ECS 200

Chapter 2: Cognitive Development

Things I learned:
This is the first I time I was introduced to Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model. Although he is knowledgeable about the 5 interacting systems, it is interesting to learn that he left out how these systems also connect and interact with cognitive and maturational development. It is important for me to recognize that students are a product of both environment and biological factors.

I learned that Piaget’s theory suggests that it is necessary to make cognitive development stages to ensure they are receiving the proper education. I understand this theory has its benefits but I would argue that these three stages do not account for children with the cognitive disabilities and children who develop at different rates.

Vygotsky’s theory enforces the importance of the roles teachers play in a students’ life. I know that it is important for students to have an adult figure in their life to give them structure and guide them through their development. This is the first time I have been challenged to look at how my interactions with the students will affect them at a much larger scale. Students need someone to stimulate their problem solving skills through our social interactions not from reading a textbook.

My connections:

Piaget’s theory not only applies to students, it is also applied to athletes on sport teams.  Sports also group individuals together based on age and cognitive development assumptions. Coaches tend to assume physical abilities based on their age and normative standards. If a child is the age of 12 a baseball coach is going to assume that they can throw, catch and bat the ball without the need of extra assistance. Just like a teacher will assume that a 12 year old can add and subtract without the need of extra assistance.

Question:

Vygotsky believes that students are influenced by their interactions with peers, most importantly those whom are advanced intellectually.
Why do we not give our students more opportunities to work with students of other ages or grade levels to allow them to influence one another and improve their development in the process?

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