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What is Cognitivism?
Social Learning Theory (Bandura)
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory posits that people learn from one another, via observation, imitation, and modeling.
Social Learning Theory:
People learn through observing others’ behavior, attitudes, and outcomes of those behaviors. “Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.” (Bandura). Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences.
Necessary conditions for effective modeling:
1. Attention — various factors increase or decrease the amount of attention paid. Includes distinctiveness, affective valence, prevalence, complexity, functional value. One’s characteristics (e.g. sensory capacities, arousal level, perceptual set, past reinforcement) affect attention.
2. Retention — remembering what you paid attention to. Includes symbolic coding, mental images, cognitive organization, symbolic rehearsal, motor rehearsal
3. Reproduction — reproducing the image. Including physical capabilities, and self-observation of reproduction.
4. Motivation — having a good reason to imitate. Includes motives such asÂ past (i.e. traditional behaviorism), promised (imagined incentives) and vicarious (seeing and recalling the reinforced model)
Bandura believed in “reciprocal determinism”, that is, the world and a person’s behavior cause each other, while behaviorism essentially states that one’s environment causes one’s behavior, Bandura, who was studying adolescent aggression, found this too simplistic, and so in addition he suggested that behavior causes environment as well. Later, Bandura soon considered personality as an interaction between three components: the environment, behavior, and one’s psychological processes (one’s ability to entertain images in minds and language).
Social learning theory has sometimes been called a bridge between behaviorist and cognitive learning theories because it encompasses attention, memory, and motivation.
Stage Theory of Cognitive Development (Piaget)
Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development is a description of cognitive development as four distinct stages in children: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal.
Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development:
Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) observed his children (and their process of making sense of the world around them) and eventually developed a four-stage model of how the mind processes new information encountered. He posited that children progress through 4 stages and that they all do so in the same order. These four stages are:
* Sensorimotor stage (Birth to 2 years old). The infant builds an understanding of himself or herself and reality (and how things work) through interactions with the environment. It is able to differentiate between itself and other objects. Learning takes place via assimilation (the organization of information and absorbing it into existing schema) and accommodation (when an object cannot be assimilated and the schemata have to be modified to include the object.
* Preoperational stage (ages 2 to 4). The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations. Objects are classified in simple ways, especially by important features.
* Concrete operations (ages 7 to 11). As physical experience accumulates, accomodation is increased. The child begins to think abstractly and conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences.
* Formal operations (beginning at ages 11 to 15). Cognition reaches its final form. By this stage, the person no longer requires concrete objects to make rational judgements. He or she is capable of deductive and hypothetical reasoning. His or her ability for abstract thinking is very similar to an adult.
What is the special Meaning for eLearning?
In cognitivism the learner is seen as an active and self-operating human being. It suggests learning rather as an individual than an objective process. Therefore, the learning environment should be set in a way that individual and learner-oriented learning is possible.
As learning is based on active cognition and experience E-learning offers a good range of tools to make that work. Listening exercises and Web Searches are active learning tools where individual leanring is enforced.
Which eLearning Tools make use of Cognitivism and in what point exactly?
Altenburger, A. (2005), Internetgestuetztes Computer Supported Cooperative Learning, URL: http://deposit.d-nb.de/cgi-bin/dokserv?idn=97591894x&dok_var=d1&dok_ext=pdf&filename=97591894x.pdf, S. 32ff.
Thissen, D./Steuber, H. (2001) (2001), Didaktische Anforderungen an die internetbasierte Wissensvermittlung. In: Kraemer, W; Mueller, M. (Hrsg.): Corporate Universities und E-learning. Personalentwicklung und lebenslanges Lernen. Wiesbaden: Gabler, S. 316f.
Other Learning TheoriesBehaviorism (Pawlow, Skinner and Instructionalism)