Application of Theory, Planning, Instruction, And Assessment to Create Student Success
Constructivism is a theory about knowledge and learning. Knowledge is defined as temporary, developmental, and socially and culturally mediated, therefore subjective. Learning is a self- a regulated process that resolves inner cognitive conflicts through the aides of concrete experience, collaborative discourse, and reflection (written). Learning takes place- is constructed- in the head of the learner by the leaner (Brooks & Brooks, 1993).
Constructivism is defined as a theory about knowledge. Teaching and learning do not describe the same experience. Teaching, and teaching well at that is not a guarantee that students will learn (George, 1986). The constructivism model as a theory about knowledge is summarized as knowledge is constructed in the mind of the learner. Traditionally knowledge is perceived as being a common-sense notion that exists regardless of whether everyone subscribes to it or not. However, the constructivism model essentially defines knowledge as being the construct the learner. The learners, therefore, construct an understanding by applying meaning and reasoning through assessment of regularity and order of events. They do not simply agree with what they are told or what they read. Knowledge is therefore based on learners’ personal experiences and the hypothesis of their environment.
As a theory of learning, constructivism draws its understanding majorly from Jean Piaget’s theory of learning. Learning is demonstrated as being an active process of constructing knowledge. Learners are engaged in an active and continuous process of assessing their personal experiences and hypothesis of the environment to gain an understanding of knowledge, and this process is what is described as learning (Piaget, 2013). Each learner bears their interpretation of what knowledge is and is involved in a different learning experience from the others. Constructivism is not a theory about teaching but learning.
Constructivism is anchored on the notion that knowledge is both temporary and developmental. This notion is supported by the fact that knowledge depends on the individual as it is gained through an individual’s personal experiences. Because learning is an active process, knowledge cannot be permanent. A learner’s prior knowledge is enhanced as learning takes place, making knowledge developmental. During the learning process, learners end up getting a deeper understanding of what knowledge is. Knowledge is therefore not static, and it changes overtime. Learning itself is a process of continual construction and re-organization (Kim, 2005).
Constructivists suggest that knowledge is subjective; being that it is socially and culturally mediated. Knowledge is grounded in social and cultural interactions. For instance, depending on the community the learner identifies with knowledge can be arrived at through social interactions based on the culture and traditions of the community. Knowledge is constructed from the learner’s perceptions and is mutually agreed upon conviction. The learning process incorporates consciousness, free thinking will and social influences. This process is aided by social interactions. Therefore, the learners draw from their social and cultural environments.
Constructivists argue that learning is a self- regulated process. Constructivism acknowledges the learner’s active role in the entire learning process. It is the learner who constructs knowledge and its meaning and continually redefines it through his or her interactions and past experiences through the process of re-organization. The learner is actively involved and well aware of the learning experience. The learner is, therefore, able to take charge of their learning.
According to constructivists, learning can resolve inner cognitive conflicts. These conflicts are resolved through the aide of concrete experience, collaborative discourse and lastly through reflection. The three constitute the various aspects of the learning process. Inner cognitive conflicts must occur during the learning process. They are part of the learning process. The concept of inner cognitive conflict is defined as a state of disequilibrium whereby there is a lack of balance in mental capacities. When a learner is experiencing such conflicts, it may lead to dissatisfaction with existing knowledge. Although such conflicts aide the learning process, in the long run, they can temporarily disrupt the learning process by causing anxiety and confusion in the learner.
Collaborative discourse as a means of resolving cognitive conflicts entails encouraging interactions between learners through active discussions preferably in small groups. During such discussions, the nature of the conflict is defined, inadequate reasoning may also be exposed and eventually understanding is achieved. Another way of resolving cognitive conflicts is through forming concrete experience. This involves the learner going through a new experience that will help in coming up with new perception and clearer understanding thus resolve the existing cognitive conflict. Reflection as a way of resolving cognitive conflict entails the learner actively assessing concrete and specific information presented in a clear, detailed and reasoned manner to gain a clearer understanding. The information is usually in written form.
