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David Ausubel

A modified presentation on David Ausubel's Theories

Christian Cristoful

on 27 September 2012

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Transcript of David Ausubel

David P. Ausubel,M.D. (1918-2008) Biography Ausubel was influenced by the teachings of Jean Piaget. Similar to Piaget’s ideas of conceptual schemes, Ausubel related this to his explanation of how people acquire knowledge. “David Ausubel theorized that people acquire[d] knowledge primarily by being exposed directly to it rather than through discovery” (Woolfolk et al., 2010, p. 288) In other words, Ausubel believed that understanding concepts, principles, and ideas are achieved through deductive reasoning. Learning Theory Theory He was a cognitive learning theorist who focused on the learning of school subjects and who placed considerable interest on what the student already knows as being the primary determiner of whether and what he/she learns next. Ausubel viewed learning as an active process, not simply responding to your environment. Learners seek to make sense of their surroundings by integrating new knowledge with that which they have already learned. Ausubel's Learning Theory Was born and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, October 25, 1918 He studied at the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated with honors, receiving a bachelor's degree majoring in Psychology - 1939 Ausubel later graduated from medical school in 1943 at Middlesex University Following his military service with the US Public Health Service, Ausubel earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University - 1950 Ausubel retired from academic life and devoted himself to his psychiatric practice - 1973 He received the Thorndike Award from the American Psychological Association for "Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education - 1976 Ausubel retired from professional life to devote himself full time to writing, with which four books resulted - 1994 he passed away at the age of 89 - July 9, 2008 Learning Rote Meaningful new knowledge Cognitive structure memorizing concious effort builds requires to link linked into doesn't build as in Ausebel's Meaningful Theory (cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr Derivative Subsumption Combinatorial learning Correlative subsumption Superordinate learning Ausubel's 4 process of meaningful learning. This describes the situation in which the new information I learn is an instance or example of a concept that I have already learned "elaboration, extension, or modification of the previously learned concept or proposition by the subsumption of the incoming idea"; in other words, a new characteristic or feature is added to an existing idea. "a new inclusive proposition or concept is learned under which already established ideas can be subsumed" new info is combined or related to other info
a broad sense because there is no existing
anchor which it can be attached over or under. Ausubel indicates that there are three essential conditions to meaningful learning

The use of a meaningful learning set to the learning task
no intention to memorize
existence of prior knowledge Advance Organizer (cc) image by rocketboom on Flickr used to provide a structure at the beginning of a major unit of study.
act as subsuming bridgde bridge between new learning material and existing related ideas.
Presented before the actual topics to be learned. 2 different types of Advance Organizational II. EXPOSITORY I. COMPARATIVE. presents a study of the differences between items the student already knows and what they are about to learn. Presents a basic concept at a very high, abstract level. They can be used in combination also, but it is more likely to be used separately as each has its own separate strength. Criticism

“The most persuasively voiced criticism of advance organizers is that their definition and construction are vague and, therefore, that different researchers have varying concepts of what an organizer is and can only rely on intuition in constructing one-- since nowhere, claim the critics, is it specified what their criteria are and how they can be constructed” (Ausubel, 1978, p. 251).

In a response to critics, Ausubel defends advance organizers by stating that there is no one specific example in constructing advance organizers as they “always depends on the nature of the learning material, the age of the learner, and his degree of prior familiarity with the learning passage” (Ausubel, 1978, p. 251).

Another criticism of Ausubel’s advance organizers is that the critics often compare the idea of advance organizers with overviews. However, Ausubel has addressed that issue in saying that advance organizers differ from overviews “in being relatable to presumed ideational content in the learner’s current cognitive structure” (Ausubel, 1978, p. 252).

Thirdly, critics also address the notion of advance organizers on whether they are intended to favour high ability or low ability students. However, Ausubel notes that “advance organizers are designed to favour meaningful learning..” (Ausubel, 1978, p. 255).Therefore, to question whether advance organizers are better suited for high or low ability students is unrelated as Ausubel argues that advance organizers can be catered to any student to aid them in bridging a gap between what they already know and what they are about to learn.
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