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Date Created: 09/21/15
Module 7 Cognitive Development 119130 11 pages Alicia Berard Constructivist Theories of Cognitive Development is a paradigm in psychology that characterizes learning as a process of actively constructing knowledge 0 Individuals create meaning for themselves or make sense of new information by selecting organizing and integrating information with other knowledge often in the context of social interactions 0 Constructivism is often de ned as individual or social 0ln a person constructs knowledge by using cognitive processes to gain knowledge from experience rather than by memorizing facts provided by others 0ln individuals construct knowledge through an interaction between the knowledge they bring to a situation and socialcultural exchanges within that context Piaget was primarily interested in how meaning is individually constructed he did acknowledge social experiences as an important factor in cognitive development 0While Vygotsky was primarily interested in social and cultural interactions as triggers of cognitive change his theory actually emphasizes knowledge construction as both socially mediated and individually constructed 0Piaget proposed that all children s thinking evolves as a result of four factors 1Biological Maturation nature implies a biological readiness to learn opening the door for a person to pro t intellectually from social experiences and active exploration 2Active exploration of the physical environment nurture individuals construct new knowledge when the engage in active selfdiscovery as they interact with objects in their environment IN infancy the acquisition of organized patterns of physical action is the basis of all further development Schemes in preschoolers older children and adolescents are performed mentally and are called 3Social Experiences nurture social interaction is necessary for the development of logic in older children and adolescents 4 Equilibrium or selfregulation intellectual development involves continual adaptation whereby individuals construct new and more sophisticated cognitive structures schemes or operations is a process of maintaining a cognitive balance between our existing knowledge and new experiences When individuals are confronted with new experiences they have a sense of a discrepancy between their existing way of knowing and the new experiences Cognitive adaptation can be achieved through assimilation and accommodation which work together to help the individual maintain equilibration involves integrating new information or a new experience into an existing cognitive structure involves any modi cation of an existing scheme or formation of a new cognitive structure when it is not possible to t information into an existing structure A closer look at Piaget s four stages 1Sensorimotor birth to 2 years acquiring the capacity for internalized thinking is the central goal of this stage By 812 months they begin to acquire an awareness that objects and people continue to exist even when they are not visible 2 Preoperational 27 years in this stage children develop or symbolic functions is an ability to represent an object or action with signs and symbols such as language imagery drawing symbolic games and deferred imitation mentally storing an action and reproducing it later The term preoperational indicates that children are unable to engage in operations that involve twoway thinking a characteristic of the next stage Instead they are limited to oneway thinking o Preoperational children are they think about the world primarily from their own physical and cognitive perspective They also engage in talking aloud about things that interest them without regard for the interests and conversational contributions of the listener o Preoperational children exhibit an inability to focus on two dimensions simultaneously o Preoperational children cannot engage in of operations For example they have not yet acquired the realization that quantity or amount remains the same is conserved despite changes in appearance o Along with semiotic functions is an important milestone of the preoperational stage the idea that an object will remain the same even if its appearance changes in some way 3Concrete operational 711 years children form mental representations that accurately re ect possible actions and events in the physical world 4 Formal operational 11 yearsadult while concrete thinkers are limited to concrete problems and tools formal operational thinkers have an achieved a characteristic way of thinking that allows them to solve many physical logic and mathematical problems They 0 Exhibit abstract reasoning that is re ective and analytical 0 Can solve a problem without needing concrete representation Can consider implications and incompatibilities think hypothetically search for alternatives and reject inappropriate solutions without physically needing to test them o Able to think about debate and think about the future Like Piaget Vygotsky argued that cognitive development results from complex interactions between heredity and environment He emphasized the role of social interactions in the development of cognitive processes such as problem solving selfregulation and memory To illustrate the social origins of individual cognitive functioning Vygotsky created a now famous metaphor the The ZPD is the difference between 1Children s actual developmental level what they already can accomplish independently and 2Their level of potential development the highest level they can reach with guidance from more capable individuals Let s examine the factors involved in cognitive growth within the ZPD 1 Mechanisms of Cognitive Change within the ZPD adults and learners engage in or coconstruction of knowledge This is a process in which two individuals who begin a task with different knowledge and perspectives come to a shared understanding as each person adjusts to the perspective of the other 0 0 During a joint activity adults older children and more capable peers use what Piaget called semiotic functions to mediate the child s thinking and shape the development of more complex thought oTo illustrate the adult s