As an educationist, it is of import to develop 1s ain teaching method. In order to make this it is critical that one has a sound apprehension of kid development and acquisition theories. Although throughout history many theoreticians suggested different thoughts on kid development and acquisition ; it would be unrealistic to state that merely one of these theories can explicate all facets of development and acquisition on its ain. ( Aldridge & A ; Goldman, 2007 )
This work will concentrate on several theories of larning and development: foremost it will look at the chief rules of Behaviourism in general and Constructivism as described by Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, throughout it will concentrate on the impact of these theories on schoolroom pattern, course of study countries maths, literacy and kid. Although the theories overlap in different ways ; they are still single theories and should be treated as separate methodological analysiss which in bend is helpful for understanding schoolroom pattern.
In the behaviorist position, acquisition is a inactive procedure. With focal point given to discernible behaviors instead than mental activities, behaviorist theoreticians define larning as ; “ persons ‘ response to external motivations ” ( Elliot, 2007, p46 ) , hence acquisition is nil more than the acquisition of new behaviors. Harmonizing to Skinner, cognition is non used to steer human actions ; it is the action itself ( Skinner, 1976, p152 ) . Behaviorists argue that as the intrinsic motivations can non be observed, concentrate should be given to the discernible indexs such as extrinsic behavior ( Wray, 2010, p42 ) . Behaviourism besides suggests that in order to larn, active battle of the scholar and immediately reenforcing larning with wagess is indispensable ( Sotto, 2007, p35 ) . When the wages is fulfilling, it strengthens the behavior therefore acquisition, and penalties weaken behavior ( Skinner 1974 cited in Elliott 2007, p48 ) . So, if a kid is rewarded for their desirable behavior it ‘s really much likely that ( s ) he will reiterate the coveted behavior. Skinner besides urged pedagogues to concentrate on supports and on success instead than on punishing failure ( Pritchard, 2009, p11 ) . Hence wages systems are of import in this position, even in the simplest signifier of a nod or hitchhike up by the instructor for right reply.
Mr A is a twelvemonth 6 instructor, in his pattern support of the coveted behavior takes topographic point by an established wages system in the schoolroom. Mr A uses traffic visible radiations and Pt stars as the wages system ; where kids can be rewarded for traveling up on the traffic visible radiations for good work/behaviour every bit good as losing privileges for traveling down on traffic visible radiations. Good behavior leads to honor, an excess five proceedingss of aureate clip if a kid finishes the hebdomad on a star, every bit good as the penalties ; being on ruddy agencies losing privileges. He besides uses a wages system to better accomplishment ; ten “ Antic ” tickets can be obtained for good behavior and good work and kids get a wages. Although it seems that kids are attentive to the wages system at first glimpse we ca n’t confidently state that kids are strictly motivated by this support. Peer influence, struggles between persons and the conditions of the environment besides have effects on behavior and attainment every bit good as intrinsic attitudes towards larning. Therefore it can be suggested that activities such as squad edifice and group undertakings can, every bit good, be integrated into the pattern to better attitudes therefore behaviour and attainment consequences.
Child C is 10 old ages old. He lives on a farm and spends most of his clip assisting his household on the farm. His life experience is limited to the farm life and he sees his hereafter in nowhere other than farming. This has an huge consequence on C ‘s attitude towards school and instruction. He is non motivated to larn and non having support at place. Therefore Mr A ‘s traffic visible radiation system is non effectual on C ‘s acquisition because he is non enthused by it. In order to better C ‘s attainment and attitude it would be utile to look at different ways to include his involvements into the schoolroom environment ; such as taking subjects he can associate to and inducements to actuate him to make his work, for illustration holding farming as a subject and doing him project leader of a farm hebdomad. This will let him to portion his cognition with others, it would besides give him an chance to utilize his cognition into other course of study countries, such as composing an article about farm life for literacy.