Piaget Cognitive Learning Theory
Cognitive is the theory and memory process. Cognitive development is the long-term variations in the processes of thinking and memory. Among the most recognized broader view about mental development is the cognitive stage theory of Jean Piaget. He studied the manner in which children and youths acquire the ability to think logically, and scientifically. This theory is mainly focusing on educators. Piaget was among the psychological constructivists. According to him, learning is achievable among children through the adjustment of new experiences to march the prior concepts and adjusting new concepts to fit in merit the level of new experiences. The collaboration of these two processes leads to both short-term learning and long-term development charges.
Piaget cognitive theory mainly focuses on long-term developments. After close observation of children, Piaget asserts that cognitive development starts from birth to the end of the stages of an adolescent. Through proposing on stages, he implies a series of thinking patterns with four main characteristics. These include occurrence in a similar order; no stage is skipped during development; each later stage incorporates the earlier stages. Piaget stage of development is a is a staircase system of development which consists of some steps. Piaget proposed four main stages of cognitive development which include sensorimotor intelligence, preoperational thinking, concrete operational thinking, and formal operational thinking. Each stage is associated with a given age period of childhood but only approximated.
The sensorimotor stage starts at birth to the age of two years. This is the first stage of development. It is the time that infants start to develop thinking through their senses and actions of the motor. As every parent will confirm, the infants will constantly touch, change, look, listen, bite and chew objects. According to Piaget, these activities will enable learning about the world and are important for their early mental development. The actions of the infants enable the children to comprehend objects and events. For example, a doll may be a confusing array of sensation at the first time, but by observing, feeling, and changing it repeatedly, the child will collect the senses and actions into a stable knowledge, toy doll. The representation offers a lacking experience in the comprehensibility of the child on a given object which is in constant variation. Because of the stable representation, the child will know and believe in the existence of dolls even if the doll is out of sight. Piaget referred to this sense of stability as object permanence. It is a belief that objects exist whether they are physically present or not. This is the main achievement of sensorimotor development and shows the qualitative change in the way older infants think about various experiences as compared to the younger infants.
During most of the period of infancy, a child will barely communicate so that sensorimotor development will happen without support from the language. It is therefore difficult to imagine what the infants are thinking about. However, Piaget did various simple experiments to investigate their lack of language and propose that infants relate objects regardless of their ability to communicate. One of his examples was an experiment with an object under the blanket. He observed that hiding the object prompts the infant at the age of eighteen to twenty-four months to look for the object but did not prompt the infants at the age of fewer than six months. There is a motivation behind searching for the object by the older infants even without communication, and there is a presumption of a permanent illusion of representing the object.
The second stage is the preoperational stage. It occurs between the age of two to seven years. At this stage, children can represent and associate objects in a broader range of activities. However, they still do not perform it in an organized and logical manner. Among the example of this cognitive development is a dramatic play. Bearing responsibility for children at this age, it is possible to experience the dramatic play. For example, a child can hold a bandanna and act like someone who is speaking on the phone. Sometimes children who are immersed in make-believe may express insanity. It is evident from their unrealistic way of thinking. Nevertheless, these children have not got out of their senses. At some point, a child imagining of banana to be a phone knows that it is not. They view it as a representation of a telephone. They way of thinking is on two levels at a go: the first one being imaginative and the second realistic. This double process of thinking makes a dramatic play which is earlier metacognition or a reflection on and monitoring of thinking. Metacognition is a much impressive skill for successfulness in schools. Teachers are encouraging it mostly among the learners. This is among the reason why teachers who teach young children dedicate time and some space in the classroom for dramatic play and participate in helping in the further development of the play.
The third stage is the concrete operational stage. This stage starts from the age of seven to eleven years. In the process of continuation with elementary school, children gain the ability to represent ideas and events more flexibly and logically. They still bear a basic rule of thinking in comparison to the adult standards and operates unconsciously. However, they are getting the chance to solve problems more systematically to succeed in various academic activities. A child in the concrete operational stage will, for instance, unconsciously adhere to the regulations: “If there is no addition or subtraction of anything, then the quantity of something remains the same.” This principle enables children to comprehend arithmetic tasks like addition and subtraction of a zero from a number. Moreover, it helps the children to do some od the scientific experiments s in the classroom that involve making a judgement on the number of liquids during mixing. This period was referred to as the concrete operational stage because of the ability of children to mentally function on concrete objects and events. They are still not able to think systematically about objects representations or events association. Changing representation seems more abstract knowledge that a child develops at a later stage of adolescence.
