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The Role of Development Theory in Teaching Practice

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julia forsberg

on 18 June 2015

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Transcript of The Role of Development Theory in Teaching Practice

The Role of
Developmental Theory
Teaching Practice

How cognitive and moral developmental
theories are practically applied
in the classroom.

Taking a
student-centric approach..

Theories of
Cognitive Development

An understanding of cognitive development allows the teacher to recognise the cognitive abilities of learners.
Lev Vygotsky
(Oakley, 2004)
Jean Piaget
Piaget's Theories of Cognitive Development
Four hierarchical stages of cognitive development:
Stage 1:
Sensori-motor (0-2 years)
Stage 2:
Pre-operational (2-7 years)
Stage 3:
Concrete operational (7-11/12 years)
Stage 4:
Formal operational (11/12 years onwards)
Child gains intelligence through interactions with the environment.
Child develops symbolic thinking, but does not yet reason with logic.
Child develops logical thought, but such thinking is limited to concrete situations.
Child or adolescent develops abstract thinking and logical reasoning abilities advance.
(Bond, 2008) (Carpendale, Muller & Bibok, 2008; Oakley, 2004)
and thinking
capabilities through
Cognitive advancement occurs as the child actively constructs knowledge out of experiences.
Piaget believed..
(Carpendale, Muller & Bibok, 2008)
A fellow constructivist...
Vygotsky and Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development
Vygotsky's sociocultural theory suggests that a child advances cognitive abilities through interactions and relationships with peers, parents and teachers.
Voluntary behaviour
Logical thinking
Higher level functions:
(Gauvain, 2008; New South Wales Department of Education and Training, 2006) (Johnson, 2010)
Through these social and cultural experiences, the child is able to progress towards higher level thinking capabilities.
Involuntary behaviour
Elementary perception
Lower level functions:
Piaget's Theory of Moral Development
Piaget suggested moral development occurred over two stages:
Stage 1 -
The heteronomous stage (0-10 years):
Stage 2 -
The autonomous stage (10 years onwards):
Rules are unalterable, and children assume obedience is necessary for survival.
Respect for authority is the main motivator for moral thinking and behaviour.
Increased peer interactions influences moral thinking.
Complexities in moral thinking develop (for example, concepts of equality and equity)
(Shumaker & Heckel, 2007)
Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg
Kohlberg suggested moral development occurs over six stages:
Stage 1 -
Obedience and punishment orientation
Stage 2 -
Individualism and exchange
Stage 3 -
Good Interpersonal relationships
Stage 4 -
Maintaining social order
Stage 5 -
Social contract and individual rights
Stage 6 -
Universal principles
Moral decisions are based on rules that appear fixed and unbreakable
Acknowledgment of alternative perspectives
Fair exchange as a key value
Feelings of others are valued
Acknowledgment of intentions and motivations behind actions
Recognition of impact of actions on society as a whole
Individual social contract of morality
Recognition of basic rights and democratic procedures
A desire to 'do good' even if it conflicts with societal norms.
(Shumaker & Heckel, 2007)
School Setting

provides opportunities
for the development of moral and cognitive thinking.
"Teachers are essential in creating situations that facilitate children's ability to develop understanding."

(Carpendale et al, 2008, pp.805)
(Davies, 2010)
As cognitive ability advances, children begin to link beliefs with feelings, needs and actions.
Theories of Moral Development
Key cognitive and moral developmental theories have influenced pedagogical practices in the contemporary classroom.
The influence of Piaget's cognitive theory on teaching practices
Contemporary pedagogical practices emphasise:
Cognitive processes in planning and teaching approaches
Child-centered, active learning experiences
Play-based learning opportunities
Experiences with concrete materials
Piaget's theories influenced the focus on cognitive functioning in education (Meece, 1997).
Piaget's theories are responsible for the rise of child-centered, active learning
(Oakley, 2004).
The emphasis on play, particularly in the early schooling years, is a result of Piaget's theories (Meece, 1997).
A result of Piaget's findings, learning with concrete materials features prominently in education (Webb, 2012; Bond, 2008).
The cognitive development theories of Piaget also contributed to constructivist learning theory.
(Lamon, 2011)
Vygotsky's cognitive development theory
has also shaped constructivist learning theory, and classroom practices in general..
The influence of Vygotsky's cognitive development
theory on teaching practices