role David Wood jerome Bruner and Gail Ross used a metaphor like the temporary platforms used in the construction of a building scaffolding is a temporary social support to help children accomplish a task As children master the use of psychological and cultural tools a gradual occurs in which they slowly acquire more cognitive responsibility for the task and scaffolding is gradually withdrawn called fading Teachers should keep in mind two points when applying the ZPD to their classroom 1The zone of optimal learning will differ among students 2Scaffolding actually is driven by the learner rather than controlled by a more experienced person Issues in Cognitive Development Piaget and Vygotsky Development involves acquiring concepts spontaneously through natural experiences and leaning involves applying newly developed cognitive structures to new situations 0 Before children enter school they engage in empirical learning a simple form of learning that results in spontaneous concepts Role of language in cognitive development Piaget and Vygotsky agreed that internalized not spoken language 1 Is needed for conscious thoughts we think in words 2Serves a re ective function allowing individuals to refer to the past present and future and 3Serves as a planning function whereby individuals practice a dialogue with a hypothetical other person before actually engaging in it Piaget and Vygotsky disagreed on the role of externalized speech in cognitive development 1Vygotsky s theory was that social situations provide the initial context in which children develop planning and selfregulation strategies Adults and children use speech used to communicate with others as a tool for coordinating their actions with those of others Children gradually learn to regulate their thoughts and actions using a selfregulatory internalized speech In Piaget s theory externalized speech takes the form of egocentric speech and is cognitive limitation of preoperational thinking Role of play in cognitive development in pretend play children advance their thinking by 1 Creating actions that originate from ideas 2 Detaching the meaning of objects from their typical appearance amp 3Creating imaginary contexts for practicing roles rules and expectations they have experienced in their everyday life Applications Constructivists Principles for Effective Teaching Consider students developmental level when designing curricula and activities Encourage students to be active learners can be de ned as any type of meaningful learning in which students construct a rich knowledge base rather than memorizing facts or interconnected concepts prior knowledge and real life experiences Use teaching methods based on constructivist principles To encourage active meaningful learning teachers can use these strategies based on constructivist principles 1 Cognitive apprenticeships involve opportunities to develop cognitive skills within the context of authentic activities 2To teach reading comprehension teachers can use methods such as reciprocal teaching and instructional conversations methods based Vygotsky s ZPD 2 3 Methods such as inquiry learning in which students solve problems by following research steps and cooperative learning in which student work together to achieve a shared goal can be used for any subject and with students from elementary to high school Provide multiple exposures to content Recognize cultural context in learning situations Summary on page 130 Understanding Language Acquisition Our brains our well designed for the basis of language Humans acquire language so readily and easily because we are genetically predisposed to biologically ready to acquire language Innate capacity for language among all cultures 1Children around the world acquire language within a short period of time and at roughly the same rate despite cultural differences 2The sequence of language skills is similar across cultures for signed and spoken language 3The sounds b p m d and n appear across many languages in infants repetitive consonantvowel combinations 4All signed and spoken languages share o First words such as juice milk and dog and o Rules to indicate in tense and plurality and to organize words into grammatical sentences Language learning involves imitation and reinforcement Parents will say the word to the child in an effort for it to be said And the child may be given positive reinforcement such as milk for saying the correct word Modeling and imitation vary by culture Consider these ndings 1Children produce sentences they have never heard before 2 Imitation is limited after 2 years old 3 Reinforcement of children s grammar is not necessary for language development 4We are motivated to learn to speak grammatically even though ungrammatical statements can convey our message just as well Language acquisition is also a product of children s earl social interactions with adults Development of Language Skills how words convey meaning is evident in infant s rst words 0 Their language is often referred to as because they use single words to express larger meaning Children in the holophrastic stage will commit errors known as o or using a word to cover a range of concepts such as saying kitty to refer to all fourlegged animals and o or limiting the use of a word to a subset of objects it refers to such as using kitty only for the family cat 2 the logical combination of words into meaningful sentences begins with a way of ordering two or three words according to the grammatical rules of the child s language 0 Children also develop several other forms of syntax throughout early childhood including o or word endings o Negations I can t do it 0 Questions and o Conjoining clauses I went to a party and late cake Caregivers and earlychildhood educators should not be concerned about children s of past tense endings for example saying winned for won because they are typical in this stage of development and continue through school age 3 knowledge about how to use language in communicative contexts emerges in toddlerhood as children learn to use languages for many purposes Regulating others behaviors Imagining Learning about their environment by asking questions Informing others 4 our