12 years – adulthoodGains ability to think about abstract concepts and to formulate and test hypotheses in a logical and scientific mannerReaching this stage is not universal – development may cease at concrete operational or only reach formal operational in areas of expertiseoProblems with Piaget’s TheoriesDoes not account for variability in child developmentEx. ability to solve conservation tasks varies among individuals by several yearsmodern research indicates that cognitive capacity of infants is muchgreater than Piaget thoughtex. object permanence develops at 3.5 months not 8Piaget emphasized physical environment more than socialVagueness of mechanisms for change – concepts of assimilation, accommodation and equilibration may make intuitive sense, but exactly how they work is difficult to define-Vygotsky’s Socio-Cultural TheoryoPlaces emphases on environmental factors including cultural influencesoIntersubjectivity –an understanding between two communicators that allows them to communicate effectively about a subject (ex. when I have aconversation with someone about a hockey game, I know what team they are talking about even if they don’t explicitly say it)Important in this theoryEncompasses two important concepts that are prerequisites for TOMJoint AttentionoThe way in which people can share attention with another towards the same object/eventSocial ReferencingoThe way that people take cues from others when dealing with unfamiliar circumstancesoOur social environment has a huge effect on our behavior – we learn from the people we are surrounded by-Vygotsky vs. PiagetoPiaget focused more on physical environment and Vygotsky focused on social environmentoVygotsky viewed language as a driving force behind development but Piaget saw language as a product from a developmental processoEx. different views on child egocentric self-talk:Kid says “I will draw a dog”30
Piaget – “This is an example of egocentrism of the young mind. Children in preoperational stage view speech as something people do without truly understanding its communicative function”Vygotsky – “The declaration represents his/her construction of a mental plan of action. This type of speech is a form of mental progression – a way to internalize linguistic processes until the age when language is mastered to the point where it can remain in the form of verbal thought”-Core Knowledge TheoryoSuggests that infants and kids are more cognitively advanced than older theories acknowledgeoSuggests that from birth, the brain has mechanisms that predispose humans to learn specific skills quickly or to understand certain phenomenain specific waysoEx. newborns prefer stimuli resembling the human face over non-face-like stimulioEx. reflexes in infantsoEx. language acquisition happens at a remarkable speed during infancyoEvolution explains how the early examples of core knowledge are put into place ex. infant reflexes like the sucking reflex have a selective advantage-Theory TheoryoChildren learn and develop knowledge about the world much like scientists do – form coherent and abstract models (system of rules) about the ways in which the world functions and then actively experiment to test and revise their modelsoBelieve that kids form hypotheses about how the world works, test the hypotheses through observations and actions and use observations to draw conclusionsoEx. 3 month old infants are surprised when unsupported objects don’t fall – means they have some understanding of gravity but their understanding of the effects of gravity is incomplete – at 7 months they understand it moreoPiaget had more emphasis on stages but Theory Theory view develops asa more continuous processoPiaget was more uncomfortable with the idea of innate cognitive predispositions – Theory Theorists believe that these innate aspects are flexible and subject to revision over time-TheoriesoModels of the world oAll have their strengths and weaknessesoTheory Theory and Core Knowledge are oppositesoDifferent theories explain different aspects best31
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