Learning and developing the level of your education is all about how you transfer knowledge. From my perspective, I believe a big impact on people’s learning is the many developing theories which have been introduced to us over several years. I truly do believe that learning theories have a great importance of language and social interaction for each individual development.When going into further understanding of the behaviourist theory I start beginning to understand the approach generally is trying to explain that each individual does not contain as much free will as we like to sometimes believe. In Fact, sometimes the surroundings and the environment of the place that persons been placed in can somewhat have a reason for the outcome of the way they behave. Skinner wanted to believe that every individual born into this world has a clean slate.
Which then result in them learning behaviours from the environment they are put in. B. F. Skinner which was the gentlemen who were one of the most influential American psychologists which developed the understanding of operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is usually a method of learning which is associated with rewards, punishments and consequences for certain behaviour. Skinner believed that looking at internal motivations was unnecessary to understand why humans act in certain ways which then led to him believing observing how humans behave was a much more effective alternative. He was intrigued when not long finding out that many consequences of people’s actions began influencing their behaviour.
The way Skinner start showing this is by introducing something known as the “Skinner box” and in this, he used multiple animals most known was to be the rat. Using this box helped him illustrate positive and negative reinforcement. He put a hungry rat in the Skinner box and in the box at the corner there was a place lever and if it knocked it when scattering around food pellets would drop in the box. The rat started understanding when it was hungry if it went to that lever the food pellets would drop. So soon began understanding the consequence of the lever as if it’s pressed the same action would repeat so this was positive reinforcement for the rat as it found it rewarding. The rat after associating the lever with food had to soon enough learn that due to the discomfort it shouldn’t touch the lever. This is because Skinner put an unpleasant electric current which the rat didn’t like so didn’t press again. It’s quite a straightforward explanation positive reinforcement will be strengthened and negative reinforcement will be unlikely to want to be repeated.
The reason I believe that language social interaction helps social development is because for example with the behaviourist approach as a child being brought up in many different environments you soon start to understand when things are done a certain way such as if you get told finishing your homework results in you getting some money for sweets you will want to do it rather than getting a detention for not completing it. Even as a child your social interaction growing upstarts to begin helping you becoming the person you do in the future and how you adapt and learn.After learning about Skinner I went into further research and understanding about Vygotsky which was a Russian psychologist who had a theory which was him believing that learning occurs between how people interact with one another.
Vygotsky had a strong belief that children are not born as clean plates and they, in fact, are born with some basic constraints on their mind. He also believes due to the fact they have these basic constraints each culture have “Tools of intellectual adaptation” for every person. Two of Vygotsky’s main concepts in this theory was the zone of proximal development and the inner speech. What the inner speech is something which helps guide a child’s thought processes. Vygotsky believed that the way a child learnt lead not only in maturity and awareness but also the development that child was making. Also, the Zone of proximal was a known to be a level of potential development and to include the many skills that a certain person may struggle with to be improved with guidance. I believe that Vygotsky’s theory has a very big impact on individual development because a lot of it is based on guidance on developing.
Piaget had a theory which was known as “Cognitive development”. What cognitive development was according to Piaget was that a reorganisation of the mental processes. Which would then make sure to have results to do with maturation biologically again within certain environments. Piaget believed that as a child you develop on the fact of differences between different environments, such as what you find out and what you have already known due to certain surroundings.
When researching about Piaget I understood that he stated that there are five main processes which are known for a child to use to build their understanding which is equilibration, assimilation, accommodation organisation and schemes. An example of this is if a baby which is looking and grasping compared to a child older trying to plan and problem solve there is going to be a big difference in the scheme. Same to the assimilation every individual will have their own way of developing and understanding especially to adjusting. When talking about stages of cognitive development outlined by Jean Piaget is usually four. The reason why this is a great deal because he believes every stage is different to the next stage in many different ways. First of all the first stage is known as the sensorimotor stage this is the stage which is from the minute you are born to the age of two. What this stage is all about trying to see if the infants will begin building an understanding of what’s going on by touching certain objects hearing noises seeing different things happening.