knowledge about language and how it works is an important skill that emerges in early childhood and develops throughout the early elementary grades Some early signs of metalinguistic awareness are Adjusting speech to different listeners as when children as young as 2 years old of age talk to a younger sibling differently from the way they talk to a parent Pretend reading books as when preschoolers turn pages and recite a story that they have heard many times 0 Asking quotAre you making wordsquot to a parent typing on a computer and 0 Writing in which preschoolers make marks on paper and ask an adult to read them 0 the knowledge that spoken words contain smaller units of sound is a form of metalinguistic awareness that is important for later reading acquisition Words can be divided into Syllabes the largest units of sound Onsets and rimes for example in a word such as quotbatquot the onset is the sound corresponding to the initial consonant b and the rime is the vowel and the remaining consonant sound quotatquot and Phonemes the smallest units of sound Phonological awareness helps children acquire the skill of or sounding out Language Acquisition Throuqh Adolescence 1Semantics the evolving of humor and sarcasm 2Syntax children s sentences become more elaborate and consist of more complex grammatical structures in both oral and written language 3 Pragmatics more aware of the intent on indirect requests and the appropriate responses to such requests 4 Metalinguistic Awareness Better able to use reading and writing strategies such as consulting a dictionary monitoring their comprehension and planning and revising their writing 0Bilingual Language Acquisition even though Englishspeaking and bilingual children have very different cultural and social experiences they learn language in a very similar way o Children who acquire two languages from birth follow the same overall pattern and reach the same developmental milestones at the same rate as monolingual children o Bilingual children say their rst words and acquire a 50word vocabulary at approx the same age as monolingual children o Bilingual children have at least as large a vocabulary as monolingual children when vocabularies from both languages are combined using words or phrases from one language as a substitute in the other language is normal for bilingual children and adults and does not suggest confusion between the two languages oTwoway bilingual immersion TWBI positive results There are individual differences in language acquisition oChildren s distinct approaches to acquiring words may indicate that they have different ideas about pragmatics 1Some children who acquire many words for the names of people and objects milk dog cup have a referential style that focuses on the informational aspect of language 2Others who build a vocabulary of words used in social relationships no yes want please love you have an expressive style that focuses on the interpersonal aspect of language is diagnosed when a familiar adult cannot understand children s speech at age 3 or when articulation errors are still evident at age 8 0Like articulation errors a lack of uency in speech production typically is outgrown by the rst year of elementary school involves several types of errors including the following 1 Repetition of syllables words or phrases 2 lnterjections 3 Pauses 4 Revisions 5Sound prolongation Speech problems that may indicate the onset of stuttering are 1Sound and syllable repetitions that persist over time 2 Repetition of part of a word more than twice or repetition of two sounds or syllables in 100 words and 3 Frequent sound prolongations or sound prolongations more than one second 0 Unlike children with the two disorders above students with speci c language impairment experience considerable delays in overall language development Children with have dif culties in receptive and expressive language resulting in language development that is signi cantly below age level despite normal hearing average nonverbal intelligence and an absence of developmental disabilities Applications Encouraging Language Development in the Classroom 0Talk sing and read to young children 0Encourage the development of listening skills o During class discussions and conversations teachers can model effective listening strategies such as which involves listening in a nondefensive way and responding by clarifying the message rather than criticizing 0 Provide vocabulary instruction 0 Provide opportunities for oral and written language use 0 Be sensitive to individual differences among students Assumptions of Behavioral Learning Theories 0Although many psychologists and educators might de ne as a change in either behavior or knowledge traditional behavioral theories have focused on learning behaviors with little focus on knowledge mental processes or memories 0These theories have typically fallen into two categories classical conditioning or operant conditioning Shared assumptions about how learning occurs include 1 Learning must include a change in behavior 2 Behavior occurs due to experiences in the environment 3 Learning must include an association between a stimulus and response Learning by associations called is important for learning the vast amount of information children and adolescents are presented with 4The stimulus and the response must occur close together in time 5 Learning processes are very similar across different species Classical Conditioning Involuntary behaviors include two elements 1An the behavior or event that evokes an automatic response for example moving your hand quickly toward someone s face and 2And the automatic behavior caused by the stimulus which can be physiological eg someone inching when your hand approaches or emotional eg fear CC is based on the pairing of involuntary behaviors with events that do not evoke an automatic response These include shapes behaviors sounds and smells A or a learned stimulus neutral stimulus can become a that evokes a or a learned response through classical conditioning Once learning or a change in behavior has occurred the behavior can be expanded on altered or eliminated These additional learning opportunities are referred to