Piaget View On Learning Essay

1827 words - 8 pages

Introduction
Piaget views the development of thought as a staged cycle “from a concrete phenomenal view to an abstract constructionist view, from an active egocentric to a reflective internalized mode of knowing”(Piaget: 1970) the stages of thought development move from being two dimensional and simple to becoming able to perceive on a more abstract and complex plain. The development of thought is your process of learning, and in learning the concept of learning styles has been presented by Kolb in a manner that distinguishes four unique categories. The accommodator, diverger, converger and assimilator. (Nelson Mandela metropolitan university:2010) Each one having its own way of obtaining ...view middle of the document...

Then a stray dog started snarling and barking at them violently in the street. This only happened once. Tim’s experience of dogs is that they are aggressive and pose a threat to personal safety. He will now perceive all animals to be aggressive and to be a threat. Two different schemas have formed from different experiences resulting in different perceptions regarding the same subject.
These schemas are not set in stone, they can easily be changed. This sort of thinking will take place is something that is carried on throughout your life, it is just that as you get older you process information differently and you have more experiences over time. As we have more encounters with something we can build a better and more consistent schema. This is the process of learning, where assimilation and accommodation take place. Assimilation is “The process by which a person takes material into their mind from the environment.” (Atherton,2010:1) This new material forms the substance that allows accommodation to take place. Accommodation is “the difference made to one's mind or concepts by the process of assimilation.” (Atherton,2010:1) These two processes cannot happen without the other, they work together in tandem to adjust and create new schemas.
Arguments against Piaget – Lev Vygotsky
In a reverse argument to Jean Piaget’s view on thought development is that of Lev Vygotsky. Vygotsky agrees with Piaget on that we learn through interaction with our environment, but argues that learning comes before development. ” Vygotsky placed more emphasis on social contributions to the process of development, whereas Piaget emphasized self-initiated discovery” (S McLeod:2007) he believes that most of the important things we learn we learn through social interaction, from person to person. An example similar to one used by Shaffer(1996) uses a little girl who is attempting to piece together a puzzle. Alone she struggles to put the puzzle together but then her father steps in to assist her, by explaining the strategy of working from the edge towards the middle. At first he physically helps her piece by piece while guiding her through the process orally. As time progresses his input slowly fades away and by the time his input stops the girl is able to continue building the puzzle by herself.
To understand what is happening in the above situation according to Vygotsky’s theory on cognitive development one must first look at the two main concepts of Vygotsky’s theory.
The first concept is that of the “more knowledgeable other” who in this situation is the father. The role of this person is to teach to other, the more knowledgeable person has a better understanding or is at a higher level regarding certain activities and skills. (Shaffer, 1996) the MKO does not have to be an adult or even a human, the tutor in this situation could even be the screen of the computer at home. As long...

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