Concrete operational thinking and preoperational thinking differs in two ways with each rendering children with more skills. The first difference is on reversibility. It is also referred to as the ability to think about a process or steps in a particular order or pattern. A simple experiment to demonstrate the reason why objects sink or float by making a child to assort different objects by placing them in basin water. Both concrete and preoperational child will be able to remember and give a description of the steps in the experiment. However, only the concrete operational child will remember the steps in order. This skill is important for tasks that involve many steps. Teaching new vocabularies from a story where a teacher instructs children to list all the vocabularies from the story, find out their meanings, and find a friend to test the constructed list is one of the skills that requires back and forth remembrance (Marcia, 2016). Most adults and students with concrete operational skills find this skill to be very easy to apply. However, the operational children will find it difficult for some of the activities that require systematic arrangement. Young children need external prompts to perform some of the systematic tasks reliably. This can be through the assistance from the teacher who will be responsible for a periodic reminder of looking at difficult words in case of a story that requires them to identify difficult vocabulary.
The children ability to decenter is another feature of thinking during the concrete operational stage. This feature focus on many characteristics of a problem at a particular time. Preschool children express a hint of decentration during a dramatic play. This requires awareness of two levels at once. That is recognizing that a banana acts as both telephones and be a banana. Nonetheless, there is more deliberate decentration of the concrete operational stage than preschoolers can understand. Here the child can address two issues purposefully. For example, giving a test to student s that gauge their ability of subtraction through borrowing will enable a concrete student to differentiate where to borrow and give the correct answer. The student can attend to the two tasks simultaneously by identifying the part which requires borrowing.
During the performance of a real classroom task, reversibility and decentration often occur concurrently. An example of joint occurrence is in the Piaget’s test of conversation. It is the belief that a given quantity remains the same regardless of the change in its size or appearance. For example, in the scenario of two balls made of clay. Any child will recognize that the two balls contain the same amount of clay because of their similarity in appearance. However, if one ball is squashed into a long and thin “hot dog,” a preoperational child is likely to conclude that there is a change in the amount of the ball. This can be as a result of its change in size and shape. A concrete operational child cannot make this mistake of confusing the size of the balls. The amount of clay is viewed as the same in all the clay balls.
In the explanation on the classroom scenario, include the reversibility and declaration. As earlier mentioned, the vocabulary task needs reversibility. The task of arithmetic needs decentration through identification of two problems that merit double criteria for a solution. It is also possible to construe it as an illustration of reversibility. In either way, the development of concrete operational skills offers support to students to perform various basic academic activities. They enable ordinary school activities possible.
The formal operational stage is another stage of development that Piaget intensifies. It starts from the age of eleven and beyond. In this last stage, the child develops the ability to reason with both tangible objects and events. It is the stage where the child forms hypothetical obstructions. These explanations offer the best description of why it bears the name formal operation stage. It is the period when an individual can operate on forms or representations. The students can solve hypothetical problems. The students will apply hypothetical reasoning to address some of the fundamental questions that require critical thinking and hypothetical reasoning. They will be able to change varied ideas in various ways at once in their minds.
The hypothetical reasoning that Piaget mainly talks about primarily involve scientific challenges. The study of operational thinking that he focuses on looks like problems that the high school teachers post in science classes. In a single problem, for instance, a simple pendulum represents a young person which different masses can be hung. The question about the experiment is on what determines the speed of swinging of a pendulum (Grey & Daub, 2015. The choices include the length of the string that is holding the pendulum, the mass attached to it or the distance that distance it is pulled to the side (“Supplemental Material for Psychological Inflexibility in Childhood and Adolescence: Development and Evaluation of the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth,” 2008). It is not allowed to give the solution of such a problem through trial and error using the materials. They must think critically and reason to solve the problem mentally. This will be possible through the variation of each factor individually. There should also be an imagination of other constant factors. This way of thinking needs manipulation facility of mental representations of the recommended objects and actions. To be clear, the skill that defines formal operations.
