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  1. 1. Activity Alignment with Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory Team A: Alice Allen, Amanda Pegues, Emily Carter, Shari Hardy, Bobbi Murrell
  2. 2. Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory (Bee & Boyd, 2004) • Piaget considered children to be active participants in the development of their own knowledge • Proposed that children are born with basic schemes (basic actions of knowing) and incorporate new schemes during life through: – Assimilation • absorbing new experiences into existing schemas – Accommodation • modification of existing schemes as a result of new information – Equilibration • restructuring of schemes 2
  3. 3. Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory (Bee & Boyd, 2004) • Developed 4 stages in which children’s learning evolves: – Sensorimotor • Birth to 18 months – Preoperational stage • 18 months to age 6 – Concrete operations stage • Ages 6-12 – Formal operations stage • Adolescence 3
  4. 4. Piaget and the Classroom (Bee & Boyd, 2004) • Piaget believed there were two environmental factors which led to stage progression: – Social transmission • Information the child gets from other people such as peers and teachers – Experience • The child’s actions on the world and his vision of the results • School exposes children to many opportunities for social transmission and experience 4
  5. 5. Application of Piaget’s Theory to Classroom • According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) (1993): A principle of practice for primary-age children is that the curriculum provide many developmentally appropriate materials for children to explore and think about and opportunities for interaction and communication with other children and adults, Similarly, the content of the curriculum must be relevant engaging, and meaningful to the children themselves (p.64). 5
  6. 6. Learning Activity for Kindergarten: Language Arts, Science and Math THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR 6
  7. 7. Learning Outcomes Students will: • Remember the days of the week through meaningful interaction and questioning • Develop schemas in relation to phonics, language arts, and nature’s life cycles • Exercise observation skills by watching larvae turn into a butterfly through the use of a butterfly kit and streaming videos • Reinforce counting ability by charting the number of foods the caterpillar ate and providing manipulatives for exploration of numbers – “Students' use of materials helps to build their mathematical confidence by giving them a way to test and confirm their reasoning” (Ojose, 2008, p. 28). • Develop emerging skills with conservation – “Conservation is the understanding that the quantity of a substance remains the same even when its appearance changes” (Bee & Boyd, 2004, p. 155) 7
  8. 8. Teacher Planning Resources for Language Resources for Math: Arts: 1. Weekly calendar chart 1. The Very Hungry 2. Numbers for how many Caterpillar by Eric Carle foods the caterpillar ate 2. Felt board for pictures of before he made his cocoon caterpillar, larvae and butterflies Resources for Science: 3. Magazines with pictures 1. Pictures of the life cycle of different foods to of the butterfly illustrate what was eaten 2. Varied materials for 4. Cards for first letters of children to develop their each of the foods the own representation of the caterpillar ate life cycle of the butterfly 5. Pocket chart to hold letters 8
  9. 9. • Read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and discuss the story Language Arts • Have children make predictions before the book is read and connections after the book is read to assess their understanding of material • Talk about days of the week – Make the days of the week meaningful to the children by having them discuss what they do on certain days of the week • Ask questions about student’s knowledge of caterpillars and butterflies – Make a KWL chart, writing what the children know, what they want to know, and what they have learned • Provide various activities for students to demonstrate their knowledge of the story – Have children pull out letters to match to the food that begins with that letter, practicing phonics – Have children talk about their favorite foods and what they would have eaten if they were the hungry caterpillar – Supply materials at centers so that children can explore sequencing of the story, magazines with pictures of food, journals to write and draw about life cycles 9
  10. 10. Math • Graph the number of foods the caterpillar ate under each day of the week • Chart the number of foods the caterpillar ate on the chalkboard • Develop conservation concept – Discuss that although the caterpillar goes through stages, he is still only one caterpillar • Provide manipulatives to represent the number of foods the caterpillar ate 10
