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Radford PSYC 230 - Cognitive Development

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1Cognitive DevelopmentFebruary 6, 2007Processes of Development–Goal ÆEquilibrium!–Schemes– Assimilation– Accommodation• Piaget observed own 3 children; believed six processes used in constructing knowledgeStages of Development• Piaget’s theory unifies experiences and biology to explain cognitive development– Four stages of development…progressively advanced and qualitatively different– Be familiar with the order of the main stages and what children can and cannot do in each main stage. Be able to recognize in examples.2Sensorimotor stage• First of Piaget’s stages– Birth to about 2 years– Infants construct understanding of world by coordinating sensory experiences with motoric actions– Contains six substages – you don’t need to worry about!Object Permanence• Understanding that objects and events continue to exist even when they cannot directly be seen, heard, or touched– One of infant’s most important accomplishments– An example…Infant’s Understanding of Causality(b)(c)(a)Fig. 6.53Preoperational Stage• Second Piagetian developmental stage – About 2 to 7 years of age– Children begin to represent the world with words, images, and drawings• Not ready to perform Operations– Internalized actions that allow children to do mentally what before they only did physically– Reversible mental actionsThe Three Mountains TaskView 1Child seated here(a)(b)(d)(c)View 2Child seated here(a)(b)(d)(c)Fig. 6.6Fig. 6.7The Symbolic Drawings of Young Children(a) A 31/2-year-old’s symbolic drawing. Halfway into this drawing, the 31/2-year-old artist said it was “a pelican kissing a seal.”(b) This 11-year-old’s drawing is neater and more realistic but also less inventive.4Piaget’s Conservation TaskFig. 6.8Some Dimensions of Conservation: Number, Matter, and LengthFig. 6.9Piaget’s Concrete Operational Stage• Piaget’s third stage (7-11 years)• Children can perform concrete operations• Logical reasoning replaces intuitive reasoning if applied to specific, concrete examples• Horizontal Décalage5Classification Skills• Concrete operations child understands one person can be father, brother, and grandson• Seriation —• Transitivity -Classification: An Important Ability in Concrete Operational ThoughtFig. 6.10Formal Operational Stage• Individuals move beyond concrete operations and think in more abstract and logical ways (11-15 years)• Abstract, Idealistic, and Logical Thinking– Verbal problem-solving ability increases– Increased ability to think about thought itself– Thought is full of idealism and possibilities6Formal Operational Stage• Hypothetical-deductive reasoning– Have cognitive ability to develop hypotheses, or best guesses, and systematically deduce the best path to follow in solving a problemEvaluating Piaget’s Theory• Contributions– New way of looking at children as active thinkers• CriticismsVygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development• Social contexts; minds are shaped by cultural context in which they live• Tools are provided by society • Children actively construct their knowledge and understanding through social interactions7The Zone of Proximal Development• Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)• Scaffolding Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive DevelopmentVygotsky’s Zone of Proximal DevelopmentVygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive DevelopmentFig. 6.11Vygotsky: Language and Thought• Believed young children use language to plan, guide, and monitor behavior• Language and thought initially develop independently, then merge• Private speech: language of self-regulation– Self talk (3 to 7 years of age)– Inner talk: child’s thoughts– * differed from Piaget?8Teaching Strategies based on Vygotsky’s Theory• Successfully applied to education– Use child’s ZPD– Use more-skilled peers as teachers– Monitor and encourage private speech– Effectively assess child’s ZPD– Instruction in meaningful context– Transform classroomEvaluating Vygotsky’s Theory• Social constructivist approach —emphasize social contexts of learning and construction of knowledge through social


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