Students who can think hypothetically have the privilege of making school work. They need few props to find a solution to problems. This sense provides there will be principality of self-direction than in students who solely rely on concrete operations. Formal operational thinking is desirable but insufficient for the success of the school and is very from being the only option of achievement of success among students. Formal thinking does not guarantee motivation of a student or shaping of behavior. It can also not offer other admirable skills like ability at sports, music, or art. This forth stage of Piaget’s theory concerns a particular form of thinking. It focuses on giving a solution to scientific problems and the derivation of scientific experiments. The research findings reveal that most of the people do not fully apply formal thinking because of the way they do not deal with such challenges in a normal course of their lives. They apply these ways of thinking in selected fields they are familiar. Piaget in his theory suggests a need for additional theory on development this brings limitation to teachers because others focus more directly on social and interpersonal matters of childhood and adolescence.
Erickson’s theory of Psychology development
Erikson took Fraud’s controversial theory of psychosexual development and gave it a modification as a psychosocial theory. He emphasized that the ego contributes positively to the development by mastery of attitudes, ideas, and skills at each stage of development. The mastery assists children to develop and grow into successful individuals with positive contributions to the society. Each of the stages of development, there is a conflict of psychology that needs to be successfully mitigated for a child to grow into a heathy and a well-adjusted adult. Erikson developed eight stages of psychological development which are based on the psychosexual theory of Freud.
Trust Verses Mistrust Stage.
This stage starts from birth to twelve moths of age. It is important for infants to learn the importance of trusting adults. Infants depend on their caretakers to learn. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the caregivers to be responsible for helping their infants to develop trust. The baby will view the world as a safe place to stay. Irresponsible care givers who do not focus on meeting their baby’s needs can raise feelings of anxiety, fear, and mistrust. Such babies will view the world to be unpredictable. Cruel treatment of infants or failure to appropriately meet their needs will make them grow with mistrust for every individual in the world.
Antony Verses Shame or Doubt
The beginning of exploring the world at the age of one to three years offers a lesson that there is a possibility of having control of some of the actions and act in the environment to achieve positive results. They start to express preferences for given elements of the surrounding like food, toys, and clothing. The main task of a toddler is to give solutions to the issue of autonomy and shame. And doubt through working to get independence. This state is also referred to as me do it stage. For instance, a budding sense of autonomy is observable in a two-year-old child who wants to choose clothes. Though the outfits may not be appropriate for situations, the input under such basic decisions may affect the sense of independence. When there is no guarantee of an opportunity to act on the environment, a feeling of doubt on the environment may start to develop. It can finally lead to low self-esteem and feelings of shame.
Initiative Verses Guilt
This stage involves children between three to six years. This is preschool age. Children can initiate activities and assert controls over the world through interactions. According to Erikson, it is important for preschool children to resolve the task initiative verses guilt. Preschool children can learn and achieve their goals through planning (Van Geert, 1998). Initiating a sense of ambition and responsibility happens when parents give children the permission of exploring within limits and offer support to the children’s voice. There will be the development of self-confidence and feel and a sense of purpose. Individuals who are not successful at this stage may develop a feeling of guilty.
Industry Verses Inferiority
At this stage of elementary schooling at the age of six to twelve months, children face the activity of industry verses inferiority. They will start to compare themselves with their peers to measure themselves up. Sometimes they may develop a sense of pride during the time of accomplishing their school work, sports, social tasks, and family life experience. They can feel inferior and unable to perform because they will not have confidence in their abilities. If children do not cooperate with others or experience negative issues at home or with peers, they may develop an inferiority complex in their adolescent and adulthood stage.
Identity Verse Role Confusion
In the adolescent stage, of between twelve to eighteen years, the children will experience the task of infidelity verses role confusion. According to Erikson, the main adolescent activity is to develop a sense of self. The adolescent will struggle to find answers to questions like whom they are, and what they want to do with themselves. They will try out many activities to identify the one which fit them. They will explore many ideas and roles, set objectives, and try to discover their adult state. The successful groups at this stage will have a strong sense of identity and have the ability to stick to their beliefs and values when they face challenges. When an adolescent is apathetic, it is not prudent to make a conscious search for identity, or there is pressure to adhere to the ideas of the parents for future benefits. They may sometimes develop a weaker sense and be confused. They will not be sure to identify themselves and confused about the future. Those who struggle to adopt positive roles will struggle to be adults.
