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Child and Adolescent Cognitive Development and Learning

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?

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Hi,

Interesting questions! Let's take a closer look through discussion and example.

RESPONSE:

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.

The main Learning Theories are:
o Behaviorism
o Cognitivism (and Cognitive-Developmental e.g., Piaget)
o Constructivism

This question is concerning the first learning theory above, Behaviorism.

Behaviorism, as a learning theory, began with Aristotle, whose essay "Memory" focused on associations being made between events such as lightning and thunder. Other philosophers followed Aristotle's thoughts, such as Hobbs (1650), Hume (1740), Brown (1820), Bain (1855) and Ebbinghause (1885) (Black, 1995). The theory of behaviorism concentrates on the study of overt behaviors that can be observed and measured (Good & Brophy, 1990). It views the mind as a "black box" in the sense that response to stimulus can be observed quantitatively, totally ignoring the possibility of thought processes occurring in the mind. Some key players in the development of the behaviorist theory were Pavlov, Watson, Thorndike and Skinner (http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/mergel/brenda.htm#The%20Basics%20of%20Behaviorism. which is attached for convenience).

Do you agree with this theory? Like all theories, there are some aspects to this theory that are true, because in some situations, we certainly can observe when learning has occurred through observing a change in that someone's behavior. For example, if you decide to teach someone how to ride a bike through instructions and practice, you ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses questions on aspects of learning and cognitive development in childhood and adolescents e.g. is learning observable? Is it characterized by a change in behavior? Is learning thinking and/or a change in thinking? This solution is supplemented with one reference on assimilation and accommodation for further research. This solution is approximately 900 words.

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