This principle relates to piagets cognitive

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Unformatted text preview: n their own learning. Although traditional approaches to instruction have their use, they often do not create the levels of learner activity necessary for deep conceptual understanding. This principle implies that students should be allowed to learn by forming and testing their own hypotheses, by physically interacting with their environments, and by learning to reflect on their own learning processes and outcomes. Classrooms should be places in which students seek connections among ideas, and major organizing principles and concepts are stressed. Principle 5.2: Learning Experiences are More Effective if They Take into Account the Cognitive Developmental Levels of the Learners. This principle relates to Piaget’s cognitive developmental stages, Vygotsky’s notion of the zone of proximal development, and Bruner’s ideas of knowledge representation systems. This importance of learners’ developmental 52 levels or prior knowledge for new learning is a key idea in constructivist views of learning also. Here are some implications of these principles. • Adults should understand the nature of cognitive development in children and adolescents, and they should use that understanding in designing learning experiences for children and adolescents. • Young children or novices in an academic domain profit from concrete experiences with new learning. Eventually teachers should help students link those experiences to more abstract or symbolic experiences. • Try to assess students’ current levels of understanding and design instruction that is moderately challenging for those students. • Try to understand learners’ mental models that guide their thinking. Provide activities that help them expand or challenge those models. • When working with young children, assume there is an underlying logic to what they say, even if it is not the same as yours. Principle 5.3: Students’ Knowledge Construction is Assisted by the Nature of their Interactions with People and/or Objects in Their Environments. Students’ interactions with their environments influence the types of understandings they develop, especially their interactions with other people. This principle is reflected in the importance that Piaget, Vygotsky, and Bruner place on social interactions for children’s development. The principle also relates to 53 Vygotsky in terms of his ideas of cultural tools, the impact of the social-cultural history of the learner, and his general law of development, and to Bruner in terms of his idea on amplification systems. Finally, this principle is present in constructivism in terms of the idea of social constructivism and authentic learning experiences. Here are some general implications of this principle. • Students should be allowed to debate different points of view on an issues. • Students need to develop technological competencies that can extend their capabilities as problem-solvers. • Students need to engage in collaborative problem-solving activities, p...
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