Behaviourist acquisition is broken down into little, progressive sequences of undertaking with uninterrupted support given during the learning procedure ; it advocates that without the support, the erudite responses will go nonextant. The system relies on uninterrupted repeat and “ accomplishment and bore ” exercisings. Although the scholars are actively making things, in the acquisition procedure they are the inactive receiving systems whereas the instructor is seen as the sender of the cognition to the scholar in a coherent, ordered and logical manner and kids are expected to listen ( Polard et Al, p144 ) . Harmonizing to Skinner ( 1976 ) , the point of instruction is to show the scholar with an appropriate repertory of behavioral responses to specific stimulations ( accomplishments ) by consistent repeat reinforced by wagess. Pritchard ( 2009 ) argues that although it might be a welcomed manner to pattern accomplishments ( rote larning ) for some, it could be thwarting for others as they wo n’t understand the logic behind it and they are non motivated by the wagess. Farnham-Diggory ( 1981 ) besides criticises the behaviorist theory for the deficiency of apprehension of what acquisition, an person ‘s ain acquisition in peculiar, truly involves.
Pritchard ‘s concerns are transferred into existent illustrations in Mr A ‘s schoolroom, where some kids are motivated by the wages system and are more comfy in rote acquisition, some higher winners in this category lose involvement after a piece because their speculative nature is non stimulated or they find tasks hard. This takes us to the affair of distinguishing the work. It is of import that schoolroom exercisings should be organised to run into the demands of persons. The National Curriculum ( NC ) ( 1999 ) states that, suited challenges should be set for the abilities of persons. In order to run into the demands of both groups of kids, Mr A can put up different activities throughout the lessons for differing abilities and sometimes as assorted ability groups. For illustration in the presentation, a treatment and insight can be followed by student research into the chief acquisition focal point which is so supported by the account and pattern of the existent theory. True this method can work better for some topics than others such as literacy, history, scientific discipline etc. However it can besides be used in maths for associating theory to existent life experiences instead than memorizing by agencies of rote acquisition.
In a behaviorist schoolroom kids do non hold the liberty of taking their activities. All kids are required to make the same activity as the remainder of the category and work at the same gait as the remainder of the category. This will so do issues in planning and presenting the lessons at the right degree for pupil apprehension as there are figure of differences between students which may act upon instruction and acquisition ( Kyriacou, 1986, p79 ) . In the new NC reappraisal, accent is given to more traditional acquisition techniques, in peculiar, for acquisition of mathematics ( Department for Education, 2011 ) . Recent research from the University of Oxford led by Professor Peter Bryant opposes the renewed focal point on traditional acquisition techniques – supported by the authorities – and finds it unlogical ; larning arithmetic, it says, is non every bit of import as larning how to believe mathematically ( Ward, 2012 ) . Harmonizing to this survey, mathematical logical thinking and arithmetic did do parts to the anticipation of mathematical accomplishment ; mathematical logical thinking was by far the stronger forecaster of the two and they were more strongly linked to mathematics than to Science or English. The survey suggested that it is justifiable to do a difference between mathematical logical thinking and arithmetic accomplishments and schools must be after explicitly to better mathematical logical thinking every bit good as arithmetic accomplishments ( Ward, 2012 ) .
In Mr A ‘s pattern, it is possible to detect the hints of “ rote ” acquisition in the Mathematics lessons. Teacher led accomplishment and bore activities such as larning basic fractions by bosom consequences in kids non being able to explicate their actions. For illustration most kids are able to work out jobs on their worksheets. However when they are asked how and why they followed that peculiar path they are unable to explicate the logic behind their actions. Child C is in twelvemonth 6 and is a low winner. The bringing of Mr A ‘s maths lessons are aimed at the medium and high winners and are based on whole category debut followed by text book and worksheet activities. C is given excess supporter Sessionss with the TA nevertheless in those Sessionss he is non supported with resources that might assist him to understand the topic. For illustration, the illustrations could be related to his farm life with the support of ocular AIDSs, such as fraction magnets, to assist him to understand the significance of the mathematical linguistic communication in existent footings.