Intimacy Verses Isolation
People who are in their early adulthood stage at the age of twenty to forty years focus on intimacy verses isolation. After the development of a sense of self during the adolescent stage, people become ready for sharing their lives with others. However, when passing other stages was not successful, young adults may experience difficulty in building successful relationships with their fellows. It is important to have a strong sense of self before the development of successful intimate relationships. Adults who have no positive self-concept during adolescent may be lonely and feel emotional isolation.
Generativity Verses Stagnation
When people read the age of forties, they enter into middle adulthood which goes up to the mid-sixties. The major social task at this stage is generativity and stagnation. Generativity entails finding out an individual’s life work experience and impact on the development of others through volunteer activities. They can also take part in mentorship, and raising of children. At this stage, middle age adults start to contribute to the upcoming generation through childbirth and care for other individuals. They will also engage in productive activities and productive activities which will contribute positively to society. The individuals who do not master this task may be stagnant and in thinking and as if they are not leaving an identity in the world. They may have little contact with others and interest in production and self-improvement.
Integrity Verses Despair
This stage seems the end of life. It starts from mid-sixties. This period is referred to as late adulthood development period. Eriksson task this stage as the stage of integrity and despair. He said that people at this stage focus much on a reflection of their lives and can either feel a sense of satisfaction or failure. Those who feel proud of their achievements feel a sense of integrity. And can flashback their life experience with few regrets. However, the unsuccessful individuals at this stage feel wasted. They focus their wishes. They face life end with emotions of bitterness, depression, and despair.
The theories play various roles to ensure that there is proper planning, assessment, and in giving instructions. Piaget cognitive theory of development help teachers to identify different levels of students and teach them the necessary content that merit their level. It will also help education curriculum developers to come up with effective curriculum that will merit the standards of the students. Theories will also help teachers in preparing a lesson plan which they use during teaching different students. The teacher will be able to identify the need of each student and select relevant resources that will help the students in learning. The teacher will also be able to identify the ability of the students through the application of Piaget theory of development to and implement appropriate strategies that will make learning effective.
Erikson stages of development are also very important in the determination of student’s ability to learn. The stages help teachers to identify what students need at different levels. It will help them to identify effective ways through which they can advise them at each stage in life. Counseling on education at different levels will help learners to be more determined and have the zeal to pursue their ambitions. The teachers can also identify students with high intelligent quotient at different stages. after the identification of these students they will be able to give teach them according to their level of understanding.
How I use theory, planning, instruction, and assessment together to create student success.
Through using these theories, there are high chances for the students to succeed. The theories will help in organizing students in to groups according to their level of understanding to enable them learn. Students who are at the discovery stage should be given exercise which requires brainstorming to ensure that they explore more to expand their knowledge. It will lead to success because they will ask more questions on them to pic of discussion and get more concept on the topic of study.
Knowledge of cognitive development will help the teachers to design effective assessment methods to know the level of understanding of content that the students are taught. It will also help the teachers in the preparation of learning resources that will enable students to grasp the concept well in their classroom. The teacher will also be able to identify the weaknesses of learners and find the best way to address them. it will enable students to work hard and achieve their academic goals. The theories will also help in setting academic standards for students at different level of development. Setting academic standards will make the students to be more ambitious to achieve their academic goals. The theories will also help the teacher in giving student counsels about the risks that they may face during different stages of their development. The theories are therefore important to study because they help the teacher to plan for assessment and ways of giving instructions which will ensure success of the students.
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Supplemental Material for Psychological Inflexibility in Childhood and Adolescence: Development and Evaluation of the Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth. (2008). Psychological Assessment. doi:10.1037/1040.3518.104.22.168.sup
Van Geert, P. (1998). A dynamic systems model of basic developmental mechanisms: Piaget, Vygotsky, and beyond. Psychological Review, 105(4), 634-677. doi:10.1037//0033-295x.105.4.634-677