Educational Psychology: Chapter 2

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Orderly, adaptive changes we go through from conception to death
Personal development
Changes in personality that takes place as one grows
Social development
Changes over time in the ways we relate to others
Cognitive development
Gradual orderly changes by which mental processes (thinking, reasoning, decision-making) become more complex and sophisticated.
Genetically programmed, naturally occurring changes over time
Joint actions of individual biology and environment– each shapes and influences the other
Sensitive periods
Times when a person is especially ready for or responsive to certain experiences
Specialization of the two sides of the brain
The brain’s tendency to remain somewhat adaptable or flexible
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
Theory based on the assumption that people try to make sense of the world and actively create knowledge though direct experiences with objects, people, and ideas
basic building block of thinking; mental systems or categories of perception and experience
Information Processing theories
focus on attention, memory capacity, learning strategies, and other processing skills to explain how children develop rules and strategies for solving problems
Neo-Piagetian theory
focus on attention, memory, and strategies, and at how thinking develops in different domains such as numbers or spatial relations (p.52)
Piaget’s Theory’s CRITICISM
Children and adults often think in ways that are inconsistent with the notion of invariant stages (stages may not be discrete), underestimating children’s abilities, and cultural factors in child development are overlooked
Ongoing process of arranging information and experience into mental systems or categories
Adjustment to the environment
Fitting new information into existing schemes
Altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to new information
Search for mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment
In Piaget’s theory, the “out-of-balance” state that occurs when a person realizes that their current ways of thinking are not working to solve a problem or understand a situation
Sensorimotor Stage
Involving the senses and motor activity (stage during infancy)
Object permanence
The understanding that objects have a separate, permanent existence
Goal-directed actions
Deliberate actions toward a goal
Preoperational Stage
The stage before a child masters logical mental operations (stage from early childhood to early elementary school). Emphasis on operations.
Actions a person carries out by thinking them through instead of literally performing then
Semiotic Function
The ability to use symbols–language, pictures, signs, or gestures–to represent actions or objects mentally (imagination)
Reversible thinking
Thinking backward, from the end to the beginning
Principle that some characteristics of an object remain the same despite changes in appearance (same amount of paper after tearing it–tape it back together)
Focusing on more than one aspect at a time (glasses of different dimensions can hold the same amount of water but look different)
Assuming that others experience the world the way you do (tendency of preoperational kids)
Concrete Operations
Stage from late elementary to middle school. Mental tasks tied to concrete objects and situations. Very hands-on. Basic characteristics: recognition of logical stability of world, realization that elements can be changed but still have many characteristics conserved, and understanding that these changes can be reversed.
Principle that a person or object remains the same over time (1/3 aspects of reasoning required for conservation problems)
Changes in one dimension can be offset by changes in another (2/3 aspects of reasoning required for conservation problems)
A characteristic of Piagetian, logical operations–the ability to think through a series of steps, then mentally reverse the steps and return to the starting point (3/3 aspects of reasoning required for conservation problems)
Grouping objects into categories
Arranging objects in sequential order according to one aspect, such as size, weight, or volume
Formal Operations
Stage in high school and college. Mental tasks involving abstract thinking and coordination of a number of variables
Hypothetico-deductive reasoning
Hallmark of formal operations. Problem solving strategy in which an individual begins by identifying all factors that might affect a problem and deduces and systematically evaluates specific solutions
Vygotsky’s influences on cognitive development
1. Human activities must be understood in cultural setting
2. Mental processes can be traced to interactions w/ others
3. Culture and language are key factors in development
4. Zone of proximal development is the area where learning and development are possible
Sociocultural theory
Emphasizes role in development of cooperative dialogues between children and more knowledgable members of society. Children learn the culture of their community (ways of thinking and behaving) through these interactions
Co-constructed process
A social process in which people interact and negotiate to create an understanding or to solve a problem. The final product is shaped by all participants. This illustrated the idea the social interaction was more than just influence; it was the origin of higher mental processing.
Cultural Tools
The real tools(computers, scales…) and symbol systems (numbers, language) that allow people in a society to communicate, think, solve problems, and create knowledge
Collective Monologue
Form of speech in which children in a group talk but do not really interact or communicate (p. 58)
Piaget’s thoughts on private speech
Private speech is an indication of the child’s egocentrism
Vygotsky’s thoughts on private speech
Private speech guides and monitors thinking and problem solving
Private Speech
Children’s self-talk, which guides their thinking and action. Eventually, these verbalizations are internalized as silent inner speech
Zone of proximal development
Phase at which a child can master a task if given appropriate help and support. Between their current development level and their potential.
Support for learning and problem solving. Support=clues, reminders, encouragement…anything that allows the student to grow in independence as a learner. Structuring interactions & developing instruction in small steps based on tasks the learner is already capable of performing independently. Emphasis on connecting new concepts to old ones.
Assisted learning
Providing strategic help in the initial stages of learning, gradually diminishing as students gain independence
Funds of Knowledge
Knowledge that families and community members have acquired in many areas of work, home, and religious life that can become the basis for teaching
Expressive vocabulary
Words a person can speak
Receptive Vocabulary
The words a person can understand in spoken or written words
The rules for when and how to use language to be an effective communicator in a particular culture
Emergent literacy
The skills and knowledge, usually developed in the preschool years, that are the foundation for the development of reading and writing
1896-1980 Swiss philosopher and psychologist who placed great importance on education and is best known for his theories in cognitive thinking
1896-1934 Soviet Psychologist founded cultural-historical psychology and developed the concept of Zone of Proximal Development