buy traditional behavioral theorists as 1 conditioned learning can be expanded beyond a speci c stimulus to other similar stimuli 2 species can learn to differentiate between similar but different stimuli If the conditioned stimulus is presented repeatedly without the unconditioned stimulus the previously learned behavior will disappear or become extinct Operant Conditioning Operant conditioning originated with Edward Thorndike who like many behaviorists was conducting experiments with animals The results of his experiments led to the which states that behaviors associated with good consequences satis ers are more likely to occur again in the future whereas behaviors associated with bad consequences annoyers are less likely to occur again Skinner founded the ABC s of learning the antecedent A occurs prior to the behavior B and leads to the consequence C of behavior Antecedents can be cues or prompts o refer to nonverbal events that signal that a behavior is expected o typically are verbal reminders that accompany a cue The consequence C of the behavior can either increase or decrease the behavior in the future for example o is a consequence of a behavior that increases the future occurrence of that behavior 0 is a consequence of a behavior that decreases the future occurrence of that behavior o Reinforcement and punishment can occur by adding something desirable or by taking away something undesirable oPositive reinforcement is adding something desired o Negative reinforcement is taking away something undesired o Positive punishment is adding something undesired 0 Negative punishment is taking away something desired 0When a behavior is rst being developed consequences are needed every time the behavior occurs in order for individuals to make the association and perform the behavior consistently a 0After the behavior has been well established reinforcement is needed only periodically to continue supporting the behavior Reinforcement can occur on an 0lntermittent reinforcement schedules include o Ratio schedules based on the number of times a behavior occurs o Interval schedules based on the time elapsed after the behavior has occurred o Fixed schedules occurring exactly every third time the behavior occurs xed ratio or exactly every ve minutes xed interval o Variable schedules providing reinforcement every third time variable ratio or every ve minutes variable interval on average but varying across time Variable schedules typically are more effective and ef cient because students are unaware or exactly when the reinforcement will be provided 0Using Consequences Effectively 0 Know the developmental level of the individual o Know the individual s likes and dislikes o Understand the function of attention o Know when and how often to provide consequences o Use reinforcement more than punishment Some punishments should not be used The following ve types of punishment do not meet this requirement of effectiveness 1 Physical punishment which is typically viewed as spanking but it also includes washing someone s mouth out with soap One negative effect of this is that it teaches individuals that it is acceptable for adults to hit slap or push 2Psych0logical punishment can include public humiliation such as a teacher ridiculing a student in front of the class and may lead to low selfesteem 3 Extra homework by doing this teachers send the message that homework is undesirable Teachers should send the message that learning is important essential and positive not negative bad or unwanted IO 4 Withdrawal ofrecess recess may be necessary in order for children to focus attention behave appropriately in addition to the usefulness of physical activity for health purposes the positive effects far outweigh the elimination of it 5 Outofschool suspensions in most cases students do not view this as a punishment Applications Applied Behavior Analysis 0Strategies for Increasing Appropriate Behaviors 0 using this principle a teacher may increase one behavior of students by providing an activity as reinforcement rather than giving tangible rewards 0 is used when a behavior is not currently being displayed and therefore cannot be reinforced such as when a student never brings a pencil or paper to class 0 in this strategy teachers use reinforcement to increase the appropriate behavior eg working on the assignment while decreasing the behavior it is incompatible with eg passing notes 0 suggests that teachers ignore inappropriate behaviors displayed by an individual while praising the appropriate behaviors of others 0 the teacher has a student perform the right or appropriate behavior 0Strategies for Decreasing Inappropriate Behaviors 0 the teacher asks the student to perform the negative or inappropriate behavior repeatedly until it is no longer rewarding similar to its use in classical conditioning extinction means that the behavior ceases or is eliminated 0 includes making restitution for inappropriate behavior 0 verbal criticisms of behavior intended to be positive punishment 0 this concept is illustrated by the substance abuse policies of many athletic programs It is a type of negative punishment always involves taking away something the individual desWes 0 includes removing an individual from one setting where reinforcement is given to another setting where reinforcement is denied 0When implementing timeout teachers should consider these guidelines for using it effectively 1This method should only be used when other strategies have failed and after careful consideration of time and age guidelines 0 2The method is only effective if reinforcement is not present and the student desires to be with others in the classroom Page 170 Summary on Module 9 Assumptions of Social Cognitive Theory 0Albert Bandura began to study how individuals could learn by observing others experiences in the environment As the theory evolved and included more personal characteristics such as cognition the theory was relabeled social cognitive theory Several assumptions about Bandura s theory include o Learning can occur by observing others Learning by observing others behaviors is called vicarious learning or o Learning may or may not include a behavior change 0 