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Piaget & Vygotsky


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Cognitive and Knowledge Development

A presentation of learning theories that explain the differences between the ways children think and develop and the ways adults learn.

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Piaget & Vygotsky

  1. 1. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Cognitive and Knowledge Development<br />Chapter - Piaget<br />Adapted from California State University, Los Angeles, School of Education ( &<br />Driscoll, M.P., (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 3rd ed., Pearson Education: New York.<br />
  2. 2. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Theoretical Framework<br />There was a need for a learning theory that could explain the differences between the ways children think and develop and the ways adults learn.<br />
  3. 3. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />What is genetic epistemology and how is the term used by Piaget?<br />Origins of knowledge - sometimes labeled constructivism, since cognition was assumed to be an interaction between heredity and the environment.<br />Discuss and differentiate between the various types of knowledge as defined by Piaget<br />Physical knowledge - knowledge about objects in the world which can be gained through their attributes or perceptual properties<br />Logical-mathematical knowledge is abstract and must be created or invented through actions on objects that are fundamentally different from actions that enable physical knowledge. <br />There must be some type of schema or framework created. <br />The advantage with this type of knowledge is that it has a greater range of applications<br />Social knowledge - cultural specific and can only be gained through experience and interaction with others with the cultural group<br />
  4. 4. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />What criteria were used by Piaget to define his developmental stages?<br />Each stage represents a qualitative change <br />Children progress through each stage regardless of their cultural orientation<br />Each stage includes the cognitive structures and abilities of the preceding stage<br />At each stage the child's schemes and operations form an integrated whole<br />
  5. 5. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss and state characteristics of each of Piaget's stages of development<br />Sensorimotor - birth - age 2<br />Modifies reflexes to make them more adaptive<br />Becomes goal -directed in behavior with goals moving from concrete to abstract<br />Preoperational - ages 2 - 7<br />Acquires the semiotic function; engages in symbolic play and language games<br />Has difficulty seeing another person’s point of view; thought and communication are egocentric<br />Reasons from a focus on one perceptual dimension of problems<br />Concrete operational - ages 7-11<br />Performs true mental operations (conservation, reversibility) and solves concrete problems on a logical fashion<br />Has difficulty thinking hypothetically and systematically considering all aspects of a problem<br />Formal operational age 11 - on to adult<br />Solves abstract problems in systematic and logical fashion<br />Reasons hypothetically and often develops concerns over social issues<br />
  6. 6. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Define and discuss:<br />Assimilation <br />occurs when a child perceives new objects or events in terms of existing schemes or operations<br />Accommodation <br />When existing schemes or operations must be modified to account for new experiences, accommodation has occurred.<br />Equilibration<br /> the master developmental process including both assimilation and accommodation - characterizes the transition from one stage to the next<br />
  7. 7. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />What are the specific criticisms of Piaget's stage theory<br />The sequence of stages is invariant <br />There is a qualitative change in cognition from stage to stage with consistency of reasoning within a stage <br />Children exhibit the characteristics of each stage and each stage includes all the competence of the previous stage<br />Global restructuring characterizes stage shifting<br />
  8. 8. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss the main principles of instruction agreed to by both Piaget and his critics<br />The learning environment should support the activity of the child<br />Children's interactions with their peers are an important source of cognitive development<br />Adopt instructional strategies that make children aware of the conflicts and inconsistencies in their thinking<br />
  9. 9. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss the role of rule in children's thinking<br />It is useful to think of children's thinking in terms of rules, yielding specific recommendations for instruction<br />Educators should understand the rules that children use in order to understand how they learn. <br />If a child's rule is faulty, it can be corrected. <br />Rules and sequence of rules for each child is important to know in order to be able to teach well<br />
  10. 10. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Chapter Vygotsky - Interactive Theory of Cognitive Development<br />Adapted from California State University, Los Angeles, School of Education ( &<br />Driscoll, M.P., (2005). Psychology of Learning for Instruction, 3rd ed., Pearson Education: New York.<br />
  11. 11. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss the concept of discovery learning<br />All forms of obtaining knowledge are available for oneself by the use one's own mind <br />rearranging or transforming evidence in such a way that one is enabled to go beyond the evidence assembled to additional new insights <br />The act of discovery became the basis of school wide pedagogy by some educators <br />discovery is not haphazard it proceeds systematically toward a model which is there all the time<br />the process involves not so much the idea of discovering what’s out there, rather what's in the student's own head.<br />
  12. 12. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Who is Lev Vygotsky and what are the major themes that make up the core of his theory?<br />Born in 1896 in Russia<br />Graduated with degree in law and liberal arts background<br />Active participant in the post-revolutionary era in Soviet Union<br />Themes of his learning theory<br />Reliance on genetic or developmental method<br />Higher mental process of the individual have their origin in social processes<br />Mental processes can be understood only if we understand the tools and signs that mediate them<br />
  13. 13. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss the nature of Vygotsky's developmental method, including:<br />The process of development<br />Children must be studied being children. <br />Not in artificial scenarios or tightly controlled environments<br />What's important is not how well did the students perform, but what did they do while they were learning or trying to solve a problem<br />Mediation<br />The individual actively modifies the stimulus situation as a part of the process of responding to it. <br />phylogenetic comparisons<br />Cognitive development is based on both biology and culture (nature and nurture)<br />
  14. 14. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss the nature of Vygotsky's developmental method, including:<br />Socio-cultural history<br />Development of intelligence to be the internalization of the tools of one's culture.<br />These tools are constantly in flux and evolving as the culture evolves. <br /> A historical perspective is important to consider when discussing development<br />Tools<br />The tools a culture uses are in a sense a reflection of the kind of thinking that is occurring<br />Signs (include various types)<br />Vygotsky believed literate cultures represented a later stage of social evolution and should have evolved higher psychological functions. <br />Literate individuals tended to group by relationship irrespective of context. <br />Non-literate individuals tended to group by context in which items were used. <br />
  15. 15. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Discuss Vygotsky's concepts ofInternalization<br />Any higher mental function necessarily goes through an external stage in its development because it is initially a social function. <br />Learning is dependent upon interactions between individuals<br />zone of proximal development<br />The gap between the child's actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers<br />With the "Zone of Proximal Development" as a framework what constitutes good instruction?<br />Teaching thinking skills versus Content-specific skills<br />Attention to and monitoring of the type and level of interaction accruing between the student who is less advanced and the student is more advanced<br />
  16. 16. ED 6400 - Brownlee<br />Describe the important role Vygotsky placed on language in cognitive development<br />A consequence of internalization is the ability to use signs in increasingly elaborate ways that that extend the boundaries of children's understanding<br />The development of language was thought of by Vygotsky to have the greatest impact on children's acquisition of higher psychological processes<br />Language constitutes the most important sign-using behavior to occur during cognitive development because it frees children from the constraints of their immediate environment<br />It allows children to become more and more removed form a concrete context.<br />