Critics of the behaviorist attack claim that honoring all acquisition is likely to do the kid to lose involvement in larning, peculiarly for kids who are good motivated ( Pritchard, 2009, p.10 ) . Furthermore, positive response to praise followed by larning can non be predetermined in every illustration ( Sotto, 2007, p.35 ) . Furthermore, utilizing a wages system or giving one kid increased attending may hold a damaging consequence on the others in category ( Pritchard, 2009, p.10 ) for illustration doing behavioral issues. In Mr A ‘s schoolroom, it is possible to state that the higher winners are non motivated by the wages system in topographic point. They enjoy working on the topics they like whether there is a wages or non. On the other manus, although it does n’t do behaviour issues as such, increased attending to a kid with behavioral concerns reduces the clip he spends on the remainder of the category and can potentially do farther issues. In order to avoid this go oning Mr A can reexamine his reward/punishment system and perchance affect kids in set uping a new system that can work for the whole of the category.
Another one of the most of import factors of behavioristic instruction is capable cognition. Good topic cognition is critical for a behaviorist instructor. The recent instruction policy reflects the importance of good topic cognition for instructors in the new instructor criterions ( Department for Education, 2012, p.7 ) . Undeniably it is of import for instructors to hold sound capable cognition for effectual instruction. A counterargument to that would be that the strength of capable expounding can besides be failing if a kid does n’t recognize capable division as relevant to daily experiences which can take to decrease in motive and accomplishment ( Pollard, 2009, p145 ) . Pollard ( 2009 ) suggests that the most likely trouble may originate when linking with the bing apprehension of kids. In add-on, this job will go more acute when big groups are taught as it is hard to learn the lesson suitably for all scholars.
Associating this thought to our illustration ; Mr A holds an English grade and is literacy capable leader. He admits that antecedently he had issues with respect to fliping the literacy work excessively high for kids. However four old ages ago, the school adopted a cross curricular attack. Mr A can make up one’s mind on which subjects are to be taught and he alternates subjects every two old ages. He suggests that this allows him to believe about different ways of learning literacy and associate it to different subjects to fit the degree of students by looking into wider scope of resources. The consequences are promising, attainment degrees in literacy improved in the last two old ages and kids seem to react better to this new manner of learning excessively.
In contrast to the behaviorist thoughts, a new attack led by Jean Piaget focused on mental procedures instead than discernible behavior. Harmonizing to Piaget, “ idea is an internalised action ” , which merely explains his position of the stopping point relationship between actions and idea ( Wood, 1998, p21 ) . In his position, cognition is mental and physical activities which creates mental maps ( scheme ) and they develop continuously as the single additions more experience of the universe. In order to develop cognition, a individual goes through phases ; assimilation, adjustment and version. During assimilation phase, the person is exposed to the new information and absorbs it. In adjustment phase, the new information is adapted onto the bing scheme. Therefore administration of ideas ; bettering accomplishments and altering schemes are all consequences of adjustment ( Bee and Boyle, 2010 ) . Sometimes there are differences between the environment and scheme. In that instance there are two possibilities ; new experience can add to or reenforce bing cognition or it could belie it ( Pritchard, 2009, p.19 ) . This procedure of conveying assimilation and adjustment into balance is called equilibration which is a stable province where there is no longer a struggle between the new information and bing information ( Pritchard, 2009 ) . Harmonizing to Newman et al. , equilibration is a originative procedure of innovation for Piaget who argues that direct direction will suppress the kid ‘s apprehension, if instruction gets in the manner of kid ‘s geographic expedition ( Newman et al. 1989 )
As a consequence of his research, Piaget comes to a decision where he suggests that there are four phases of cognitive development which links to the kid ‘s preparedness for the new scheme in larning experience. They need to be matched to the kid ‘s current degree of apprehension and kids ‘s involvements are diverse and capable to alter ( Wood and Littleton, 2006 ) . By the terminal of each phase kids are expected to accomplish the mileposts of that phase.