In the first stage there are six little stages this is firstly simple reflexes they learn within the first month after the mother has given birth and in this month the infant will be beginning to understand sucking reflexes. After this stage is the second substage where it’s the regular actions the infant repeats due to habit and is getting used to due to primary reactions and this is usually after the first month to the fourth. What the third substage is when infants try to repeat the same actions of the second month but they will only re-occur by chance where the infant’s main concentration is their own body being the centre of attention. The fourth stage is from the fourth to the eighth month and in this period the infant starts to take more notice of objects and starting to see and feel stuff around them.
When the fifth stage which is a quite important stage due to the fact the infant in this stage begins using their hand and eyes to realise that their actions show certain needs. And mainly at this stage they are curious and understanding certain previous actions and repeat them due to being interested. The last but not least stage which is the six sub stage where the infant is eighteen to twenty-four months and this is a very important stage not only because it’s the end of sensorimotor stage but because they understand the difference between objects and events even if they haven’t yet touched seen or heard from past experiences.The second stage from Piaget was the preoperational stage and this is the age of children from two years old to seven-year-old. This is an important stage because its when the child is the most creative inquisitive and wanting to learn and explore different stuff.
Which is why it’s important you let children at this age be mentally ready as well as physically to get involved in stuff they might not feel one hundred percent comfortable. Normally during this age, the child gets introduced to basic mathematics so stuff like adding and subtracting this will help them begin to know difference not only learning it but the difference between words and numbers. Images and drawings these are all important stuff in the preoperational stage although it is divided into two substages again.
The first stage is known to be called the symbolic stage and in this stage, it’s usually the age of two till the age of four and in this certain substage, the child begins knowing what certain object without it having to be their this is a great step. Although young children are making amazing progress during this substage there is still a limitation. The second substage is called the intuitive thought and this is when the child is from the age of four to the age of seven and during this stage is known for the child to be inquisitive and want to know many answers to so many questions. The third stage of Piaget’s stage is known as the concrete operational stage. This stage is where the child is during the stage of seven years old till eleven years of age. This stage is known to be where the child is starting to perform reasoning behind a certain situation. The last stage is called the formal operational stage and this is where the child is getting a bit older from the age of eleven years till the age of fifteen and in this, they begin to think in logical ways and have reasoning to sort out situations even if they aren’t very positive ones. They start beginning to have an ability to problem-solving and notice the difference between them and others near them and compare themselves to them certain standards.
Vygotsky’s theory is very different in many important ways from Piaget’s. I believe this due to the fact Vygotsky has places where he concentrates more on culture having an impact on cognitive development. Also, Vygotsky just refers to the children however Piaget makes it more in-depth when bringing in children’s stages. Even though Vygotsky makes sure to have a lot more emphasis on social factors which have an impact on development than Piaget. The most important thing is that Vygotsky makes sure to show that his opinion is that cognitive development does stem from social interactions with others around them such as their parent’s people around them.
But Piaget is quite different he believes that’s the development is from independent surroundings which children learn from during certain stages. Vygotsky has a high belief that the environment of where children grow up has a big influence on who they are what they think however Piaget don’t one hundred percent agree with this due to the fact he has a great belief in language having a lot to do with development because even a single thought comes before language. They are separate things from the start of life. Language has a great importance. The reasoning behind this is because it helps your ability with dealing with abstract concepts. This is why when going into further reading I came across Bruner.
He has a very strong argument that language can help dealing with really complex situations. Bruner believes that if an infant knows differences between words which mean the same thing that the infant is intelligent and therefore will continue on to be smart when a mature adult.The theorist Bruner believed that education is not about knowing a lot of knowledge and the difference between how a child likes to think and how they like to solve a problem when but in different situations.
But instead to help them and support them in the thinking to result in better outcomes. He wanted children to have the ability to know how to symbolic think. Bruner published a book in 1960 which was known as “The process of education.” When Bruner published this he wanted his main information to emphasise that students are learners who have the ability to point out issues in their own knowledge.
