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Chapter 8

PSY210-Chapter8Text&LecNotes.pdf

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY210H5
Professor
Elizabeth Johnson
Semester
Summer

Description
Chapter 8: Cognitive Development:Piaget and Vygotsky Notes Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development • proposes that over development, the child acquires qualitatively new ways of thinking and understanding the world Piaget’s Main Tenet: The Child Actively Seeks Knowledge • children actively seek out information and when they encounter new information, they actively try to fit it in with the knowledge they already possess • constructivist view - the idea that children actively create their understanding of the world as they encounter new information and have new experiences 1. Cognitive organization: schema - an organized unit of knowledge that the child uses to try to understand a situation; a schema • forms the basis for organizing actions to respond to the environment • organization - combining simple mental structures into more complex systems • new organization of the child’s knowledge builds on the prior organization but extends this knowledge into new and more powerful directions • operations - schemas based on internal mental activities 2. Cognitive adaptation: • adaptation - the individual’s tendency to adjust to environmental demands • assimilation - moulding a new experience to fit an existing way of responding to the environment • accommodation - modifying an existing way of responding to the environment to fit the characteristics of a new experience The Stages of Cognitive Development • stages of development - comprehensive,qualitative changes over time in the way a child thinks 1. Sensorimotor stage: • sensorimotor stage - Piaget’s 1st stage, during which children move from purely reflexive behaviour to the beginnings of symbolic thought and goal-directed behaviours • age range: 0-2 years • object permanence - the notion that entities external to the child,such as objects and people,continue to exist independent of the child’s seeing or interacting with them • substages: 1. Basic reflex activity(0-1 month) - focuses only on objects directly in front of them • • 2. Primary circular reactions(1-4 months) - begins to operate with objects with action schemes • 3. Secondary circular reactions(4-8 months) - can operate on objects and repeats actions towards objects; can visually anticipate where an object might be • 4. Coordination of secondary schemata(8-12 months) - will search for completely hidden objects but has tendency to repeat old actions by searching where objects were previously hidden • 5. Tertiary circular reactions(12-18 months) - lots of trial-and-error experimentation with objects and how they move • 6. Inventing new means by mental combination(18-24 months) - object concept is fully developed; child searches and finds objects easily 2. Preoperational stage: • preoperational stage - the symbolic function promotes the learning of language; period is also marked by egocentricity and intuitive behaviour,in which the child can solve problems using mental operations but cannot explain how she did so • age range: 2-7 years • symbolic function - the ability to use symbols, such as images, words, and gestures, to represent objects and events in the world a) The preconceptual substage (2-4 years): • preconceptual substage - the child’s thought is characterized by animistic thinking and egocentricity • egocentrism - the tendency to view the world from one’s own perspective and to have difficulty seeing things from another’s viewpoint b) The intuitive substage (4-7 years): • intuitive substage - the child begins to solve problems by means of specific mental operations but cannot yet explain how she arrives at the solutions c) Limitations: • conservation - the understanding that altering an object’s or a substance’s appearance does not change its basic attributes or properties • reversibility - the notion that one can reverse or undo a given operation, either physically or mentally • ends-over-means focus - consideration of only the end state of a problem in evaluating an event; failure to consider the means by which that end state was obtained • centration - centring one’s attention on only one dimension or characteristic of an object or situation 3. The stage of concrete operations: • concrete operations stage - period in which the child acquires such concepts as conservation and classification and can reason logically • age range: 7-12 years • children’s thinking at this point is tied to concrete reality: they can solve a problem only if the objects necessary for problem solution are physically present 4. The stage of formal operations: • formal operations stage - the period in which the child becomes capable of flexible and abstract thought, complex reasoning, and hypothesis testing • age range: 12 years and beyond Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development • it proposes that cognitive development is largely the result of children’s interaction with more experienced members of their culture • he held that each child is born with a set of innate capabilities(attention,perception,memory),but he also believed that input from the child’s social and cultural worlds directs these capabilities towards more complex,higher-order cognitive functions • mediators - psychological tools and signs,such as language,counting,mnemonic devices,algebraic symbols, art and writing • mediators permit the child to become more effective in solving problems and understanding the world 1. Elementary and higher mental functions: • elementary mental functions - functions which the child is endowed with by nature, including attention, perception, and memory • higher mental functions - functions that rely on mediators that have become increasingly sophisticated through the child’s interactions with the environment; ex. voluntary attention and intentional remembering 2. The zone of proximal development: • zone of proximal development(ZPD) - the difference b/w the developmental level a child has reached and the level she is potentially capable of reaching with the guidance or collaboration of more skilled adult/peer • scaffolding - an instructional process in which the teacher continually adjusts the amount and type of support he offers as the child continues to develop more sophisticated skills • guided participation - learning that occurs as children participate in activities of their community and are guided in their participation by the actions of more experienced partners in the setting 3. The role of culture: • culture provides institutions and social settings that support and direct cognitive development • research suggests that social opportunities for children’s learning appear in many forms and that culture determine the frequency and manner with which these processes occur 4. The role of language: • plays a central role in Vygotsky’s approach • it provides children with access to the ideas and understanding of other people and also enables them to convey their own ideas and thoughts to others • it’s the primary cultural tool that mediates individual ment
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