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Learning and Theory

A. Do you believe that learning is observable? Is it characterized by a change in behavior? Do you subscribe to this perspective on learning? Why or why not? Defend your position.
b. Do you believe that learning is thinking and/or a change in thinking? Do you subscribe to the cognitive-developmental view of learning? Why or why not? Defend your position.
c. Can these two views of learning be integrated into one view about learning? How?

Solution Preview

Please see response attached, as well as presented below. I also attached one supporting article.

RESPONSE:

Let's take a closer look at your two questions about age and observing, "putting the concepts together." I also provided illustrative examples considering the interaction between thinking and behaving.

You wrote this:

1. I can write the paper I just need a couple of the questions answered. I do believe learning is observable but the problem I am running into is at what ages is it observed. I know with my two year old I can observer her learning (how? what is s/he doing?) but I am not sure that I observe when she puts all the concepts together.

Two-year olds are certainly learning many new things that you can observe. However, you will need to explain how you observe your child's learning. What is she doing? What is happening differently as you observe the learning occurring in the child? Is there a new behavior or a different behavior that you observed to draw the conclusion that you have observed the child learning?

Most would agree that learning occurs from birth, which can be observed in overt behavior e.g., learning to say the first baby talk, sitting, standing, etc.). Learning at different ages is qualitatively different according to Piaget e.g., preschool learning and observable in behavior is different than in grade school and higher grades, right into adult hood due to more advanced brain structures and thinking abilities (Piaget).

So, what observable behavior lets you know that your 2-year-old child has learned something new? Is it observable in her behavior, such as saying a new word (from the first agoo's and other sounds a baby makes to the first words at ages from 1-2 years old) or bouncing a ball after watching you bounce a ball? (e.g., about 3 years, on average). Observable learning is probably right from birth, but 'thinking ability' is qualitatively different (Piaget) (see Illustrative Example 1 below). For example, in sensorimotor stage (birth to two), the characteristic limitation of this stage is 'thinking only by doing'. The Sensorimotor infant gains physical knowledge.

For example, we watch (observe) the child to see observable signs that she is getting better eye focus, which is observable learning as it is different from an earlier state (e.g. could not focus), to learning to sit, to learning to stand, to walk, to talk, to run, to through a ball, to play soft ball, to play soccer ball, to play hockey. From birth, we observe new behavior, which has been learned, according to some proponents. However, others argue that these behaviors are innate, but regardless, when the child takes her or his first step, we observe the learned behavior.

However, is thinking also involved? Piaget would argue that thinking does occur, but it is qualitatively different at each developmental state (see Illustrative Example 1 below). Have you ever observed your two-year-old deep in thought (e.g. thinking) and then observe her do something immediately after? (see attached article)

Let's say a child was observing you bounce a ball, and while you are bouncing the ball you notice your child (or other children) watching and thinking about what you are doing paying close attention to each ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution addresses aspects of learning e.g., is it observable, is learning thinking, is learning a change in thinking, the cognitive-developmental view, etc. Supplemented with an article describing Piaget 's theory with examples.

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