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Jean Piaget: Cognitive Learning Theory

A presentation on Piaget's theory of child development.
by

Skipper Thurman

on 12 February 2013

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Transcript of Jean Piaget: Cognitive Learning Theory

Theory Example Exercise Classroom Application OUTLINE A discussion of the basic ideas behind Piaget's theory of cognitive development and the important terminology needed to understand it. A detailed example of how children learn based on Piaget's theory. A classroom exercise to demonstrate an actual example of Piaget's theory in action. A discussion of how Piaget's theory applies to teaching children in the classroom. Schemas: The way we organize our knowledge of everything in our lives. Adaptation: The processes children go through in order to modify their schemas and hence their understanding of the world. afd Adaptation: Assimilation Equilibration Accommodation JEAN PIAGET: COGNITIVE LEARNING THEORY Skipper Thurman - Analysis & Practice of Teaching, Spring 2013 - Dr. Donna Wake "Examples of Piagetian tasks" The process a child uses to add to her current schema. The experience either fits into a child's existing schema, partially fits, or does not fit at all. If a child experiences something for which she has no schema she can create an entirely new one. THEORY Sylvester (2008) New Experience A child encounters a new idea, thing, or process. EXAMPLE "BIRD" SCHEMA Child has a schema for "bird" formed from personal experiences, what she has been told, television, etc. -wings
-feathers
-beaks
-flies "Child thinking" ASSIMILATION The child encounters a bird she has never seen before. She experiences disequilibrium before attempting to assimilate the bird. Does it have feathers, a beak, wings, and does it fly? Yes, it must be a bird. Equilibrium is maintained. "Little blue bird wallpapers" "How to fool a bat, pt. ii" (2010) ACCOMMODATION Whoa! The child encounters a bat. At first, the "bird" schema seems appropriate. After all, the bat flies and has wings. But it does not have feathers or a beak. The child experiences disequilibrium and must create a new "bat" schema to deal with this new information. Equilibrium is then maintained. Exercise You will be given a sheet of paper. I have two questions I want you to answer. After you have answered the questions, flip the paper over and I will retrieve it. Please do not discuss potential answers with the other students. 1.) Which of the following two items will fall faster if there is no air resistance? A hammer or a feather? 2.) What would happen if you dropped a basketball on the moon? 1.) They will both fall with the same acceleration. Galileo was the first to show that objects all fall with the same acceleration regardless of their weight. It is air resistance which slows down objects with greater surface area. 2.) The basketball would fall to the surface of the moon with a slower acceleration than it would if you dropped it on the earth. CLASSROOM APPLICATION How can Piaget's theory be applied to the classroom? The cognitive theory of Piaget suggests that children learn by experiencing new things, not just by being told information.

It would seem that if Piaget is correct then children should be given lots of opportunities to explore their world first-hand. They should experience lots of new things and be exposed to surprises. If a student is thrown into disequilibrium, then he has the opportunity to broaden his understanding of the world with new schemas. Piaget and diversity We all have schemas for broad concepts like race, gender, sex, and sexual orientation. Sometimes these schemas can end up being very damaging. If Piaget's theory is true then the best way to dispel myths about these concepts is to expose children to diversity. Children should be allowed to use their hands as much as possible, and their innate curiosity should be highly encouraged. Instead of directly teaching, Piaget's theory suggests that children mainly need guidance. When they reach disequilibrium, a teacher can help them find it by providing names, ideas, and specific behaviors. How can Piaget's theory be applied to the classroom? (cont.) CONCLUSION Piaget's theory of cognitive development, which explains how children make adaptations to their understanding of the world, is a very useful and insightful model. It gives us a picture of the mind of children which can help us to educate them, but also to empathize with them. QUESTIONS?
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