When Bruner was understanding Piaget’s theory. He didn’t agree on many levels and in fact, he wanted to argue against the fact that too much time is actually being wasted when many schools are trying to find a way to match how the child will learn and certain things to do in stages of development. This to him was wrong because it would mean not only would the students feel held back but also many topics would be stressful on teachers not knowing or undermining if certain children have been in the appropriate stage to have the ability to learn that certain topic. Bruner wants no matter what the stage and age he truly believes that any child with any age has the right and mentally capable of understanding information which may be complex. Even if topics were difficult and confusing he believed to first give the information more broke down for the child to understand then when understood to return the topic but with more information each time.
He believed this would help the children understand to solve problems and understand situations which are small until they are fully told. When Bruner was explaining his theory he wanted to explain that every child knows their knowledge and have the ability to organise this using a coding system which has already been discovered by them and in fact not taught to them. Bruner knew that the role of teaching is not to teach information but to be there to guide the learning process. Bruner actually believed for the students to ask if needing help was understandable because this led to them being able to connect one certain part of the information to the related other. However, Bruner did have a strong belief that children have the ability to know how to use the spiral curriculum to help them along when in process of discovery learning. Bruner believed he could explain his theory in three easy stages and he called these “Bruner’s three modes of representation.” By this, he meant explaining the three steps which are how information and knowledge get stored in our memory for long periods of time. He believed doing this would be more efficient to explain rather than Piaget’s specific age-related stages.
The first stage was known as “Enactive” this is from the age of birth until the child reaches the age of one. Bruner believed in this part the child would be showing responses by repeating them when seen a result from doing it before. This is because there is a certain amount of information based and stored from the first time doing this. We call this the muscle memory. So when a child has spat their dummy out and seen a response the infant will remember this and repeat the action as they are curious and learning even the sound of the dummy dropping for an infant can be them learning.
The second stage for Bruner was from the child’s age of one-year-old to the age of six. This was called iconic stage and this was all involved with information being learnt and understood mainly by the form of images. This is much stuff that someone can say something and you can get an image of it in your head even if you haven’t made sure to experience it. I believe from my own perspective this is a correct way because in many books for young children they often will have images at the side of the text to help the children get some sort of image in there mind explaining the situation of the story.The last stage from Bruner was known as the symbolic stage and the age from this is simply from seven years old and onwards. This is where information is kept and stored in a way such as a language.
Bruner believed that with symbols no one is going to feel constrained by the way certain things or done or images. Why is why at this stage information which is learnt is usually kept either in numbers or words. Bruner’s theory was a constructivist theory and from this, he would see every learner at any age can be helped and instructed to the right path of understanding subjects appropriately.Between Bruner and Vygotsky even though they both understand that a child’s environment including the social environment has a lot to do with the way they learn more than what Piaget believed.
They wanted the adults to be there to help the children grow and understand and guide them when in need. Another thing Bruner and Vygotsky had in common was they both liked to explain a lot of children development skills were made through scaffolding. Which relates a lot to the “zone of proximal development” which was Vygotsky’s explaining to understand to have a structure when learning it not wrong and in fact can be very helpful for developing. Especially if trying to reach a certain goal. When there are steps in place for a task it will break down the difficulty and help the child concentrate which is why scaffolding is so useful.Now with Bruner and Piaget even though there were many similarities between them there was still very important differences one of the main ones being Bruner’s modes didn’t relate because in a situation one certain mode may overrule another as they both coexist.
Bruner believes that the level of intellectual development is to do with how you represent information to a child and then if the instructions have been given to them appropriately so the point they can understand it or experience learning it. He even believes the way it’s presented can have an influential difference on how the child is learning. He wants his theory to ensure explaining the difference of roles between an adult and a child. Bruner’s three modes seem to not have different points of development like Piaget.
He tries to explain the roles an adult has to help the child rather than what the child has to do. Bruner agrees that there’s a outstanding importance for symbolic representation as language is one of the most determining ways to learn. In conclusion, after doing research and readings into many psychologists I truly do agree that Learning theories do share an emphasis on the importance of language and social interaction for individual development. Because every theory has made sure to emphasize how development during early childhood such as skills of social interaction and language have had a big part on developing and understanding.