Every age group has their own physiological developments according to psychologist such as Bandura, Piaget, Kohlberg, and Maslow. Bandura believes that behavior is based on the monkey see, monkey do theory. Piaget’s believes that everyone goes through a developmental process. Kohlberg believes in moral development and they are broken down into stages like Piaget. Maslow believes in his hierarchy of needs, every individual must me one step before progressing to the next.
Upon completion of this artifact I hope to gain knowledge on how different psychologist theories work. I would like to have a better understanding on the different stages a child will go through within a classroom. By doing this I believe I will be able to understand students in my classroom better. I am willing to be open to different psychologists’ theories and based on my research I will end up agreeing with possibly one or two theorist. I believe this artifact is significant because it is important to understand and be open to different process student’s will go through. A teacher needs to be aware what is going on within the classroom.
Human Development and Learning
Every age group has their own physiological developments according to psychologist such as Bandura, Piaget, Kohlberg, and Maslow. The word cognitive is used by psychologist to refer to “thought” (Huffman, 2007). The cognitive emphasis continues today and is the basis for numerous approaches to learning. There are four different approaches to cognitive development social cognitive, cognitive information-processing, cognitive constructivist, and social constructivist. All of which is covered by each of these psychologist.
The social cognitive approach emphasizes how behavior, environment, and person (cognitive) factors interact to influencing learning. Albert Bandura was the founder of this theory. Bandura is to be considered a “father” of the cognitive movement. He believed that behaviorism focuses on variables we can observe, measure, and manipulate. “Observational learning is also known as imitation or modeling.” (Boerre, 2006). While doing his experimental method, his standard procedure was to manipulate on variable and measure its effect on another variable. Bandura started to examine the aggression in adolescents. “His investigations showed how much human behavior is learned through imitating another individual who is observed receiving some kind of reward or encouragement for a behavior,” (“Motivation,” 2009). Bandura began to look at personality as an interaction among the environment, behavior, and the person’s psychological processes. The psychological process consists of our ability as people to obtain entertainment images in our minds and language.
A popular study that Bandura is known for is the “bobo doll studies”. A bobo doll is an inflatable, egg shaped doll with weight on the bottom that makes it bob back up when it’s hit. In the bobo doll study he made of a film of one of his students beating up a bobo doll. His student punched the bobo doll, shouted “sockeroo,” kicked it, sat on it, hit it with a little hammer, and shouted many aggressive phrases. Bandura taped this session with his student and showed the film to a group of kindergarteners. After showing the tape to the kindergarteners, the children were sent out to play in the play room where there was a bobo doll and small hammers. His study went as predicted; the children started beating up the bobo doll. They punched it, shouted “sockeroo,” kicked it, sat on it and hit it with the hammer. They imitated Bandura’s student’s behavior to the “T!” Bandura had a large number of variations on this study. The model was rewarded or punished; kids were rewarded for their imitations. As he progressed his study he sent the children into another room with a real clown (one that looked exactly like the bobo doll), he found the kids punching, hitting, kicking, and shouting at him.
All these variations allowed Bandura to come up with steps involved in the modeling process, attention, retention, reproduction, and motivation. In the attention stage, one tends to cannot learn much by observation unless they are paying attention. Bandura began to realize the effect the television had on kids. At the retention stage, you must be able to retain the information you have paid attention to. In the reproduction stage you are translating the images or description into actual behavior. Finally, there’s the motivation stage, all of this won’t get done unless you’re motivated to do it. Bandura has mentioned a couple of motives like past reinforcment (traditional behaviorism), promised reinforcement (imagined incentives), and vicarious reinforcement (seeing and recalling the reinforced model). As most things motivations can be both positive and negative. The negative motivations are past punishment, promised punishments (threats), and vicarious punishment. Bandura says that punishment in whatever form does not work as well as reinforcement and, sometimes can “backfire” on us.
Albert Bandura combines both behavioral and cognitive philosophies to form this theory of modeling (observational learning). Bandura believes that humans are able to control their behavior through a process known as self regulation. This process involves three steps, self observation humans look at themselves and their behavior and keep track of their actions, judgment, human compare these observations with standards, self response, after judging himself/herself the person does well in comparison with the set standards, he/she will give him/her self a rewarding self-response.
