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Educational Psychology Chapter 2: Cognitive Development Essay

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Development
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Orderly, adaptive changes we go through between conception and death and remain for a reasonable long period of time.
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Physical development
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Changes in body structure and function over time.
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Personal development
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Changes in personality that take place as one grows.
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Social development
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Changes over time in the ways we relate to others.
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Cognitive development
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Gradual orderly changes by which mental processes become more complex and sophisticated.
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Maturation
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Genetically programmed, naturally occurring changes over time.
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Coactions
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Joint actions of individual biology and the environment – each shapes and influences the other.
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Sensitive periods
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Times when a person is especially ready for or responsive to certain experiences.
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Functional magnetic resonance imagine (fMRI)
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An MRI is an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field along with radio waves and a computer to create detailed pictures of the inside of the body. A functional MRI uses the MRI to measure the tiny changes that take place in the brain during brain activity.
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Event-related potential (ERP)
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Measurements that assess electrical activity of the brain through the skull or scalp.
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Positron emission tomography (PET)
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A method of localizing and measuring brain activity using computer-assisted motion pictures of the brain.
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Neurons
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Nerve cell that store and transfer information.
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Neurogenesis
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The production of new neurons.
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Synapses
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The tiny space between neurons – chemical messages are sent across these gaps.
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Glial cell
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The white matter of the brain. These cells greatly outnumber neurons and appear to have many functions such as fighting infections, controlling blood flow and communication among neurons, and providing the myelin coating around axon fibers.
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Myelination
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The process by which neural fibers are coated with a fatty sheath called myelin that makes message transfer more efficient.
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Lateralization
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The specialization of the two hemispheres (sides) of the brain cortex.
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Schemes
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The basic building blocks of thinking. Organized systems of actions or thoughts that allow us to mentally represent or “think about” the objects and events in our world.
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Plasticity
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The brain’s tendency to remain somewhat adaptable or flexible.
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Nature vs. Nurture
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Nature: heredity, genes, biological processes, maturation, etc. Nurture: education, parenting, culture, social policies, etc.
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Qualitative change
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A discontinuous change (i.e. like many of the changes in humans during puberty, such as the ability to reproduce-an entirely different ability).
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Quantitative change
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A gradual, continuous change
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John Piaget’s 4 factors that interact to influence changes in thinking:
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1. Activity. 2. Organization. 3. Adaptation. 4. Equilibration.
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Organization
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Ongoing process of arranging information and experiences into mental systems or categories.
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Adaptation
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Adjustment to the environment.
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Assimilation
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A form of adaptation. Fitting new information into existing schemes.
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Accommodation
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A form of adaptation. Altering/changing existing schemes or creating new ones in response to new information.
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Equilibration
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Search for mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment.
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Disequilibrium
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In Piaget’s theory, the “out-of-balance” state that occurs when a person realizes that his or her current ways of thinking are not working to solve a problem or understand a situation.
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Sensorimotor
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Involving the senses and motor activity.
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Object permanence
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The understanding that objects have a separate, permanent existence.
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Piaget’s four stages of Cognitive Development
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1. Infancy: The Sensorimotor Stage. 2. Early childhood to the early elementary years: The Preoperational stage. 3. Later Elementary to the middle school years: The Concrete-Operational Stage. 4. High school and college: Formal Operations.
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Goal-directed actions
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Deliberate actions toward a goal.
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Operations
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Actions a person carries out by thinking them through instead of literally performing the actions.
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Preoperational
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The stage before a child masters logical mental operations.
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Semiotic function
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The ability to use symbols – language, pictures, signs, or gestures – to represent actions or objects mentally.
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Reversible thinking
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Thinking backward, from the end to the beginning.
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Conservation
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Principle that some characteristics of an object remain the same despite changes in appearance.
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Decentering
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Focusing on more than one aspect at a time.
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Egocentric
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Assuming that others experience the world they way you do.
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According to Piaget, the ability to solve conservation problems (logic) depends on having an understanding of three basic aspects of reasoning:
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1. Identity. 2. Compensations. 3. Reversibility.
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Concrete operations
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Mental tasks tied to concrete objects and situations.
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Identity
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Principle that a person or object remains the same over time.
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Compensation
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The principle that changes in one dimension can be offset by changes in another.
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Reversibility
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The ability to think through a series of steps, then mentally reverse the steps and return to the starting point.
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Classification
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Grouping objects into categories.
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Seriation
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Arranging objects in sequential order according to one aspect, such as size, weight, or volume.
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Formal operations
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Mental tasks involving abstract thinking and coordination of a number of variables.
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Hypothetico-deductive reasoning
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A formal-operations problem-solving strategy in which an individual begins by identifying all the factors that might affect a problem and then deduces and systematically evaluates specific solutions.
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Adolescent egocentism
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Assumption that everyone else shares one’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns.
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Rule assessment
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Understanding, challenging, and changing the rules used for thinking.
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According to Kurt Fischer, when learning a new skill, children move through three tiers:
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1. Actions. 2. Representations. 3. Abstractions.
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Neo-Piagetian theories
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More recent theories that integrate findings about attention, memory, and strategy use with Piaget’s insights about children’s thinking and the construction of knowledge.
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Matalinguistic awareness
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Understanding about one’s own use of language. Needs to be developed to learn word order.
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Catastrophe theory
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Change can be both continuous and discontinuous.
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Sociocultural theory / Scociohistoric
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Emphasizes role in development of cooperative dialogues between children and more knowledgeable members of society. Children learn the culture of their community – such as ways of thinking and behaving – through these interactions.
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Co-constructed processes
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A social process in which people interact and negotiate – usually verbally – to create an understanding or to solve a problem. The final product is shaped by all participants.
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Cultural tools
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The real tools – scales, computers, etc. – and symbol systems – numbers, language, graphs – that allow people in a society to communicate, think, solve problems, and create knowledge.
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Collective monologue
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Form of speech in which children in a group talk but do not really interact or communicate.
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Private speech
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Children’s self-talk, which guides their thinking and action. Eventually, these verbalizations are internalized as silent inner speech.
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Zone of proximal development
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Phase at which a child can master a task if geven appropriate help and support. AKA The “Magic Middle”.
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Scaffolding
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Support for learning and problem solving. The support would be clues, reminders, encouragement, breaking the problem down into steps, providing an example or anything else that allows the student to grow in independence as a learner.
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Syntax
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The order of words in phrases or sentences.
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Assisted learning
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Guided learning. Requires first learning from the student what is needed; then giving information, prompts, reminders, and encouragement at the right time and in the right amounts; and gradually allowing the students to do more and more on their own.