(Lamon, 2011)
Contemporary pedagogical practices emphasise:
Peer interaction for learning
Scaffolding and the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
Collaborative problem solving
Fostering a community of learners
Authentic learning experiences
Vygotsky's sociocultural theory provoked the emphasis on peer interactions in education (Meece,1997).
Educators today recognise the 'ZPD' of students and scaffold learning to work towards achievable goals (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).
Knowledge develops when individual factors and sociocultural factors intersect (Talay-Ongan, 2005).
A community of learners values the contribution of all learners to the learning process (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).
Knowledge needs to be introduced as part of a meaningful activity or practice. (Barbarin & Wasik, 2009)
Moral Developmental
has also shaped contemporary classroom practice.
Influence of
Moral Developmental Theory on Classroom Practices

The emphasis on positive classroom environments
The inductive method of discipline as a behaviour management practice
Opportunities for moral exploration and discussion integrated into the curriculum
Kohlberg and Piaget agree that supportive,
safe and positive learning environments contribute to moral development (Meece, 1997; Bergin & Bergin 2012)
Teachers aiming to morally develop students employ the inductive method of discipline, providing learners with reasons for the outcomes of good and bad behaviour (Meece, 1997)
Learning areas such as English, Humanities and The Arts often explore concepts involving issues of morality (Bergin & Bergin, 2012)
The moral developmental theories of Piaget, Kohlberg and other influential theorists instigated a focus on moral development that continues to resonate in classroom practices today.

The effective teacher
employs strategies to guide the cognitive and moral development of learners.
(Authur & Peterson, 2011)
Examples of developmental theory in practice:
Encouraging cognitive development
in the Foundation year
An example plan for fostering cognitive development
in the
foundation year
Provide multisensory learning experiences
Regularly change structures and routines
Incorporate opportunities for play
Encourage external speech
Provide opportunities to build scheme and mental links
Take the role of the 'More Knowing Other': Scaffold learning by working with the learner through and beyond the Zone of Proximal Development.
By providing multisensory learning experiences, a child is offered more opportunities to process information (Talay-Ongan, 2005).
Changes in the classroom, such as rotations, rearrangements and new approaches, engage the brain to a more attentive state (Talay-Ongan, 2005)
Play offers children opportunities to refine new skills, attempt novel or challenging tasks and take on different social roles. (Talay-Ongan, 2005)
Encouraging the external speech tendencies of young students will allow them to organise thinking processes (Bergin & Bergin, 2012)
Ensure to link new information with previous understandings in order to provide opportunities for students to make mental connections (Jordan, Carlile & Stack, 2008)
(Psychohawks, 2010)
Encouraging Moral Development in Year 6
During the conventional morality level, the child considers how actions affect the feelings and needs of others. Additionally, they begin to develop an understanding of how morality concerns society as a whole.
Conventional Morality Level: Good Personal Relationships (Stage 3) & Maintaining Social Order (Stage 4):
(Shumaker & Heckel, 2007)
An example plan
for fostering moral development
in Year 6
Address issues of morality through class discussion
Encourage investigations of morality across the curriculum
Foster a democratic classroom system
Model positive moral behaviour and attitudes
Ensure a positive classroom environment
A democratic classroom system allows students to be involved in determining expectations and consequences for classroom behaviour (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).
When adults display empathy and sympathy, children are more likely to develop such qualities (Davies, 2010).
Learning areas across the curriculum, such as Drama, English and History provide opportunities to explore concepts relating to morality (Talay-Ongan, 2005).
Find opportunities to discuss morality in ways that students can relate to and encourage them to consider alternative perspectives (Marcom Projects, 2010).
A positive classroom environment encourages positive moral behaviour (Bergin & Bergin, 2012).
Cognitive and moral developmental theories have shaped contemporary teaching practices..
by providing educators insight and tools for student-centric approaches.
Stage 2 -
The pre-operational stage:
During this stage, children have the ability and interest to explore representation through language, actions and objects.
(Psychohawks, 2010)
(Woolfolk, 2005)
References (Slide 1 of 2)