The first phase is sensori-motor ; age 0-2, where babies begin to understand the environment through their actions and sensori information.
In pre-operational phase ; age 2-7, is seen as an egoistic phase where the kid sees the universe from their ain position and non others and as they develop linguistic communication accomplishments their symbolic though and imaginativeness besides begins to develop.
Concrete operational phase ; age 7-11, is when kids start to develop logical idea about physical operations. They start to understand abstract thoughts.
The concluding phase in Piaget ‘s theory is the formal operations ; age 11+ , kids are now able to believe abstractly and hypothetically. They can pull strings thoughts, speculate and ground.
Following their experiences, kids concept and develop their accomplishments and cognition. This is a important difference between the behaviorist and cognitivist positions in footings of acquisition and cognition. As we have seen above, behaviorists recognise cognition as extrinsic and passively received scope of behaviors whereas the cognitivists ‘ mentality on cognition accents on intrinsic motivations and procedures of cognition and acquisition.
Supporting Piaget ‘s phases Kamii ( 1985,1994,2004, cited in Wood et al. , pp.202-203 ) argues that kids are introduced to abstract mathematical constructs excessively early when they are non developmentally ready which leads to the absence of conceptual apprehension. Alternatively she argues kids should be left to reinvent those rules for themselves ( Kamii, 1985,1994,2004, cited in Wood et al. , pp.202-203 )
Child C in Mr A ‘s schoolroom is a suited illustration to back up Kamii ‘s statement. Although he is 10years old, he still struggles with abstract thoughts of mathematical constructs. He can non associate to the column presentation of the mathematical operation. However if he is left to work out the job he presents the operation in horizontal format and is able to divide the units which helps him to cipher and happen the right reply. At the age of 10, C is expected by his instructor and school to be able to travel onto the column computations nevertheless as we can see in the illustration he is non ready to make so. Therefore on the footing of this illustration we can reason that, while it is utile to hold developmental phases as counsel, kids do non needfully suit into these phases as Piaget suggested. It would be good to C, if he is closely monitored and supported by the school and his instructor for his preparedness to travel onto the following degree of mathematical apprehension.
The function of the instructor differs from behaviorism in Piaget ‘s theory as facilitator instead than the individual who drills cognition into scholars via uninterrupted repeat or rewards/punishments. As a facilitator, the instructor provides indispensable resources and counsel during the procedure of assimilation, version and adjustment phases of the acquisition. Montessori besides portions Piaget ‘s position of the function of a instructor as facilitator in her ain practise where she advises instructors to follow the leads from kids and organise and orient the acquisition consequently ( Elkind, 2007, online ) .
Unquestionably, the influences of Piaget ‘s developmental phases in today ‘s instruction system is widespread. Early Old ages and Foundation Stage ( EYFS ) in peculiar are the two topographic points where kids are given the chance to research and develop their ain scheme for the universe around them. As a facilitator, instructors provide a assortment of activities designed to advance geographic expedition and find such as art, dressing-up vesture, constructing blocks etc ( Berk, 2009, p.256 ) . The EYFS model provides counsel on the developmental phases of kids and what mileposts they should make by a specified age ( DFE, 2012 ) .
Piaget ‘s theory was widely accepted between the 1950s and 1970s. However, following new research into the kid development resistance to his positions started to look. Margaret Donaldson is good known for her resistance to Piaget ‘s theory. In her book “ Children ‘s Minds ” , she suggests that the trials and experiments Piaget expected kids to carry through hold failed them, because the linguistic communication he used did n’t do sense to kids ( Donaldson, 1987 ) She so argues that if the right linguistic communication is used and the environment is arranged, kids are more capable of making things Piaget claimed they are non able to make and the spread between grownups and kids is non so great ( Donaldson, 1987 ) .