  11. 11. Science • Have the students sequence pictures of the life cycle of a butterfly • Apply the pictures in order to the bulletin board so that the classroom can discuss the changes the caterpillar goes through • Make this activity meaningful to the children by explaining to them the stages a human goes through • Ask the children to relate their experiences with butterflies and caterpillars 11
  12. 12. Activity in relationship to Piaget’s Theory • The Very Hungry Caterpillar activity helps children learn while they are in Piaget’s preoperational stage of development • Children will begin to learn conservation, counting, days of the week, phonics, reading comprehension, and the life cycle of a caterpillar • Through varied materials the teacher will enrich the environment making the activity more meaningful to the students • Allowing the children to work together and share their observations will increase opportunities for social transmission 12
  13. 13. Piaget’s Theory: Building Schemas Regarding Nature and Conservation • This activity helps children to build their schema regarding insects and nature • Children will learn conservation: – Even though the caterpillar changes to a butterfly there is still only one creature 13
  14. 14. Construction of Knowledge Frameworks • Children construct frameworks of knowledge within which he or she organizes the specific bits – Learning phonics, such as the sound the letter C makes, will reinforce these frameworks 14
  15. 15. Enriching the Environment • The teacher must provide a rich environment in which children can construct their own schemas: – Supply pictures which show the stages of human growth paired with pictures of the stages of the caterpillars transformation – Provide pretend food which children can handle – Place posters in room with the months and days of the week – Provide bulletin and felt boards where children can post the food eaten by the caterpillar – Supply magazines and varied materials so that children can draw and write about their own preferences for food – Manipulatives should be available for children to use in counting and sorting 15
  16. 16. Social Interaction • The teacher must provide an environment where social interaction occurs • According to the NAEYC (1993): “The relevant principle of practice is that teachers recognize the importance of developing positive peer group relationships and provide opportunities and support for cooperative small group projects that not only develop cognitive ability but promote peer interaction” (p. 64) • Teachers should: • Break children into groups to discuss the activity • Discussing pieces of the activity as a whole group encouraging children to share personal knowledge and experience of the topic 16
  17. 17. Teachers Provide an Active Approach to Learning • Interaction between the student and teacher is important to create a cooperative relationship – “…the objective is to establish curricula that simultaneously match aspects of the child’s existing schemata and that move beyond the child’s current understanding. This active approach to learning allows the child to assimilate material while at the same time leading the child to modify existing schemata to accommodate the discrepant material” (Downs, Liben, & Daggs, 1988, p. 684) • Children will learn rules and morals about what is expected • The teacher will facilitate discussions transmitting information from her own schema to the children for assimilation and accommodation 17
  18. 18. Conclusion • This activity illustrates Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory through the provision of: – Developmentally appropriate practices – Making learning meaningful for the children – Opportunities for social transmission and working in the environment • Children are allowed to be active in their own learning through: – Discussions with the teacher – Conversations with classmates – Manipulative usage – Creation of their own projects to match understanding of the material • “The work of Piaget has demonstrated that learning is a complex process that results from the interaction of the children’s own thinking and their experiences in the external world” (NAEYC, 1993, p. 51) 18
  19. 19. References Arlin, P. (1990, October). Teaching as conversation. Educational Leadership, 48(2),82. Retrieved December 3, 2008, from MasterFILE Premier database. Bee, H., & Boyd, D. (2004). The developing child. Allyn and Bacon: Pearson Education, Inc. Available from the University of Phoenix eBook Collection database. Downs, R., Liben, L., & Daggs, D. (1988, December). On education and geographers: The role of cognitive developmental theory in geographic education. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 78(4), 680-700. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from Academic Search Complete database. National Association for the Education of Young Children. (1993). Developmentally appropriate practices in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8. Washington, D.C.: NAEYC. Ojose, B. (2008, Summer). Applying Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development to Mathematics Instruction. Mathematics Educator, 18(1), 26-30. Retrieved November 28, 2008, from Education Research Complete database. 19