Jean Piaget studied the development of children’s understanding, through observing them and listening to them as they worked on exercises he set. He believed that children’s thinking does not develop entirely smoothly; instead there are certain points at which it moves into completely new areas and capabilities. Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages and processes that children progress through them, sensormotor (birth to two years old). At this stage the child is able to differentiate self from objects; they are able to recognize self as agent of action and began to act intentionally. For example they shake a rattle to make a noise. The second stage is preoperational (two years to seven years old). At this stage the child learns to use language and to represent objects by images and words. Preoperational stage can be broken up into two sub stages, symbolic function and intuitive thought. The symbolic function occurs between two and four years of age. At this stage the child gains the ability to represent mentally and object that is not present at that moment. There expansion of language and pretend play are increases of symbolic thought. They begin using scribbled designs to represent people, houses, cars, clouds, and many other things. At this stage, their pictures don’t seem to make sense to an adult but in their mind it makes sense, they are very imaginative. Suns will be green, skies are blue, and grass is yellow. As they grow older their drawings will become more realistic. In the symbolic stage there are still two important limitations, egocentrism and animism. “Egocentrism is the inability to distinguish between’s one’s own perspective and someone else’s perspective.” For example if one is talking to a child on the phone and ask a question the child might nod instead of answering with words. They will fail to realize that the other person on the other side of the phone does not seem them. The intuitive thought stage is the second sub stage; this stage starts at about four years old to seven years old. Children begin to use primitive reasoning and want to know all the answers to a whole bunch of questions. At this stage children know the knowledge but are unaware of how they know it. The child lacks conservation; they don’t understand that the characteristic of an object stays the same even though the object might change in appearance. For example they will understand 5+6=11 but they will not understand the reverse, 6+5=11. The next stage is Concrete operational (seven year to eleven years old). At this stage the child has the ability to perform math problems with numbers and not with objects and they can logically think about objects and events. The last stage is formal operational (eleven to fifteen years old.). The child’s cognitive structures are like those of an adult and can think logically. They begin to think more in more abstract, idealistic, and logical ways (Santrock, 37). They are able to develop hypothesis about ways to solve problems.
There are four key concepts that Jean Piaget believes in schemas, assimilation and accommodation, organization, and equilibration. Schemas are actions or mental representations that organize knowledge. “Piaget said that as the child seeks to construct and understanding of the world.” Physical activities and cognitive activities develop in childhood. A baby’s schemas are produced by actions that can be performed on objects, such as sucking, looking, and grasping. As a child gets older they develop schemas that include strategies and plans for problem solving. When one reaches adulthood, they have constructed an enormous number of diverse schemas, ranging from how to drive a car to the concept of fairness. “Assimilation and accommodation occurs when children adjust their schemas to fit new information and experiences.” (Santrock, 37). For example an 8 year old girl is given a hammer and nail to put up a picture. She never used one before, but she knows somewhat how to use it. She places the nail on the wall and swings too hard and bends the nail, this is known as assimilation. She then adjusts the nail to work for her and the picture, this is known as accommodation. She adjusts her knowledge schemas to new information. “Organization is the grouping of isolated behaviors into a higher order system.” (Santrock, 38). Finally, “equilibration is a mechanism that explains how children shift from one stage of thought to the next.”
People have challenged Piaget’s theory. There are questions in many areas that have aroused. “Some cognitive abilities emerge earlier than Piaget thought. Some aspects of object performance emerge earlier than he believed […] Conservation of number has been demonstrated as early as age three, although Piaget did not think it emerged until age seven.” (Santrock, 39). Another way Piaget is questioned is that many adolescents still think in concrete operational ways or are just beginning to master formal operations. Some theorist believes that we should not throw out Piaget altogether. These theorist known as non-Piagetians argue that Piaget theory is not all right, some things need to be considered for revision. Many disagree with his theory because much of his work was done with his own three children
Like Piaget, Lawerance Kohlberg stressed that development primarily involves moral reasoning and occurs in stages. Kohlberg developed his theory after interviewing children, adolescents, and adults about their view on moral dilemmas. Each indivdual was given a story to read or had the story read to them, after the individual was asked a series of questions. Based on the answers the individual gave in response to the dilemma, Kohlberg developed a theory of moral development that has three main levels with two stages at each of these levels. In order to understand Kohlberg’s theory, one needs to understand the term “internalization which refers to the developmental change from externally controlled behavior to internal controlled behavior.”
Level one known as the Preconvention Morality with sub stage one (Heteronomous Morality) Children obey because adults tell them to obey. Kohlberg calls stage one “preconventional” because children do not yet speak as members of society. “Instead, they see morality as something external to themselves.” (Crain,1985). Stage two is called individualism, purpose, and exchange. In this stage individuals follow their own interests and let others do the same. At this stage individuals speak as isolated individuals rather than as members of society. There is no identification with values of the family or community.
Level two known as the conventional level. Stage three children (usually in their teens) see morality as more than just simple deals. They believe they should behave in good ways and try to live up to the expectations of family and the community. At this stage individuals value trust, caring, and loyalty to others. Stage four is social system morality; the individual becomes more concerned with society as a whole. “Moral judgments are based on understanding of the social order, law, justice, and duty.” (Santrock, 102).