Arthur, J., & Peterson, A. (2011).
The routledge companion to education
. London: Routledge.
Barbarin, O.A., & Wasik, B.H. (2011).
Handbook of child development and early education: Research into practice
. New York: The Guildford Press.
Bergin, C.C., & Bergin, D.A. (2012).
Child and adolescent development in your classroom
. USA: Cengage Learning.
Bond, T.G. (2008). Cognitive development and school readiness. In Salkind, N.J. (Ed.),
Encyclopedia of educational psychology
(pp.163-165). USA: Sage Publications.
Carpendale, J.M., Müller, U., & Bibok, M.B. (2008). Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. In Salkind, N.J. (Ed.),
Encyclopedia of educational psychology
(pp.799-805). USA: Sage Publications.
Davies, D. (2010).
Child development: A practitioner’s guide
(3rd ed.). New York: Guildford Press.

Gauvain, M. (2008). Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. In Haith, M.M. (Ed.),
Encyclopaedia of infant and early childhood development
(pp.404-413). Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier Inc.

Johnson, A. (2010, September 17).
Vygotsky 1
[video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watchv=zvX90sWmV_g&feature=player_embedded

Jordan, A., Stack, A., Carlile, O. (2008).
Approaches to learning: A guide for teachers.
Maidenhead: Open University Press

Lamon, M. (2011).
Learning Theory

Constructivist Approach
[Article]. Retrieved from http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2174/Learning-Theory-CONSTRUCTIVIST-APPROACH.html
Marcom Projects. (2010).
Moral development in children: theories, stages, impact
[video file]. Retrieved from http://swinburne.kanopystreaming.com.ezproxy.lib.swin.edu.au/video/moral-development-children-theories-stages-impact

References (Slide 2 of 2)

Meece, J.L. (1997).
Child and adolescent development for educators
. USA: McGrall-Hill Companies, Inc.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2006).
A basic introduction to child development theories
[PDF Document]. Retrieved from http://lrrpublic.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/lrrSecure/Sites/LRRView/7401/documents/theories_outline.pdf

Oakley, L. (2004).
Cognitive development.
GB: Routledge Ltd.
Psychohawks. (2010).
Theories of cognitive development: Jean Piaget
. Retrieved from http://psychohawks.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/theories-of-cognitive-development-jean-piaget/
Shumaker, D.M. & Heckel, R.V. (2007).
Kids of character: A guide to promoting moral development.
Westport, Connecticut: Praeger Publishers.
Talay-Ongan, A. (2005).
Child development and teaching young children
. Victoria: Thomson Social Science Press.
Webb, P. (1980). Piaget: Implications for teaching. 
Theory Into Practice, 19(2
), 93.

Woolfolk, A. (2005).
Educational psychology
(9th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon/Pearson

Image References

Flinders University. (n.d).
Jean Piaget
. Retrieved from http://ehlt.flinders.edu.au/education/DLiT/2004/18stages/piaget.htm
Image Arcade. (n.d)
. Lawrence Kohlberg
. Retrieved from http://imgarcade.com/1/lawrence-kohlberg/
Peled, D. (2014).
Primary school students
. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-12/primary-school-students/5664124
Porrit, A. (2012).
Child plays with toys at a preschool
. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-19/children27s-pre-school-hours-cut-to-meet-federal-agreement/4322454

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