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ELED 132, Child Growth and Development. Dr. Andrew Whitehead More information at: www.esu.edu/~andrew. Information Processing Theory. Key ideas in Information Processing Theory Input from the environment provides the raw material for cognitive processing

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ELED 132, Child Growth and Development

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ELED 132, Child Growth and Development

Dr. Andrew Whitehead

More information at: www.esu.edu/~andrew


Information Processing Theory

  • Key ideas in Information Processing Theory

    • Input from the environment provides the raw material for cognitive processing

      • Sensation – detecting stimuli in the environment

      • Perception – interpreting stimuli

      • Sensory register – mechanism allows for 2 – 3 seconds of memory

    • In addition to sensory register, human memory includes two other storage mechanisms: working memory and long term memory

      • Working-memory – 20-30 seconds

      • Long-term memory – many years


Information Processing Theory

  • Key ideas in Information Processing Theory

    • Attention is essential to the learning process

    • A variety of cognitive processes are involved in moving information from working to long-term memory

    • People control how they process information

      • Central Executive – controls the flow of information


Information Processing Theory

  • Key ideas in Information Processing Theory

    • Cognitive development involves gradual changes in various components of the information processing system


Information Processing Theory

  • Sensation and Perception

    • Some sensory and perceptual capabilities are present from birth; others emerge within the first few weeks of months of life

    • Infants show consistent preferences for certain types of stimuli

    • Perceptual development is the result of both biological maturation and experience


Information Processing Theory

  • Attention

    • Initially, attention is largely a function of the physical characteristics of stimuli and events; later, it also depends on children’s prior knowledge

    • Children attend differently to people than to inanimate objects

    • With age, distractibility decreases and sustained attention increases

    • Attention becomes increasingly purposeful


Information Processing Theory

  • Working memory

    • Processing speed increases

      • Automatized – can be done quickly with little thought

    • Children acquire more effective cognitive processes

    • The physical capacity of working memory may increase somewhat


Information Processing Theory

  • Long-Term Memory

    • The capacity to store information in long-term memory appears very early in life

    • Talking about objects and events facilitates memory for them

    • The amount of knowledge stored in long-term memory increases many times over


Information Processing Theory

  • Long-Term Memory

    • Children’s knowledge about the world becomes increasingly integrated

      • Schemas – tightly organized bodies of knowledge

      • Scripts – knowledge about predictable sequences of events (like a wedding)

    • Children’s growing knowledge base facilitates more effective learning


Information Processing Theory

  • Thinking and Reasoning

    • Thought becomes increasingly symbolic in nature

    • Logical thinking abilities improve with age

    • Gestures sometimes foreshadow the emergence of more sophisticated thinking and reasoning


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Implications of Information Processing Theory

    • Provide a variety of choices for infants and young children

    • Talk with children about their experiences

    • During the school years, keep unnecessary distractions to a minimum

    • Remember that human beings can think about only a small amount of information at any one time

    • Give children ongoing practice in using basic information and skills


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Implications of Information Processing Theory

    • Consider not only what children say, but also what they do when determining what they are ready to learn

    • Relate new information to children’s existing knowledge


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Metagcognition – thinking about thinking

  • Learning Strategies

    • Rehearsal

    • Organization – finding interrelationships

    • Elaboration – using prior knowledge to expand on new information

    • Environmental and cultural influences on learning strategy development

      • Different cultures are different


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Problem – Solving Strategies

    • Develop with time

  • Strategy Development as “Overlapping Waves”

  • Metacognitive Awareness

    • Awareness of the existence of thought

    • Awareness of one’s own thought process

    • Awareness of memory limitations

    • Knowledge about effective learning and memory strategies


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Self-Regulated Learning

    • Attention control

    • Monitoring progress toward goals

    • Evaluating the effectiveness of learning strategies

    • Co-regulation as a facilitator of self-regulation

      • Teacher and learner share responsibility


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Epistemological Beliefs

    • Beliefs regarding the nature of knowledge and the knowledge acquisition

  • Interdependence of Cognitive and Metacognitive Processes


Development of Metacognition and Cognitive Strategies

  • Implications of Metacognition and Strategic Development

    • Model and teach effective problem-solving and learning strategies

    • Give children frequent feedback

    • Provide opportunities for students to evaluate their own learning

    • Expect and encourage independent learning

    • Promote more sophisticated epistemological beliefs

      • Teachers must communicate not only in what they say but in what they do


Information Processing Theory

  • Implications of Information Processing Theory

    • Video – Parent to Parent: Learning Disabilities

      • How does this relate to Information Processing Theory?


Exceptionalities in Information Processing

  • Learning Disabilities

    • The child has significant difficulties in one or more specific cognitive processes

    • The child’s difficulties cannot be attributed to other disabilities, such as mental retardation, an emotional or behavioral disorder, hearing loss or a visual impairment

    • The child’s difficulties interfere with academic achievement to such a degree that special education services are warranted

    • Website

      • www.ldonline.org


Exceptionalities in Information Processing

  • Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    • Attention problem

      • Distractibility

      • Impulsivity

      • Hyperactivity

    • Websites

      • www.add.org

      • www.chadd.org


Exceptionalities in Information Processing

  • Autism

    • Characterized by infrequent social interaction, little awareness of one’s own and other’s thoughts, communications impairments, repetitive behaviors, narrowly focused interests and a strong need for a predictable environment

    • Website

      • www.autism-society.org


Children’s Construction of Theories

  • Theory theory

    • Children construct integrated and complex understandings

  • Children’s Theories of the Physical World

    • Children know a great deal about the physical world (likely biological in nature)

    • Some beliefs are wrong


Children’s Construction of Theories

  • Implications of Theory Theory

    • Encourage and answer children’s “why” and “how” questions

    • When teaching a new topic, determine what students already know and believe about the topic

    • When students have misconceptions about a topic, work actively to help them acquire more accurate understandings


Neo-Piagetian Approaches to Cognitive Development

  • Key Ideas in Neo-Piagetian Theories

    • Children acquire general structures that pervade their thinking in particular content domains

    • Cognitive development is constrained by the maturation of information processing mechanisms

    • Formal schooling has a greater influence on cognitive development than Piaget believed

    • Development in specific content domains can be characterized as a series of stages


Neo-Piagetian Approaches to Cognitive Development

  • Development of Central Conceptual Structures: Case’s Theory

    • Central conceptual structure – integrated network of concepts and cognitive processes that forms the basis for much of one’s thinking, reasoning and learning in specific content domains


Neo-Piagetian Approaches to Cognitive Development

  • Implications of Neo-Piagetian Theories

    • Don’t predict students’ performance in one domain based on their performance in a very different domain

    • Identify and teach concepts and skills central to students’ understanding of a particular content area


Adding a Sociocultural Element to Information Processing Theory

  • Intersubjectivity

    • Shared understanding that provide the foundation for social interaction and communication

  • Social Construction of Memory

  • Joint Use of Cognitive Strategies


Information Processing and Metacognition Group Activity

  • Group work

  • What are some things you might do to help a learning disabled student, a student with ADD/ADHD, or an autistic student?

    • What types of activities would do?

    • Are there any special types of considerations you would make? - i.e. – seating arrangements


Exceptionalities in Information Processing

  • Working with Children who have Information Processing Difficulties

    • Help children keep their attention on the task at hand

    • Teach strategies for controlling hyperactivity and impulsivity

    • Provide extra scaffolding for studying, doing homework and completing other learning tasks

    • Keep the daily schedule and physical environment relatively predicable

    • Teach social skills


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