we can see how the children did a much better job comparing numbers. They were given two numbers and they had to state which was the bigger or the smaller number. Again we see no significant changes on those children that played the color board game.
Numerical IdentificationsThis task consisted on number identification. Again, we can see improvement in the ability to recognize the numbers they were asked. The color board game had some positive gains as well.Counting This task was probably the easiest for children to achieve. The majority of the students were able to count to ten, however there was room for improvement and that was achieve. At the end of the study everyone was counting al the way to ten and it stayed like that even after the follow up period. Results for the color board game children had some improvement, yet they were not as significant as those who were actually playing with numbers.
According to Siegler,Sigler’s book Emerging Minds was published in 1996 with a specific focal point in mind proposed through his Overlapping Wave Theory. According to Siegler, he focuses on answering the basic developmental psychology question, how does change occur? Siegler states that his intent on writing this book is to analyze how change occurs, but more specifically how change occurs in children’s thinking ( Siegler, 1996 ). Siegler’s explains that prior studies on children’s cognitive development have concentrated on the quality of choice rather than the quality of the choice processes that generated them. He proposes an evolutionary development framework to be more precise rather than a staircase model view on children’s development ( Siegler ). His theory emphasizes that children use various strategies when solving problems, but choose them adaptively depending to prior knowledge or current situation. The development consists of acquiring new strategies, ways of thinking about problems, and the increasing reliance of effective choices which is gain through age and experience. (National Mathematics Advisory Panel, 2006) .
Problem Solving The Overlapping Wave Theory consists of several actions. _____________________.Adaptivity to Multiplicity children use a variety of his book Emerging Minds, Siegler states the numerous studies on children have concentrated on the quality of choice rather than the quality of the choice processes that generated them. This simply means that children will choose answers depending on what or how much knowledge they have on a specific problem. if a child is His research demonstrates that the low income students performance was less successful than middle income students, not because they could not understand which approach to used, but because they would select the retrieval approach, (knowledge levels, by memory) an area in which they lack knowledge.pproaches to solve a class problem more effective approaches become more common with age and experience children frequently discover new approaches children choose adaptively among the approaches they are familiar with
In his theory, Siegler talks about retrieval and alternative approaches. I interpret Siegler’s term Retrieval Approach as prior knowledge or from memory. Alternative approaches are any other strategies that children may use to answer mathematical questions. Examples of these are counting with fingers or counting from the largest number. In his book Emerging Minds, Siegler discusses that that the low income students’ performance was less successful than middle income students, not because they could not understand which approach to used, but because they selected the retrieval approach, (knowledge levels, by memory) an area in which they lack knowledge (Siegler, 1996). If they don’t have the background knowledge of understanding numerical concepts, then can’t use a retrieval approach. Siegler also states that the alternative approach is usually a back up when the child cannot answer by using the retrieval approach. However, children still have to make choices that require alternative approaches. A further correlation is made by Siegler explaining that when a child is able to use retrieval approach it means that the difficulty level is lower. In contrast, if they require an alternative approach, the difficulty level is higher and brings forth the possibility of more incorrect answers. Also, children will make choices depending on the number of increased trials attempted successfully and eventually base on experience and age.
The alternative approaches were usually a back up when they could not answer by using the retrieval approach. These approaches meant that the problem was at a higher difficulty level and that it brought forth the possibility of more incorrect answers.
Siegler’s research also demonstrates other patterns. The child will make a choice depending on the situation. If they require an accurate answer, lets say they are taking the 1st semester exam, then they will use an alternative approach. They want to make sure they have the correct choice even though they take longer to answer. Also, children will make choices depending on the number of increase trials in which they are successful and eventually base on experience and age.According to an article from Carnegie Mellon University and other critics, His overlapping theory has proven useful for understanding the acquisition of a variety of math skills and concepts, including arithmetic, proportionality, mathematical equality, decimal fractions, number conservation and estimation.
RobertSieglerTeresa Heinz Professor of Cognitive PsychologyCarnegie Mellon University<br />Presented by Luis E. Troncoso<br />Learning and Cognition<br />EDCI 6304<br />
Personal and Social Background <br />Biography<br />Current Professional Organizations<br />Achievements<br />Photo by Ken Andreyo<br />
The Path Into Psychology<br />His first interest was History.<br />He was pursuing a degree in economics.<br />
Robert Siegler’s Contributions<br /><ul><li> Children’s Cognitive Development</li></ul> Particularly Math and Science<br /> Children’s Understanding of Numerical Line Representations<br /> -Numerical Board Games<br /> Proposed the Overlapping Wave Theory<br />
Number Line Representation<br />0<br />1000<br />71<br />Where would the number 71 be positioned in this number line?<br />
References<br />American Psychological Association. (2005, November). Robert Siegler, <br /> Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions. American Psychologist, <br /> 60(8), 767-778. Web Site: http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/AmPsychBio.pdf<br />Booth, J. L., & Siegler, R. S. (2008). Numerical Magnitude Representations Influence Teaching the Meaning of Number Arithmetic Learning. Child Development, 79(4), 1016-1031. Retrieved from http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/boo-sieg08.pdf<br />Siegler, R. S. (2009). Improving the Numerical Understanding of Children. Child Development Perspectives 3(2), 118-124. Retrieved from Society for Research in Child Development Web site: http://www.psy.cmu.edu/~siegler/sieg-cdper09.pdf<br />