Recent research into neuroscience has besides dramatically changed the position of babes and their capablenesss ( Lindon, 2007, p.3 ) . Piaget suggests that babes get their apprehension of the environment after birth ( ref ) . However research has shown that the rapid development of the human encephalon before birth allows them to hold experiences such as hearing the parent ‘s voice which so allows them to recognize it after birth ( Lindon,2007, p.13 ) . Another piece of research ( Lafunte et al. , 1997 ) indicates that pre-natal acquisition might hold effects on future acquisition. Study suggests that foetuss, who were exposed to classical music at 28 hebdomads onwards were more advanced than others in many motor and cognitive accomplishments by the age of 6 months ( Lafunte et al. , 1997 ) .
Following Piaget ‘s theory, Vygotsky, excessively, believed that acquisition is a societal affair and he was really much interested in the manner that kids learn through interactions. While he shared some of Piaget ‘s positions ; as a societal constructivist, Vygotsky believed that the same biological or environmental factors may hold different effects, depending on the people whom the kid grows up with, both in footings of the civilization of those people and their features as persons ( Gupta,1994, p.33 ) .
Both Piaget and Vygotsky emphasised the importance of relationships in societal state of affairss and active kids, nevertheless, they differed in their positions of the biological construct of ripening ( Gupta, 1994, p.36 ) .Vygotsky saw civilization as the more of import factor in development and acquisition ( Gupta, 1994, p.36 ) . Besides their descriptions of societal interactions are really different: In Piaget ‘s position, kids had two relationships ; with their equals and grownups. The relationship with grownups in his theory is restricted and can non develop reciprocally due to the variability of societal power ; however, they have an instructional value in larning ; similar to the behaviorist position. The relationship with equals nevertheless, is based on co-operation that leads onto constructing new thoughts and significances that lead to job resolution, therefore developing more scheme ( Kutnick and Manson, 2000 ) . For Vygotsky, the asymmetrical nature of kids ‘s relationship with grownups and more knowing equals is the key to the cognitive development ( Kutnick and Manson, 2000 ) . Vygotsky argues that it is critical for kids to larn in a societal environment, via instructions from the more knowing other ( MKO ) ( Wood, 1998, p26 ) . Harmonizing to this theory, kids learn from their equals ( the same age or of a higher age and developmental phase ) and grownups.
The importance of possible for development is emphasised in Vygotsky ‘s theory. Vygotsky negotiations about the zone of proximal development ( ZPD ) and proposes that abilities of a individual on their ain and abilities with aid from MKO are different. He suggests that ZPD is merely accomplishable with the aid of MKO. It is of import that MKO uses assorted agencies of communicating to reassign their cognition to the kid ( Urquhart, 2000, p64 ) .
J. Brunner applied Vygotsky ‘s thought of ZPD procedure into scaffolding construct and suggested that if staging delivered by instructor throughout the activities ; so the kid ‘s cognition could be carried onto a higher degree as s/he learn ( Urquhart, p.64 ) . Scaffolding is the agencies of aid provided in the zone of proximal development, for illustration by structuring the undertaking into little, apprehensible stairss, patterning and pass oning direction in this signifier in order for a kid to accomplish success. ( Urquhart, 2000 p.64 ) . When kid completes the acquisition procedure, the scaffolds are non necessary and can be removed from the state of affairs. Alongside this, it is besides of import to retrieve that all students learn to different grades. Therefore where kids learn more in their ZPD they do non necessitate the staging every bit much as some others ( Vygotsky 1987, p.116 ) . The potency of betterment moves with an person through life, and, in theory, full development can ne’er be reached.
