Piaget's constructivist approach

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  • Piaget's constructivist approach
    • Key words
      • Schema - ideas/plans of action about concepts or things we come into contact with.
      • Assimilation - choose and existing schema to deal with a new situation.
      • Accomidatiobn - adjusting an existing schema to fit the new concept.
      • Decentering - this is not being egocentric and being able to take more than one feature of a situation into consideration at the same time.
      • Abstract thinking - concepts that cannot be demonstrated in concrete terms.
      • Egocentric - the iniability to see that others do not always see the same way as the individual
    • Discovery learning
      • Play is very important
      • Children are explorers and experimenters
        • Aids cognitive development
      • Environment important
        • Cognitive development also occurs due to innate ability to assimilate and accomidate to the environment.
    • Stages of cognitive development
      • Sensorimotor stage (birth - 2)
        • Limited to the here and now
        • Concrete thinking
        • Thinks only in terms of sensation and movement
        • Object permanence develops 8 months
      • The preoperational stage (2-7)
        • Preconceptual period: 2-4 symbol use begins e.g. play to make representations.
        • Egocentrism.
        • Intuitive period: 4-7. Judge situations by their appearance.
      • Concrete operations (7-11)
        • Perform logical operations as long as dealing with concrete objects.
        • Conservation concept: keeping things the same
          • The three beaker test
      • The stage of formal operations (11+)
        • Mental operations with abstract meaning
          • Algebra and hypothical situations
    • Evaluation
      • Strenghts
        • Implications for child rearing; Piagetian approach - challenging materials and stimuli, it influenced nurses and pre-schools
        • Piaget contributed to cognitive development and inspired research.
        • Object permenance - must be aware of the presence/existence of the caregiver if they are going to protest when left alone.
      • Weaknesses
        • Lev Vygotsky emphasised the role of social learning theory and instuction. Piaget focused on discovery learning (ignored influence of others).
        • Vygotskan approach - adult presence to guide exploration and understanding - Piaget ignored this.
        • No evidence of distinct


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