Implications of Piaget’s views
(a) A child’s development is retarded if he is not allowed a fairly wide sensory and motor experience in his early years.
(b) Real events and concrete objects play an important role in learning.
(c) In science and mathematics, learning from physical environment is more important than what is learnt from people, books or television.
(d) A teacher should arouse curiosity of the child through planned activities.
(e) Children should be made active.
(f) Children should be treated as children.
(g) Children like to find out by themselves by their own spontaneous activity.
(h) Children learn speedily if we provide concrete material to them.
Piaget’s theory of cog native development (intellectual development)
Piaget asserts that learning is a function of development. For Piget cognitive development, intellectual development and development of intelligence are more or less synonymous.
Intelligence is regarded as a way of behaving. Behaving is reflected in an individual’s adaptation to the environment. Adaptation takes place through the interaction of ‘ assimilation and accommodation’. An intelligent behaviour requires a balance between assimilation and accommodation. This balance is called ‘equilibrium’.
‘Assimilation’ implies incorporation of something from the environment. New ideas, concepts and stimuli are taken in and incorporated into one’s existing set of schemes. A scheme is the organized pattern of behaviour, which the child develops when he is engaged in any activity. For example when a child is engaged in sucking, there is a certain pattern of movements of the cheeks, lips and hands. When a child is confronted with a new object, he will try to understand the new object by applying his old scheme to it. He grasps it. He adapts himself to a new object by assimilating it. His old scheme does not change in the process.
‘Accommodation’ involves modification or change in some elements of an old scheme or learning a new scheme, which is more appropriate for the new object. A baby who has already got a scheme of sucking mother’s breast accommodates to the object placed in the mouth-finger, ., pencil, a toy depending on its shape, from and the size. The baby develops a new scheme or a modified scheme. This is called ‘accommodation’.
Thus a baby assimilates when he understands and perceives the new in the light of his old perceptions. A baby forms a new scheme when the modifies or changes his old perception to suit the new structures or new schemes and consequently develops cognivity. A reference has already been made to the four periods of cognitive development.
Educational implications of Piaget’s cognitive theory of development.
• It provides a broad development perspective to the educator for building a curriculum for pre-school children.
• The description of developmental stages and qualitative aspects of intellectual growth is very useful in providing suitable educational practices.
• The cognitive theory states that the child is to be actively involved in the teaching-learning process for his intellectual growth.
• The Piaget-based curriculum requires that children should not skip any stage.
• The pre-school child is at the pre-operational level. The educational programmed at this stage should provide concrete operations.
• A pre-school programmed should enable the child to integrate the information.
• A child should be helped to develop internal consistency of the system.
• Most of the activities of the Piaget require simple equipment and material.
• Drilling in skills is to be avoided.
• Teaching-learning situation should be geared to a point where the child is neither too familiar nor too unfamiliar with the objects and ideas.
• A variety of cognitive activities like story- telling, rhymes, singing etc, are included in the programmed in a systematic manner. There is a deliberate attention to developing cognitive growth.
PIAGET'S DEVELOPMENT THEORY
Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget is renowned for constructing a highly influential model of child development and learning. Piaget's theory is based on the idea that the developing child actively and adaptively builds cognitive structures--in other words, mental "maps," schemes, or networked concepts for understanding and responding to physical experiences within his or her environment. Through successive stages of intellectual development, children develop intellectual structures that enable them to have a greater understanding not only of the world, but also themselves.
Piaget considered intellectual activity to be a biological function. In his theory, Piaget describes the development and adaptation of mental operations or thought structures (e.g., counting, classification, etc.), which progress through rich interactions with the world. He outlined four factors underlying intellectual development: maturation (physical and neurological development); physical (direct apprehension of the physical world) and logic-mathematical (intellectual reflection and reconstruction) experiences; social transmission (schooling, learning from others), and equilibration (the process of the integration of these influences to achieve an adaptive balance with the environment).
PIAGET'S THEORY OF CONCEPTUAL CHANGE INVOLVES FOUR STAGES OF INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT:
Sensor motor stage (birth-2 years old) Through direct physical experiences with the world and rudimentary mental symbols, children learn how to navigate through the world and develop sensor motor skills which lay the groundwork for the development of mental operations.
Preoperational stage (ages 2-7) Children develop language skills and rudimentary mental operations. They reason, based upon their concrete experiences with the world (e.g., judge quantity by length rather than by numerical quantity).
Concrete operations (ages 7-11) As physical experience accumulates, the child starts to conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences. Some abstract reasoning and problem solving is also possible at this stage. For example, arithmetic equations can be solved with numbers, not just with objects.
Formal operations (beginning at ages 11-15) Reasoning is freed from the concrete. Adolescents begin to construct whole systems of belief and can engage in more reflective reasoning, such as thinking about others' thoughts or engaging in self-reflection. In scientific problem solving, formal thinking enables adolescents to systematically manipulate variables and reason about unknowns such as algebraic variables.
While learners at different stages of development may reason incorrectly about the physical world, through the challenges presented by these dilemmas, children revise their intellectual skills and strategies so their reasoning is more accurate, comprehensive, and in a better "equilibrium" with the world.