The effects of Vygotsky ‘s theory are extremely discernible in today ‘s schoolrooms in the signifiers of group work/discussion and assorted ability groups. In Mr A ‘s schoolroom, mixture of the acquisition theories is discernible throughout different lessons. In topics such as Maths, the instructor uses a more behavioristic attack where kids are sat in rows ; they are made cognizant of the acquisition aims and listen to the instructions which are so followed by workbook exercisings. The biggest unfavorable judgment for this attack would be that ; although kids do non acquire opportunity to work in groups and larn from each other via coaction ; they copy each other ‘s replies without understanding the methods. In topics such as English and Science Mr A allows kids to work in group activities and undertakings. While single work may be necessary for some facets of Mathematicss, kids can besides profit from the mathematical treatments, leting them to take advantage of each other ‘s strengths which will accordingly better their apprehension of Mathematics. The congratulations system followed by Mr A is good in footings of its effort to better self-pride. Children are encouraged to “ give it a spell ” instead than following a “ ca n’t make ” attitude.
Dweck ( Pound, 2009 ) argues that kids should be praised for their attempts instead than how intelligent they are. Following her research on the effects of different attacks of giving congratulations, she found that kids who are praised for being intelligent were less likely to take hazards and tended to take the undertakings they knew they could acquire good consequences, on the other manus, kids who were praised for doing an attempt intended to seek different undertakings and challenge themselves ( Pound, 2009, p.25-27 ) . In the beginning of the term Pupil C ‘s attitude towards the work was negative. Following Mr A ‘s scheme to praise his attempts, C has now started to “ give it a spell ” instead avoiding the work.
In the illustration of School B ‘s passage to originative course of study attack, allows instructors like Mr A to be more flexible and use constructive methods within this attack to learning topics such as literacy, scientific discipline, humanistic disciplines etc. A cognitive attack is adopted where the activities are based on group work and experiments. Throughout those activities kids interact with each other, exchange thoughts and sentiments. Furthermore the custodies on nature of the activities in some lessons allows kids to understand and associate their acquisition to existent life. It can be suggested that Child C and other kids in the school can profit farther if the new attack is adapted to the remainder of the course of study topics, i.e. maths.
This work aimed at explicating different theories that influenced the instruction and acquisition in primary schoolroom in the UK. The importance of understanding different facets of larning and their effects on today ‘s schoolroom pattern is undeniable. Snelbecker ( 1983, p8 ) urges persons to analyze basic theories of acquisition and select those rules and constructs which seem to be of value for one ‘s peculiar educational state of affairs. In order to cover with the complexnesss of the schoolroom environment efficaciously, it is valuable for us, instructors, to incorporate different facets of different theories into the schoolroom environment at the same time and should concentrate on the benefits instead than bounds of each theory ( Sotto, 2007, p.134 ) . This can assist us to fit the different demands of kids.
As a consequence of my research, observations and my ain pattern, I intend to hold with Sotto ( 2007, p.127 ) , that no 1 theory entirely can better larning in any given scenario. There are valuable facets in each theory we can profit from within the schoolroom. In order to do the right picks and usage suited facets of each theory it is important that I know and understand my students and their demands. To accomplish this, I should do through observations and built positive relationships with my students.
In my sentiment and experience, kids learn better when they interact in a sociable environment when they are making things. Therefore my personal doctrine leans towards the Constructivist position of Piaget and Vygotsky, where kids are encouraged to research things and interact with each other and as a consequence, they learn. In my pattern so far, I have observed positive results from the constructivist attack I followed where kids were involved in brainstorming and treatment activities and generated thoughts for themselves without direct instruction. I found that it is of import to supply them with the chances to make so. I besides appreciate the counsel Piaget ‘s development phases provide nevertheless, I understand that every kid is different and we should n’t restrict their abilities to these phases.
On the other manus I do non reject the Behaviourist attack wholly. Reward systems can be utile in covering with behavior in the schoolroom and in order to put boundaries. Instant feedback and congratulations can besides give kids hike and allow them cognize where they are with their acquisition.