Key Learning Theories 2:
Today we are thinking
Key theories of learning
Social Learning Theory
How theories of learning relate to
Focus: Key Learning Theories 2: Constructivist and
Social Constructivist perspectives
1. “Piaget believed that infants are born predisposed
to adapt and learn from their environment” (Rodd, 1996,
p.31). What does this mean?
2. What is the zone of proximal development?
3. How do the constructivist (Piaget) and social
constructivist (Vygotsky/Bruner) perspectives differ?
Your answer to the
How might this
impact on my
Theories of learning
How do children acquire knowledge?
What is the adult‟s role?
What is the child‟s role?
Children as co-constructors of
Children as competent and confident learners
with their own theories about the world and
how it works
Children and adults will bring their own ideas,
theories and experience and knowledge and
seek to make meaning as they explore and
Adult needs to acknowledge children‟s skills
and knowledge and realise that they do not
have control over the final outcome of the
The child constructs meaning of the world through
exploration and experimentation. Learning is active
The child evolves & refines schemas with experience
Child as scientist
Schema, Stages of Development
Age appropriate curriculum
How do children acquire
What is the adult‟s role?
What is the child‟s role?
Learning is a social process
Learning is dependent upon social
themselves situated within a cultural context
Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner
Zone of Proximal Development, Scaffolding
Organisation of opportunities for collaborative
Learning = interpersonal then intrapersonal
Vygotsky video/or activity
Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal
How do we support
Learning happens as the child
adapts to the environment. The
Learning happens as a more able
other supports the child in
understanding their environment
through social interaction.
Students assessed against
norms; summative and
student in consultation with
teacher; emphasis on
organisatio Setting by ability levels
Establishment of whole
No clear reason to set
class targets with some
Whole-class teaching with
Individual and small-group
Whole class teaching not
Jerome Bruner (1915- )
• „Readiness‟ for learning
• The spiral curriculum
• The learning context –social/cultural
• The role of language in thinking &
reasoning: a „tool of thought‟
Bruner; Key ideas
• Creating a supportive environment
• Importance of social interaction
(scaffolding occurs all the time –
parents, other children...)
• Enactive representation – doing
• Iconic representation – pictures and patterns
• Symbolic representation – language
How do children acquire
What is the adult‟s role?
What is the child‟s role?
For Next Time….
Parker-Rees, R. (2010) „Active playing and learning‟ in
Parker-Rees, R. and Leeson, C. (eds) Early Childhood
Studies: An introduction to the study of children’s worlds
and children’s lives (3rdEd), Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd
Consider the questions:
What does play look like?
Why is play considered to
be important for learning?
Notas do Editor
First ask each person to find and reflect on their answers to the three questions. While they do this give numbers to each person 1 to 12. (this will make groups of two and three). Reading:Edmond, N. & Evans, E. (2012) “Cognitive Development” in Edmond, N. & Price, M. (Eds) Integrated Working with Children and Young People, London: Sage Rodd, J. (1996) ‘What is Normal Behaviour’ in Understanding Young Children’s Behaviour, St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin
Questions:1. “Piaget believed that infants are born predisposed to adapt and learn from their environment” (Rodd, 1996, p.31). What does this mean?2. What is the zone of proximal development? 3. How do the constructivist (Piaget) and social constructivist (Vygotsky/Bruner) perspectives differ? Before they move ask them to take a piece of paper and fold it into for quarters. Then say if you are number 1,4, 7 10 write your answer to the first question in the top right hand corner.If you are number 2,5,8, 11 write the answer to the second question in the top right hand cornerIf you are number 3,6,9,12 write your answer to the third question in the top right hand cornerNow find the other people in the class with your number (there will be one or two others) and share your answers with them. Add into the second quadrant anything extra which comes from this conversation.Now find another pair who have looked at your question to talk to (there should be four groups working on each question so they should combine to be groups of 4,5 or 6). Share the points that you have highlighted with your group discussion. Place points from the group discussion into the third quadrantFinal quadrant discuss how what you have discussed may impact on my teaching.After the session, in your reading groups make sure that you discuss and make notes on all of the other questions
Big questions:How do children acquire knowledge?What is the role of adults in children’s learning?What is the child’s role in their learning?Along the side of the slide are photos of Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner and Bronfenbrenner
For later…..don’t use in sessionIt is the work of Piaget and Vygotsky who fundamentally changed the way we view children. Before them we had very different ways of seeing children. Philosophers and theologians such as St Augustine in 4th and 5th century viewed children as creatures of original sin innately wicked. Use of corporal punishment (show them the birch) as ‘God’s instrument to cure the evils of their condition’ Curtis and Boultwood (1961) Rousseau in 18th Century changed this view (1762) -- children naturally good and need of rescue from the bad world ….young children as innocents. Learn through natural circumstances.Currently there is the focus on seeing children as co constructors of their learning and this is fundamental to the EYFS although there is still a focus on behavourist approaches too. You can see this idea of the children as passive recipients of the knowledge we decide they need to know in the more formal educational contexts. Ie they set teaching lessons and children receive that teaching no learning happens without teachers. We do not believe this which is why we have child initiated activities we believe that they are active participants in their own learning. Seeing ourselves as co-constructors allows us to see children’s misconceptions as part of a learning journey and not just wrong!
