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Piaget's theory of Development

-knowledge comes from action. Cognitive development comes through 4 distinct stages; sensorimotor(0-2), Preoperational(2-7), Concrete operational (7-9), Formal operational (10-12) Believed that development preceeds learning.


Piaget- view of cognitive development that emphasizes the active role of learners in building their own understanding of reality.


Piaget's term for the tendency to seek a stable balance among cognitive elements; achieved through a balance between assimilation and accommodation.


adapting one's current understandings to incorporate new information


mental patterns that guide behavior - Piaget


Piaget- process of adjusting schemes in response to the environment by means of assimilation and accomodation


understanding new experiences in terms of existing schemes, Piaget

Inferred reality

The meaning of stimuli in the context of relevant information.


arranging objects in sequential order according to one aspect, such as size, weight, or volume

Private speech

children's self-directed speech that they use to guide their behavior and talk themselves through new tasks -- this gradually turns to inner speech

sensorimotor stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage (from birth to about 2 years of age) during which infants know the world mostly in terms of their sensory impressions and motor activities. progress to goal-directed behavior

discontinuous theory of development

Theory based on the belief that human development occurs through a fixed sequence of distinct, predictable stages governed by inborn factors.

object permanence

the awareness that things continue to exist even when not perceived

pre-operational stage

in Piaget's theory, the stage (from about 2 to 6 or 7 years of age) during which a child learns to use language(symbols) but does not yet comprehend the mental operations of concrete logic. Thinking is egocentric.


The tendency to focus on just one feature of a problem, neglecting other important aspects.

Continuous theory of development

Theory based on the belief that human development progresses smoothly and gradually from infancy to adulthood.

Concrete operational

Piaget's stage for children aged 7-11 that is characterized by increased logical thougt and organization. Abstract thinking is not yet possible. Less egocentric.

Formal operational

Piaget's fourth and final stage of cognitive development, from age 11 to adult. Abstract and purely symbolic thinking possible. Problems can be solved through the use of systematic experimentation.

nature vs. nurture

name for a controversy in which it is debated whether genetics or environment is responsible for driving behavior


orderly and lasting growth, adaptation, and change over the course of a lifetime

cognitive development

gradual orderly changes by which mental processes become more complex and sophisticated

constructivist approach

a learner-centered approach that emphasizes that specific child's active, cognitive construction of knowledge and understanding


a skill learned during the concrete operational stage of cognitive development in which individuals can mentally arrange and compare objects

emergent literacy

Knowledge and skills relating to reading that children usually develop from experience with books and other print media before the beginning of formal reading instruction in school.


studied cognitive development; stressed the importance of the zone of proximal development . Believed that learning preceeds development.

zone of proximal development

in Vygotsky's theory, the range between children's present level of knowledge and their potential knowledge state if they recieve proper guidance and instruction


Vygotsky's idea that learners should be given only just enough help so that they can reach the next level

sign systems

symbols that cultures create to help people think, communicate, and solve problems vygotsky

self regulation

the ability to think and solve problems without the help of others vygotsky

Erikson's stages

Infancy, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary school, Adolescence, Young adult, Middle adult, Late adult 8 stages. Trained by Freud

social learning theory

the theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded and punished. Bandura?

student centered

instruction which considers the ability and needs of the student in the planning process

Action research

Research conducted by teachers and other school personnel to address issues and problems in their own schools or classrooms.


the extent to which a test measures or predicts what it is supposed to


the extent to which a test yields consistent results, as assessed by the consistency of scores on two halves of the test, on alternate forms of the test, or on retesting

Operant conditioning

the learning of voluntary behavior through the effects of pleasant and unpleasant consequences to responses

Piagetian classroom

children are encouraged to discover for themselves. Teacher on the side. Deemphasis on "speeding up" development. Believes individual differences in development should be considered and child judged against his own progress and not compated to peers.

Neo Piagetian

belief that training and experience can speed up development and that culture has an important impact.

pscychosocial theory

A set of principles that relates social environment to psycological development. 8 stages erikson

psychosocial crisis

According to Erikson, the set of critical issues that individuals must address as they pass through each of the eight life stages.


learning through modeling -directly or vicariously- involves 4 phases: paying attention, retaining behavior, reproducing behavior, and being motivated to repeat the behavior.


self regulated learning built on modeling, observational learning and self directedness.

behavioral learning theories (downside)

limited in scope, they describe only observable behavior that can be directly measured.

Erikson's stages of development

Stage III inititaive vs. guilt Children vigorously explore physical and social behavior (age 3-6)

constructivist approach

emphasizes top down approach where the student is given a complex problem to solve, then with your guidance learns the skills to complete the project

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