How Do Children Learn?
Once born, children develop strength :
• from top to bottom
• from the inside to the outside
• from large muscle to small muscle
This is a sequence that all humans
How Do Children Learn?
When a child is born, he/she comes with a brain
ready and eager to learn. It has great potential
for development, depending on what we put
Early experiences greatly influence the way a
person develops and determine how their
learning patterns develop.
As children interact with their environment, they
learn problem solving skills, Critical thinking
skills, and language skills.
How Could Teachers Foster
Children Cognitive Development?
• Hands on learning is good for both
children and adults. The learner is
actively involved instead of just sitting
• working puzzles,
• making collages,
• painting, measuring ingredients for you
as you cook,
• simple board games together…
• Lakeisha and George are painting at the
easel. Each of them has a jar of blue
paint and a jar of yellow paint. Suddenly
George yells, "Look, 'Keisha, I made
green!" "How did you do it?" asks
Lakeisha. "I put yellow paint on top of
my blue paint - yellow and blue put
together make green!" yells George.
Other children gather around to watch
and ask for a turn. The teacher wonders
aloud what would happen if they mixed
other colors. She allows the children to
explore colors and and help her chart
their color discoveries with words and
To encourage mental development
• Ask open-ended questions .
• Give children choices.
• Allow and encourage creativity
• Build language skills.
• Learn about the neighborhood and the city through walks and field
• Provide many manipulative materials which encourage the
development of problem solving skills.
• Encourage counting objects through games and individual activities.
• Ask the children for their opinions.
• Make charts with their predictions and their opinions and reread them
• Read daily to the children.
• Remember, what children know depends on the experiences they have
Concept of Intelligence
• Intelligence comes from the Latin verb
"intellegere", which means "to
• By this rationale, intelligence (as
understanding) is arguably different
from being "smart" (able to adapt to
one's environment), or being "clever"
(able to creatively adapt).
• Intelligence (also called intellect) is an
umbrella term used to describe a property
of the mind that encompasses many
related abilities, such as the capacities to
reason, to plan, to solve problems, to think
abstractly, to comprehend ideas, to use
language, and to learn.
• There are several ways to define
intelligence. In some cases, intelligence
may include traits such as creativity,
personality, character, knowledge, or
Behind The Study
• Stages of Cognitive
Development, Jean Piaget.
• Discovery Learning, Jerome
• Meaningful Learning, David
Stages of Cognitive
The four stages are:
1. Sensorimotor (birth to 2 years)
2. Preoperational (2 years to 7 years)
3. Concrete operational (7 years to 11 years)
4. Formal operational (abstract thinking; 11
years and up)
• In the sensorimotor stage, the mental
structures are mainly concerned with
the mastery of concrete objects.
• The mastery of symbols takes place in
the preoperational stage.
• In the concrete stage, children learn
mastery of classes, relations, and
numbers and how to reason.
• The last stage deals with the mastery of
Assimilation involves the incorporation of new
events into preexisting cognitive structures.
Accommodation means existing structures
change to accommodate to the new
information. This dual process, assimilation-
accommodation, enables the child to form
Equilibration involves the person striking a
balance between himself and the
environment, between assimilation and
Learning is an active process in which learners
construct new ideas or concepts based upon their
The learner selects and transforms information,
constructs hypotheses, and makes decisions,
relying on a cognitive structure to do so.
Cognitive structure (i.e., schema, mental models)
provides meaning and organization to experiences
and allows the individual to "go beyond the
As far as instruction is concerned, the instructor
should try and encourage students to discover
principles by themselves. The instructor and student
should engage in an active dialog (i.e., socratic
• Learning is constructed by a student
through two processes: the Resolution of
conflict and Reflection about theory.
• Discovery learning is preferred over
expository teaching. The learner
determines his or her own best way of
learning, and that learning should not be
externally determined and controlled.
• Discovery learning increases motivation to
learn, and also produces better long-term
• The learner must be active, because
only he/she can select and interpret
information from the environment.
• Constructivism does not necessarily
mean hands-on -learning. What the
learner already knows determines
what he/she will learn.
• Knowledge is a personally meaningful
• It promotes a students' free exploration
within a given framework or structure.
• Modern technological advances such as
interactive laser disks, multimedia
technologies, on-line facilities and the
Worlds Wide Web provide students
with access to databases and sear
engines which support discovery
• Cognitive theorists are concerned
with the changes in a student's
understanding that result from
• Learning must be meaningful.
• Cognitive learning is based on
schemata or mental structures by
which students organize their
• Schematic structures of cognitive
development change by the
process of assimilation and
David Ausubel's "assimilation
theory of learning"
• It promotes the idea that people learn better if
they can find meaning in the learning.
• Rote learning or memorization is used for
information that a learner is required to know
but does not find meaningful.
• If a learner is presented with new information
that processes some external or internal
characteristics which enable the learner to
associate it with previous learning, the learner
may learn the new information because it is
meaningful to him/her.
• The relationship between short- term and
• Organization of knowledge in long-term
memory is called cognitive structure.
• Cognitive strategies useful in making
learning meaningful and useful for
transfer of learning have been identified:
rehearsal strategies, elaboration
strategies, organization strategies,
comprehension monitoring strategies and
1. The most general ideas of a subject should
be presented first and then progressively
differentiated in terms of detail and
2. Instructional materials should attempt to
integrate new material with previously
presented information through
comparisons and cross-referencing of new
and old ideas.
How To Develop Thinking
• Problems are related to dilemmas, doubts,
• These tools are logical "thinking tools”
They can be used in standalone situations,
or together they form a coherent problem-
solving and change management system.
• Their generic purpose is to translate
intuition to a format that can be discussed
rationally, questioned without offense,
and modified to more fully reflect the
understanding of the situation.
• “Everyone knows what attention is. It is the
taking possession by the mind, in clear and
vivid form, of one out of what seem several
simultaneously possible objects or trains of
thought. Focalization, concentration, of
consciousness are of its essence. It implies
withdrawal from some things in order to deal
effectively with others, and is a condition which
has a real opposite in the confused, dazed,
scatterbrained state which in French is called
distraction, and Zerstreutheit in German”
• William James, in his monumental Principles of
• Before one can learn anything, perception must
take place, i.e. one has to become aware of it
through one of the senses.
• Subsequently one has to interpret whatever
one has seen or heard. In essence then,
perception means interpretation.
• Lack of experience may cause a person to
misinterpret what he has seen or heard.
• In other words, perception represents our
apprehension of a present situation in terms of
our past experiences, or, as stated by the
philosopher Kant “We see things not as they
are but as we are.”
• Receptive memory: recognizing visual or auditory
• Sequential memory: This refers to the ability to recall
stimuli in their order of observation or presentation.
Many dyslexics have poor visual sequential memory.
• Rote memory: This refers to the ability to learn
certain information as a habit pattern.
• Short-term memory: Working Memory, Krudsen
• Long-term memory: This refers to the ability to
retrieve information of things learned in the past.
No real progress can be attained by either the child or
the teacher when the same ground has to be covered
over and over because the child has forgotten.
• You want to learn how to play softball so
that you can join a team. How will you
learn to play?
• 1. Buy a book and read about how to play
• 2. Watch a video about softball.
• 3. Ask a friend who plays to grab a ball,
bat, and glove and teach you.