JEAN PIAGET

COGNITIVE THEORY- How we process information

KEY CONCEPTS

From the Cognitive Theory perspective, Piaget was interested in how we process information, learn new information in connection with our responses. Piaget studied the development of children and was interested in why children gave certain answers. Piaget determined that children learn by exploring the world around them. As they explore, they make "mental notes" or schemas. These mental notes may change as the child has more interactions with the environment. Piaget used the following terms in his theory:

Schema- A mental representation of the world. As we get older, there increase in the number of schemas and they are more complex

Assimilation- Using stored schemas to respond to new situations

Accommodation- The need to modify a schema that does now work in a new situation.


Piaget also believed in stages of development and that one must complete each stage in order.

Sensorimotor: 0 - 2yrs

Pre-operational: 2 - 7yrs

Concrete Operational: 7- 11yrs

Formal Operational:11yrs +



PIAGET IN THE CLASSROOM - HOW DOES IT LOOK?

One may think that it looks like utter chaos with students roaming about exploring their environment. In fact, teachers using this theory will:

  • Activate prior knowledge
  • Build upon prior knowledge
  • Investigate the reasoning behind a student's response
  • Design activities that allow students to discover new concepts
  • Use KWL charts and graphic organizers with students
  • Use grouping for social interactions


SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Works very well for elementary and ELL students.

May require frequent designing of activities and administering assessments. Frequent assessments = frequent grading.


More teacher driven