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Piaget’s Psychological Development. Piaget (1896 - 1980). Swiss Psychologist, worked for several decades on understanding children’s cognitive development Most widely known theory of cognitive development.

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piaget 1896 1980
Piaget (1896 - 1980)
  • Swiss Psychologist, worked for

several decades on understanding

children’s cognitive development

  • Most widely known theory of cognitive

development.

  • Was intrigued by kids’ thoughts & behavior, & worked to understand their cognitive development
piaget background
Piaget: Background
  • Young Piaget was incredibly precocious
    • Published first paper at 10
    • Wrote on mollusks, based on these writings was asked to be curator of mollusks at a museum in Geneva (he declined in order to finish secondary school)
    • Earned his doctorate in natural sciences at 21
    • Began to study psychology, applying intelligence tests to school children
constructivism
Constructivism
  • Assumption that learning is an active process of construction rather than a passive assimilation of information or rote memorization.
  • Credited for founding constructivism
  • Has had a large influence on American schools
piaget and constructivism
…Piaget and Constructivism
  • Best known for idea that individuals construct their understanding, that learning is a constructive process
    • Active learning as opposed to simply absorbing info from a teacher, book, etc.
    • The child is seen as a ‘little scientist’ constructing understandings of the world largely alone
piaget constructivism
….Piaget & Constructivism
  • believed all learning is constructed, whether it is something we are taught or something we learn on our own.
  • Whether or not we are taught in a “constructivist” manner, Piaget believed we are constructing knowledge in all our learning.
piaget learning
Piaget & Learning
  • Two main states – equilibrium & disequilibrium
  • Believed that we are driven or motivated to learn when we are in disequilibrium
    • We want to understand things
slide8

Piaget & Learning

  • Equilibration: assimilation & accommodation
    • We adjust our ideas to make sense of reality
  • Assimilation:
    • process of matching external reality to an existing cognitive structure.
  • Accommodation:
    • When there’s an inconsistency between the learner’s cognitive structure & the thing being learned the child will reorganize her thoughts
constructivism learning education
Constructivism, Learning, & Education
  • Not interested in applying his theory to school-based education, he called this “The American question”
  • Constructivist educators create an environment which encourages children to construct their own knowledge.
    • But according to Piaget, we construct our learning regardless of how it is presented.
piaget s stages of cognitive development
Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
  • A child’s capacity to understand certain concepts is based on the child’s developmental stage
piaget s four stages
Piaget’s Four Stages
  • Believed that all children develop according to four stages based on how they see the world.
    • He thought the age may vary some, but that we all go through the stages in the same order.

1. Sensori-motor (birth –2 years)

2. Preoperational (~2-7)

3. Concrete operational (~7-11)

4. Formal operations (~12-15)

sensorimotor stage
Sensorimotor Stage
  • Birth to about 2 years, rapid change is seen throughout
  • The child will:
    • Explore the world through senses & motor activity
    • Early on, baby can’t tell difference between themselves & the environment
    • If they can’t see something then it doesn’t exist
    • Begin to understand cause & effect
    • Can later follow something with their eyes
preoperational stage
Preoperational Stage
  • About 2 to about 7
    • Better speech communication
    • Can imagine the future & reflect on the past
    • Develop basic numerical abilities
    • Still pretty egocentric, but learning to be able to delay gratification
    • Can’t understand conservation of matter
    • Has difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality (ex: cartoon characters are real people).
more preoperational
…more preoperational
  • Conservation of matter – understanding that something doesn’t change even though it looks different, shape is not related to quantity
  • Ex: Are ten coins set in a long line more than ten coins in a pile?
  • Ex: Is there less water if it is poured into a bigger container?
concrete operational stage
Concrete Operational Stage
  • From about 7 to about 11
    • Abstract reasoning ability & ability to generalize from the concrete increases
    • Understands conservation of matter
formal operations
Formal Operations
  • From about 12 to about 15
    • Be able to think about hypothetical situations
    • Form & test hypotheses
    • Organize information
    • Reason scientifically
piaget s development
… Piaget’s Development
  • Development happens from one stage to another through interaction with the environment.
  • Changes from stage to stage may occur abruptly and kids will differ in how long they are in each stage.
  • Cognitive development can only happen after genetically controlled biological growth occurs.
piaget s development1
…Piaget’s Development
  • Development leads to learning
    • Drive for development is internal
    • The child can only learn certain things when she is at the right developmental stage
    • Environmental factors can influence but not direct development
    • Development will happen naturally through regular interaction with social environment
piaget education
Piaget & Education
  • Piaget did not think it was possible to hurry along or skip stages through education
  • Regardless, many American schools will try to teach to the stages in an attempt to accelerate development
problems with piaget s theory
Problems with Piaget’s Theory
  • Children often grasp ideas earlier than what Piaget found
  • Cognitive development across domains is inconsistent (e.g. better at reading than math)
  • Studies have shown that development can to some degree be accelerated