Personal characteristics are important in learning Observational Learning For observational learning to occur someone must perform behavior while being observed by another individual 0The the individual whose behavior is being observed performs or models a behavior that can be imitated by others Models can be either live or symbolic 0 individuals who are observed directly can be the observer s friends parents siblings fellow students or teachers individuals who do not live within the same environment as the observer can be observed through various media such as books movies and television Certain characteristics of models increase the likelihood that their behaviors will be observed 1 Relevance the behavior of models must be relevant for the individual observing the behavior the individual must be interested in the behavior being performed and the model must be similar to the individual 2Competence the model must be viewed as competent in the behavior being observed 3 High status the model is more likely to be imitated if he or she is someone with high status High status can include power 0 Within the family parents and older siblings Within the peer group the popular kids at school Of authority teachers and principals Within the popular media celebrities or Within a particular culture political or religious figures OOOO 4Genderappropriateness an effective model is more likely to be someone of the same sex who is performing genderappropriate behaviors 0lmitator Characteristics 1 Attention the imitator must be paying attention to the model 2 Retention students not only must pay attention to the teacher who is completing the mathematical equation on the board but must be able to remember the behavior later when they re doing homework 3 Production the imitator must be able to produce the behavior 4 Motivation an imitator who pays attention retains the information and can produce the behavior also must have the motivation to perform that behavior in the future 0 Environmental Characteristics 0 Response facilitation effect a behavior is imitated more frequently if a model has been reinforced for that behavior called 0 Response inhibition effect a behavior is imitated less frequently if a model has been punished for that behavior called 0 Response disinhibition effect a behavior is imitated more frequently if a model s behavior is not punished when the behavior typically is punished Personal Factors in Learning 0Advances in Bandura s theory led to the triadic reciprocal determinism model of causality to explain the interaction among three aspects 1 Behavior including choices in actions and performance 2 Environment consisting of the various contexts family school mass media and the socialization factors within those contexts parents teachers and symbolic models 3Person including personality temperament emotions and physical characteristics gender and race as well as internal cognitive processes goals beliefs and attitudes an individual s belief about his or her capabilities for success has been studied extensively Selfefficacy develops from four in uences 1 Past performance individuals who have been successful in a given domain in the past are likely to have high selfefficacy for it 2 Modeling when individuals see others similar to themselves experience success they are likely to have high selfefficacy and to believe that they too can be successful 3Verbal Persuasion individuals who are told that they can be successful are more likely to believe in their own success and to develop high selfefficacy 4 Physiological states physical strength or fatigue can in uence levels of selfefficacy Selfefficacy is considered an important cognitive process in learning because it in uences choice of behavior effort and persistence and achievement Let s examine these more closely o Choice of behavior individuals will choose more difficult behaviors for which they have high selfefficacy whereas individuals will low selfefficacy will avoid those behaviors o Effort and persistence students with high selfefficacy will increase their effort and persistence for success even they are struggling oAchievement individuals with high selfefficacy tend to have higher levels of academic achievement than individuals with low self efficacy the ability to control one s emotions cognitions and behaviors by providing consequences for oneself 0Selfregulation for learning includes a cyclical process with three major components 1Selfobservation or selfmonitoring viewing one s own behavior and possibly recording one s own behavior 2Selfjudgment comparing one s performance to a predetermined goal or standard 3Selfevaluation determining the quality ofjudgment good or bad and possibly providing selfimposed consequences reinforcement or punishment 0Achieving selfregulation is more difficult for younger children than for older children because younger children 0 Have a shorter attention span o Possess fewer memory strategies o Tend to overestimate or underestimate their progress exhibit poor selfjudgment and selfevaluation and 0 Need more immediate consequences 0A higher level of selfregulation skills in students is related to a number of positive outcomes in educational settings including o Higher selfefficacy oThe setting of higher academic goals o More focus and enjoyment for learning activities and o The attribution of academic success to one s own learning strategies is a teacher s belief in his or her capability to transmit knowledge as well as manage the classroom well is the belief in success with respect to a group or social system such as beliefs about teachers and administrators in a school system as a whole 0 Bandura suggests a number of characteristics needed for collective efficacy in a school system 0 Administrators seek to improve instruction o Administrators and teachers have high expectations and standards o Teachers provide activities that promote selfefficacy in students o Classroom behavior is well managed resulting in more time spent on instruction and less on discipline issues oThe school encourages a collaborative effort with parents including open communication Summary on page 181
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