Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chapter 2

Given the influential theorists' (Piaget or Vygotsky) ideas on cognitive development, how might you accomodate students who are not yet working at the level of peers?

If I had a student who was not performing at the level of their peers, I would try out various methods to accommodate my students.

While looking at Piaget's basic assumptions, I think that the assumption Interactions with one's physical and social environments are are essential for cognitive development would really help a struggling student. In this assumption, students need to manipulate physical objects and experience the physical world in order to grow cognitively. With struggling students, often times the problem lies with not having multiple representation to understand a problem. I think that actually showing a concept and letting students experience it is a really important in growing their understanding. Also, I think socially interacting with peers is a great way to understand new concepts for students who may be struggling. Being challenged by other students and seeing new ways of thinking may really help a struggling student understand a concept. Often times, peers are able to explain something in more understandable terms than an adult can.

(2) Theories in educational psychology promote the idea that language plays a critical role in
cognitive development. Examine Table 2.2 (p. 51), paying particular attention to the age range
that you are interested in teaching. Consider how you might incorporate or adapt the strategies
presented for use with your own students.

While focusing on the age range of 6-8 year old children, I notice that 6-8 year olds should know about 50,000 words. To promote this, I would encourage use of vocabulary in my classroom through verbalization, written language, and social interaction. I will provide vocabulary that is authentic and can be used frequently. To learn this vocabulary, we will act out the vocabulary words in skits to give students a visual representation and show them application, hopefully this will improve their memory of the word and meaning.

By this age range, students should have the ability to carry on lengthy conversations about abstract topics. I will implement this in my classroom through social interaction. I think that collaborating and talking is such a great way for students to learn and grow in their beliefs! These social skills are also what they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. This also intertwines with the significant growth in knowledge about the nature of language, which should be happening around 6-8. How else is linguistic knowledge supposed to grow without practice through social interaction? I plan to have students participate in small group and partner work all the time in my future classroom!

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