B perspectives is useful for understanding behaviors but less do when wanting to understand how understanding and knowledge is developed. Constructivism is a psychological theory of knowledge which argues that we learn from practice and experimentation and our capacity to learn changes and develops through our life.Constructivists theories say that we actively make sense or ‘construct’ our understanding of the world. Whilst behaviorists are interested in how he external world impacts on behaviour, cognitive psychologists are interested in how we make internal representations of the world. Piaget's theory of constructivist learning has had wide ranging impact on learning theories and teaching methods in education and is an underlying theme of many education reform movements. Piaget interested in cognition from babyhood to adolescence. He called the cognitive structures ‘schemas’ and was interested in their development. Key ideas:Child as a scientist- learning through explorationHighlights the significance of learning through PLAY over instruction Child CONSTRUCTS own understanding with practice/ experienceSchemasPiaget called the schema the basic building block of intelligent behaviour – a way of organizing knowledge. Humans have an innate tendency to organise thinking into ‘cognitive structures’ – ways of making sense of experience through organised systems of actions. Children’s skills evolve & develop with experience (he argued in stages).
http://prezi.com/m1zeyit87gyo/edit/#211_52049955First remember that Piaget was a Swiss biologist so the terms he uses are influenced by this.Schema is a Swiss term which he defined as roughly meaning an organised pattern of thought or behaviour. You cannot see schemas as they are an internal process within the brain you can only deduce that they exist through what you see. Piaget spent a lot of time watching children learn and this is how he explained it.BrieflyWhen a child is not learning they are in a resting state which he called Equilibrium. In equilibrium typically a child will have a number of schema which may be innate or learnt from previous experience. Even newborns have schema which will will look at in a momentDisequilibriumWhen something new comes along for a child to learn they are immediately put into disequilibrium. Sometimes you can see this by the child’s reaction (look of confusion, puzzlement, looking intently etc)The response to disequilibrium (if learning takes place) is either accommodation or assimilationAccommodation – where a new schema is formedAssimilation – where the new information is incorporated into an existing schemaAdaptationThis process either assimilating the information into an existing schema of accommodating and making a new schema is called Adaptation.EquilibriumSo once child has adapted to the new information learning has taken place and they go back to equilibrium until something new comes along and the cycle is repeatedLet us look at that in action show prezi
Group to discuss three key questions:Group to note down responses on large sheet.
Social Constructivism:Lev VygotskyDies age 30; His work was not translated for 30 yearsKEY CONCEPTS...Astonishing parallels between this and Piaget’s perspectives suggest that the time was right for this kind of thinking...Moves away from scientific conceptions of human behaviour/ seeking an ultimate explanation or formula...People are ‘incomplete’ without interaction with othersSocial constructivism is a sociological theory of knowledge that applies the general philosophical constructionism into social settings, wherein groups construct knowledge for one another, collaboratively creating a small culture of shared artefacts with shared meanings. When one is immersed within a culture of this sort, one is learning all the time about how to be a part of that culture on many levels.
Video link - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BX2ynEqLL4Activity involves finding the word which links three words.Divide class in half and Give everyone a sheet of questions (one is harder than the other) make sure that half the class have one sheet while the other half have the other. Allow about 4 mins to try to complete the sheet explain we are hoping that they can’t do them all!!! and then ask them to stop. Hopefully they will not have been able to solve them all. then give the answers to the problems they did not have and ask them to pair up with someone who did a different sheet.Their job now is to facilitate the learning of the other person. Think how you might help someone to solve these problems. Stay calm give clues support their thinking. Give them 4 minute for each sheetDiscuss
Which you can return to laterPossible pedagogic implications of ‘Piagetian’ and ‘Vygotskyan’ perspectives – from Moore (2000)
UrieBronfenbrenner a Russian American Pyschologistwe all experience more than one type of environment, including • the microsystem - the immediate environment in which a person is operating, such as the family, classroom, peer group, neighbourhood, etc. • the mesosystem - the interaction of two microsystem environments, such as the connection between a child’s home and school, Home system <---> School system • the exosystem - the environment in which an individual is not directly involved, which is external to his or her experience, but nonetheless affects him or her. An example of an exosystem is the parent’s workplace. Although a child may never have any role in the parent’s workplace, or, in fact, never even go there, the events which occur at the parents’s place of employment do affect the child. For example, if the parent has a bad day at work, or is laid off, or promoted, or has to work overtime, all of these events impact the family and the child.• the macrosystem - the larger cultural context, including issues of cultural values and expectations• the chronosystem - events occurring in the context of passing time. These events may have impact on a particular birth cohort.Each of these systems are characterised by roles, norms (expected behaviour) and relationships. For example, an individual usually acts differently within his or her own family than within a classroom. The person may speak more often at home etcEcological systems modelConsider: 1)What difference would it make to a child’s learning if the school and home had a good relationship and 2) how would this differ if they had a poor or non existent relationship
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