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Chay Ross, Artist, was born and raised in the surrounding areas of South Bay and Los Angeles California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Arts Education from California State University, Los Angeles, which allowed her to train and study interdisciplinary areas within the arts and education profession. To advance her academic discipline, she went on to earn her Masters of Arts in Education (M.A.Ed.) and single-subject teacher certification in Visual Arts. In her spare time, she likes to do arts & crafts. She also likes to watch YouTube videos to learn various new skills.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Concepts of Jean Piaget's Theory and How they Effect Classroom Instruction - by Chalon Ross

Ok fellow educators, take a deep breath and follow me.

Jean Piaget's view of schema is knowledge. This includes the process of obtaining that knowledge in our everyday world. These processes are through: (a) assimilation, (b) accommodation, and (c) equilibration. He claims that humans cannot be given information, which they immediately understand and use; instead, humans must construct their own knowledge (Powell & Kolina, 2009). Here is an explanation of how this can be done.

Assimilation. According to Cherry, the process of taking in new information into our previously existing schemas is known as assimilation (2010). Assimilation can be seen in a toddler whose sole male figure is his father. The toddler perceives his father as tall and heavyweight. If the toddler is then introduced to another male figure that has similar physical characteristics, the toddler may conclude that this new man is also its father (by saying dada, or poppa) even though they are two different men. Another example is when a teenage girl may have a preconceived notion that all boys who wear braces, wear glasses, and who earns straight A's by studying frequently are nerds or geeks. Being a geek often has negative connotations when characterizing a teenager. Suppose the teenage girl has a crush on her school's star football athlete. She likes him because he possess qualities such as muscles, popularity, and good looks, but she finds out later that in addition to the qualities she like about him, he also possess all qualities know to her as a geek. The teenage girl can then process this information and apply it to her existing thoughts. She can now formulate the new data she received and come to an alternate conclusion about her idea of a geek. Assimilation occurs when the girl gathers all of her thoughts and concludes that the star athlete is in fact nonetheless, a different type of geek.

Accommodation. The process in which we change or alter our existing schemas in light of new information describes accommodation (Cherry, 2010). We can use the analogy of the teenage girl and geek given above. In assimilation, the teenage girl received new information about the guy she liked, but still referred to him as a geek because she only subjectively modified her existing beliefs. Whereas in accommodation, the teenage girl would have changed her mind about geeks once the new information was received because she developed a new schema. In the teenage girl's case, her newly developed schema suggests that just because the football player she likes possess all of her preconceived qualities of a geek, it does not make him a geek.

Equilibration. Striking a balance between assimilation and accommodation is the challenge of equilibration. This helps determines how students develop from one stage of thought to another. This can be applied to social development, cognitive development, and even academic development.

Classroom Management. Teachers must base their classroom management on schemes that students are familiar with. This includes the curriculum and instructional execution. For instance, if an adolescent student is not familiar with mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction, the teacher cannot teach the student multiplication and division because there is no cognitive foundation. Even if the classroom teacher attempts to execute this new concept to the student, accommodation cannot occur because there is no preexisting schema. Furthermore, teachers must produce curricula that appropriately suit the cognitive level of all students. If a teacher instructs students on material that is below their level, equilibration cannot occur. This in turn will prohibit students from advancing from one cognitive level to the next. In this case, in order for cognitive advancement to take place, the teacher must assess students' level, and then start classroom instruction through assimilation. For example, a student may understand the concept of addition. The student may be able to add two plus two, but when given an addition problem of three plus five, assimilation has to occur in order for students to build on their existing knowledge to figure it out. The teacher must continuously repeat concepts and check students for understanding by asking questions and giving assessments.

Break Down of Jean Piaget's Theory (hope I simplified it enough)

1. Assimilation.
The process of taking in new information into our previously existing schema.
Ex 1. Toddler + (dad & dad's friend) = (dad & dad)
Ex 2. Toddler + (cute little dog & big ugly dog) = (dog & dog)
2. Accommodation.
The process in which we change or alter our existing schemas in light of new information.
Ex. Believing El Torritoes is an authentic Mexican restaurant until you acquire authentic Mexican Food.
3. Equilibration.
Striking a balance between assimilation and accommodation to help determine how students develop from one stage of thought to another.
Classroom Management.
1. Classroom instruction through assimilation.
Example. Addition concept. 2+2 vs. 3+5

Note: The student may be able to add two plus two, but when given an addition problem of three plus five, assimilation has to occur in order for students to build on their existing knowledge to figure it out.
2. Classroom instruction through accommodation.
Example. Mastering (+ & -) concepts prior to learning (x & 1/1).

Note: If an adolescent student is not familiar with mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction, the teacher can not teach the student multiplication and division because there is no cognitive foundation.
3. Classroom instruction through equilibration.
Example. Teaching the (+ & -) concept to AP Calculus students.

Note: If a teacher instructs students on material that is below their level, equilibration can not occur. This in turn will prohibit students from advancing from one cognitive level to the next.

References:

Cherry, Kendra (2010). Background and Key Concepts of Piaget's Theory. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/bio/Kendra-Van-Wagner-17268.htm

Powell, K., & Kalina, C. (2009). COGNITIVE AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIVISM: DEVELOPING TOOLS FOR AN i EFFECTIVE CLASSROOM. Education, 130(2), 241. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.

If you guys want to learn more about the Philosopher I wrote about, click here... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget

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