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Developmental Theories of Learning Implemented in a Ninth-Grade Science Classroom Developmental theories of learning are concerned with the physical cognitive moral and social aspects of human growth that can be categorized into stages Unit 4 2014 As explained in Ormrods 2011 p 29-34 Educational Psychology Developing Learners 7th ed Jean Piagets research discovered that children develop abilities through four hierarchical age-dependent stages of cognitive development Sensorimotor birth-two Preoperational two-seven Concrete operations seven-12 and Formal Operations 11-adulthood To understand their world children actively construct knowledge and learn by collecting experiences and forming schemes organized groups of similar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment Ormrod p 28 New events are assimilated accommodated or equalized into complex thoughts in order to learn Lawrence Kohlberg held that moral reasoning in human development has six stages that are organized into three levels where each morality shows more complex thinking as people age Preconventional small children do what benefits themselves Conventional children choose to be good and to follow rules and Postconventional rules are not absolute and are disobeyed if they conflict with personal ethicsOrmrod p93 Both developmental theories are useful for teachers in classrooms to generalize students developments but these stages and ages cannot be taken too literally as all children develop differently Video AnalysisTheory Application The ninth-graders who learn about the characteristics of living organisms in the video Investigating Crickets are in Piagets Formal Operations Stage Ormrod 2011 p 32 They have reached an age where they can think abstractly form hypotheses and find variables to control in an experiment using the scientific method This project of investigating crickets is one well suited for high school aged students because they have to explain their observations create assumptions and predict results These are high order deductive thinking skills that babies and young children in the Sensorimotor and Preoperational stages cannot do Even children in the
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