PIAGET MODEL OF CONCEPT OF LEARNING
Jean Piaget (1964) stressed the following aim of education:
(1) The principal goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done. Education should create men who are creators, inventors and discovers.
(2) The second aim of education is to form minds which can be critical, can verify and do not accept everything they are offered
Piaget’s views about learning
He revolutionized thinking and understanding about the intellectual growth of young children. According to his theory a child goes through a series of developmental stages which are as under:-
(a) Sensimotor (birth to two years).
(b) Preconception (two to four year).
(c) Initiative (four to seven years).
(d) Concrete operations (seven to eleven years).
(e) Formal operations (eleven years and onwards)
Piaget’s views on various aspects of learning
(1) Meaning of learning. Learning includes a wide range of activities. Rigid distinctions like classroom for instruction, laboratory for practical, recess for amusement, mathematics for developing computational ability, athletics for strengthening the body muscles, etc. are unnecessary. Piaget’s approach helps to the together what have been treated as separate subjects.
(2) Role of learner’s actions. Action stressed the role of active exploration. A child is active when he stares at objects. A child is active when he stares at an organism. A child is active when he studies his body parts. A child is active when he lifts something. A child is active when he carries thing. A child is active when he arranges things. Children are usually active for most of their time. There is no doubt that some of these activities may be rather aimless or unnecessary. However, most of these activities are purposeful.
(3) Role of practice. An important part of Piagetian model is repetition of an act of a child. The role of practice varies with the development. Concepts are the products of a long history of action. A child may take three or more days to complete a puzzle. Each day he appears to go through the same sequence. The child’s actions upon the environment are repeated again and again with slight modifications each time. Piaget depicts the child as somewhat shower and methodical and systematic in acquisition of new ideas.
(4) Motivation. According to Piaget, a learner desires to reduce his internal conflicts by keeping his thought harmonious and in equilibrium. It is only through playing, imitation, exploring and questioning that a child gradually comes to distinguish the achievable from the non-achievable, and logical from the illogical. To Piaget, the progress towards this end is an inherent property of cognitive style, as are eating, drinking and breathing in physiological field.
(5) Memory. Memory is a symbolic representation of how the child has schematized what he says. Experiments conducted by Piaget reveal that after six months, 61 per cent of the children form 4-8 years of age regressed in their memory ability if tested by recall or evocation.
A reconstruction test involving the child with some material showed regression in 4-5 years old but 48 percent progression among 6-7 years old. Piaget holds that recognition is perceptual and reconstruction is internalized imitation. Each experiment reveals that the pattern of accuracy, improvement and regression (gradual loss of memory) is determined by initial conceptual understanding and is altered by new understandings.
(6) Interest. According to Piaget, the interest of the child at any given movement depends upon the system of ideas he has acquired plus his affective inclination. A child tends to fulfill his interests in the direction of greater equilibrium. Equilibrium according to Piaget is development and the ability to thing in a logical and national manner.