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How Can Piagetian Theory be used to facilitate teaching activities in learning centers - Term Paper Example

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Piaget’s Influence in the Teaching-Learning Environment This paper will discuss applications of Piagetian theories on education. It will show how influential Piaget is that contemporary education has accepted his theories and have built educational approaches based on it…
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How Can Piagetian Theory be used to facilitate teaching activities in learning centers
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Download file to see previous pages He emphasized the use of questioning that lead children to think philosophically and designed tasks that call upon high-level cognition; problem solving, reasoning, and understanding of complex concepts (Siegler & Ellis, 1996). To Piaget, children’s cognitive behaviour is intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated. Even if it is a fact that social interactions and other reinforcements influence how a child thinks, Piaget maintains that children learn and think naturally because they are designed and have been evolved to do so. He came up with the Stages of Cognitive Development because he believed that intellectual development is influenced by both maturation and experience. “Cognitive development is indicated by a growing ability to plan, to employ strategies for remembering and to seek solutions to problems” (Brewer, 2001: 26). Piaget describes that cognitive development of children progress in stages. The initial stage is the Sensorimotor Stage of babies and toddlers. This period is characterized by interactions with the environment based on the child’s reception of sensory input and muscular reactions. The task of this period is to develop the concept of object permanence, the idea that objects exist even when they cannot be seen or heard. (Brewer, 2001). The Preoperational Period (two to seven years) marks the time when a child becomes able to represent objects and knowledge through imitation, symbolic play, drawing, mental images and spoken language. Lack of conservation skills is also characteristic of this stage. “Conservation is defined as the knowledge that the number, mass, area, length, weight, and volume of objects are not changed by physically rearranging the objects.” (Brewer, 2001: 46) The ages of seven to eleven or twelve years falls under the Concrete Operational Period. Children at this age begin to think more operationally. Piaget and Inhelder (1969) described the operational thinker as one who employs “identity or reversibility by inversion or reciprocity” (99) in solving problems. They have moved on from being egocentric and consider that others may come to conclusions that differ from theirs. 2. Adult’s role in child development Piaget is a proponent of Consructivist philosophy in education. This philosophy premises on the belief that learners “construct” their own learning, and in effect, have better retention of it. “In the Constructivist theory the emphasis is placed on the learner or the student rather than the teacher or the instructor.  It is the learner who interacts with objects and events and thereby gains an understanding of the features held by such objects or events.  The learner, therefore, constructs his/her own conceptualizations and solutions to problems.  Learner autonomy and initiative is accepted and encouraged.” (Van Ryneveld, n.d., n.p.). Adults who adhere to Piagetian theories give the students more power in the acquisition of learning. Using prior knowledge, children are encouraged to invent their own solutions and try out their own ideas and hypotheses with the able support of their teachers. This way, they can indulge in concrete experiences that focus on their interests. The process of searching for information, analysing data and reaching conclusions is considered more important than learning facts. Teachers come up with several strategies in capturing their students’ attention, and courses are offered in helping educators become more efficient in imparting ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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