Level three also known as post conventional morality is broken down into stage five social contract and individual rights and stage six universal principles. “In stage five, individuals begin to account for the differing values opinions, and beliefs of other people. Rules of law are important for maintaining a society, but members of the society should agree upon these standards.” (Wagner, 2009). In stage six, “Kohlberg’s final level of moral reasoning is based upon universal ethical principles and abstract reasoning. At this stage, people follow these internalized principles of justice, even if they conflict with laws and rules,” (Wagner, 2009).
Many critics have said that Kohlberg’s theory of moral development overemphasizes the concept as justice when making moral choices. It is believed that other factors like compassions, caring, and feelings play an important role in moral reasoning. Many don’t believe that moral reasoning doesn’t lead to moral behavior. Kohlberg’s theory is too focused on moral thinking, however “there is a difference between knowing what we ought to do versus our own actions” (Crain, 1985).
“Maslow proposed that human motivation can be understood as resulting from a hierarchy of needs,” (“Motivation,” 2009). Maslow is considered to be the founding father of Humanistic Psychology. Humanistic Psychology is also known as “Third Force.” Maslow does not believe that behavior is according to internal or external forces, he believes they are controlled by internal/external forces. He believes that humans have the ability to make free choices and practice free will. Maslow based his hierarchy of needs based on two groupings, deficiency needs and growth needs. Within the deficiency needs, Maslow believes that each of the lower levels must be met before moving to the next higher level. The levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs are Physiological, Safety, Love and belongingness, Esteem, and Self-Actualization. “As the lower-level needs are met, […] the motivation to meet the higher-level needs becomes active,” (“Motivation,” 2009). As an individual moves upward it becomes much more difficult to fulfill each level. Maslow believes because of this, there are very few people that reach the top level, and for those who do it’s a lifelong process. He believes that Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, and Eleanor Roosevelt have become fully self-actualized. 5 According to Maslow, “One of ten people reaches self-actualization. In the physiological level the need of hunger, thirst and sleep need to be met before moving up to the Safety level. This includes the needs an individual has for oxygen, water, vitamins, protein, and temperature. One needs to be active, get rest, sleep, ability to eliminate waste, and as one gets older have sexual relations. In the Safety level one needs to feel that they can survive and are protected from war and crime. In the Love and belongingness level one need to feel security, affection, and attention from others. Having friends, family, and the community come into play at this level. An individual would need feel a sense of loneliness. After this level, individuals move up to the esteem level, one needs to feel good about them. There are two sub-levels of the esteem level, the lower level being need for the respect of others, the need for status, and appreciation. The higher level consists of the need for self-respect. The last level self-actualization one needs to realize their potential.
“According to Maslow, self actualization is the inborn drive to develop all one’s talents and capacities. It involves understandings one’s own potential, accepting oneself and other as unique individuals, and taking problem-centered approach to life situations,” (Huffman, 477). Self actualization is and ongoing process of growth. At this level one should be able “to be all that you can be” It is possible for an individual to fluctuate between levels. Sometimes life will throw curve balls like the loss of a job and can bump one down a level. Maslow was also responsible for the theories of Metaneeds and Metapathologies. He believes that the people need the following things to be happy. “Truth, rather than dishonesty. Goodness, rather than evil. Beauty, not ugliness or vulgarity. Unity, wholeness, and transcendence of opposites, not arbitrariness or forced choices. Aliveness, not deadness or the mechanization of life. Uniqueness, not bland uniformity. Perfection and necessity, not sloppiness, inconsistency, or accident. Completion, rather than incompleteness. Justice and order, not injustice and lawlessness. Simplicity, not unnecessary complexity. Richness, not environmental impoverishment. Effortlessness, not strain. Playfulness, not grim, humorless, drudgery. Self-sufficiency, not dependency. Meaningfulness, rather than senselessness.” (Kinnes,2009).
Maslow has been criticized in many different ways critics believe that humanists are unrealistic, romantic and even naive about human nature. They don’t believe that all people are “inherently good as they say?” (Huffman, 478). The history of murders, warfar and other aggression acts has proved otherwise. Psychoanalytic terms and concepts such as self-actualization are difficult to define and test scientifically. “Humanistic behaviors have been criticized for merely describing personality rather than explain it,” (Huffman, 478)
In conclusion, Bandura, Piaget, Kohlberg, and Maslow have all been a huge impact on the world around us. Bandura’s theory is true, many children do imitate what their older sibling or parent does. Now a day’s television has a huge impact of the child’s mind. Piaget’s study was focused on his children however; it is true that every child goes through developmental stages. I have to say that I do not agree with the ages Piaget had implemented into his theory because every child is different. Not all children learn at the same level. This could be exceptional true through the eyes of Special Education. Many children within the Special Education program develop a lot slower than a student that is in a General Education program will. Maslow’s theory, I believe to be one of the more believable ones. I believe every person needs to achieve one level before they reach the next level in the hierarchy of needs. However I think there can be an exception between the Belongingness and love to the esteem level. There are many critics that do not believe in these developmental theories. However, they all play a major role in education and their name lives on.
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