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  1. Cognitive DevelopmentApplications to Education Piaget Vygotsky

  2. Applying the two theories to an educational context No ! ..teach them using my way? Oy ! ..teach them using my way?

  3. Main point of this section.. • To evaluate how theory is used in classroom – NOT to just evaluate Piaget’s stages or Vygotsky’s theory...


  5. Basic Assumptions • Child Centred Approach • Children DO NOT need to be taught • Learn due to being drawn into EXPERIENCES • If taught something PREMATURELY (that they could have discovered for themselves) they are prevented from ever completely understanding it. Piaget • Teacher Centred Approach • Desire to learn is an OUTCOME of learning rather than a prerequisite for learning • EXPERT GUIDANCE needed to move child through ZPD • Without ACTIVE INTERVENTION the child learns less Vygotsky

  6. Activity Poster teach To Groups 1.Applying Piaget theory to education-Discovery l/readiness 2.Applying Vygotsky theory to education-peer tutoring/scaffolding 3.Evaluation – Piaget vsVygotsky 4.Evaluation + IDA + A03

  7. For info..

  8. Discovery Learning Both Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories use ‘discovery learning’ Knowledge is ‘constructed’ individually (Piaget) and socially (Vygotsky) Learning is construction of knowledge i.e. discovery

  9. Piaget’s Discovery Learning Children learn by constructing their own knowledge when placed in ‘novel’ situations Teacher Use materials & questions Challenge current schemas Causing Disequilibrium / Accomodation Construction of new schemas

  10. Piaget’s Discovery Learning • Teacher stands back-allows the child to work out problem for themselves • Peers are important in presenting conflict and breaking down egocentrism • Child needs to be ‘ready’ for each developmental learning stage-otherwise.. “ child will not understand them”

  11. Piaget’s Discovery Learning • Use of ‘concrete materials’ in school curriculum for teaching young children • Children need the chance to manipulate concrete objects when first learning ‘abstract’ principles • Used in Montessori approach to teaching pre-school children

  12. Piaget’s Discovery Learning--Evaluation-- + Big impact on education in UK + Plowden Report (1967) Recommended change from ‘teacher centred’ to ‘child centred’ learning based on discovery learning - Importance of Readiness Bryant & Trabasso (1971) found that practice can improve performance when children are not ‘ready’. However, Danner & Day (1977) found no benefits from practice. - Discovery learning Mogdilet al (1983) suggest that discovery activities in the classroom may reduce learning because less time is spent on content learning (e.g. reading, writing, etc) - Judging maturation stage is beyond most teachers in terms of time available as well as skill

  13. Vygotsky’s Discovery Learning -Did not accept that teachers need to wait for a child to be ‘ready’ to learn -Claimed that “what a child can do with assistance today they can do by themselves tomorrow” -Social context enables learning Collaborative Learning • Co-operative group work, small groups working together/discussion • Bennett & Dunne (1991) found that children engaged in group work were less competitive, less concerned with status, and were more logical thinkers that those who worked alone.


  15. Vygotsky’s Discovery Learning Peer Tutoring/group work • Peers could be experts • Peer tutoring seen by Vygotsky as an effective form of learning • The expert peer more likely to help (Cloward, 1967) Learning through play • Vygotsky believed that during play, especially pretend play such as “playing shops”, children operated beyond their usual levels of thinking. This is related to the importance Vygotsky placed on culture. During such play children tend to use toys specific to their own culture and this enhances their learning.

  16. --SCAFFOLDING-- • Stage 1 - RECRUITMENT gaining the child’s interest • Stage 2 - REDUCTION OF DEGREES OF FREEDOM breaking down the task into manageable steps • Stage 3 - DIRECTION MAINTENANCE encouraging & motivating the child until they have become self-motivating • Stage 4-MARKING CRITICAL FEATURES drawing attention to aspects of the problem that will help further progress • Stage 5 –DEMONSTRATION The tutor finishes the task off so that the learner can imitate this back in a better form

  17. Vygotsky’s Discovery Learning--Evaluation-- • Individual Differences Effectiveness of methods varies, e.g. collaborative learning does not benefit all (Blaye, 1991) • Role of ‘Experts’ Skilful application by teachers to recognise limits of ZPD and how/when to respond-may be an unrealistic goal

  18. Vygotsky’s Discovery Learning--Evaluation-- • Importance of social influences Educationally more valuable to know what children can do with assistance rather than without. However, if Piaget is right by using expert intervention we are stifling creativity and understanding • Combined approach Adey & Shayer (1993) describe the effectiveness of a combined approach in the CASE (combined acceleration through science programme) using Piaget’s approach to setting situations with Vygotsky’s colaborative learning –improving Maths, Science and English performance

  19. Piagetvs Vygotsky..

  20. Combination of both approaches • Piaget- Knowledge is something a child creates for themselves • Vygotsky-Knowledge as a social collaborative process • Both approaches are constructivist, i.e. individual vs social constrcution

  21. Combination of both approaches ZPD New experience e.g. difficult task Piaget Child experiences disequilibrium – accommodates new schema Vygotsky Teaching input here Current Ability ELEMENTARY THINKING Potential Ability HIGHER THINKING Beginning INDEPENDENT LEARNING end of zone of zone

  22. Activity – debate – prize ! Piaget is better vs Vygotsky is better

  23. Activity • Do Blockbuster quiz • Design a Blockbuster Quiz for the other A2 groups to answer

  24. 2. Exam question “Outline ONE theory of cognitive development” (4 marks) 100 words “Discuss the application of this theory to education” (4 + 16 marks) 500 words

  25. Or …

  26. Potential exam question 1a“Outline any ONE theory of cognitive development” (12 marks) 1b “Assess the application of this theory to education” (12 marks)

  27. 1. Exam question “Discuss applications of theories of cognitive development to education” (8 + 16 marks)

  28. Three ways to do this essay.. • Compare one theory with another • Describe two/three theories then evaluate them • Compare & contrast two/three theories

  29. Essay PlanPart 1 • Define cognitive development • Briefly outline two main theories-Piaget, Vygotsky • Piaget-don’t need to be taught- learn through experience- based on stages/ages- child centred approach explain- readiness… Apply to education- Piaget used discovery learning- self construction/self learning-teacher stand back-creates disequilibrium (brief description of schemas, etc) uses directed questioning, use of concrete materials HOWEVER, • Vygotsky proposed- Social learning, experts ie. Teachers- needed to move child through ZPD-brief explanation- link with scaffolding, shouldn’t have to wait for the child (Piaget)-Vygotsky- suggests using collaborative learning- group work using scaffolding, teacher move in to assist move to the next zone (i.e. different form of discovery learning) and..

  30. Essay PlanPart 2 6.Evaluation.. • Use research to evaluate- Ages and stages, Bryant and Trabasso (1971) speed up learning- long process- judging maturation stage is beyond most teachers ability-time & skill… Vygotsky- teachers may lack ability to judge child's position in the zone, scaffolding is too direct, leads to a loss of motivation- doesn’t take account individual diff- • Plowden (1967) report- change teaching techniques- more child centred • Finish… Adey and Shayer (1993)- combined approach, improves maths and science (CASE) programme