Running Head: LEARNING THEORY Seventh Grade 1 Seventh Grade Algebra and Learning through Experience Name Class Date Seventh Grade Algebra and Learning through Experience Introduction The learning outcomes of seventh graders who are given the opportunity to learn algebra are defined by the previous knowledge that each individual has about mathematics…
In addition, it is clear that through teaching with the experience of doing, a student will learn at a higher and more comprehensive rate than just being told the information. Through an examination of the idea of teaching seventh grade students algebra, Piaget’s theories and those of his followers provide some insight into the overall project. Modified Behavior Approach The learning situation that is being discussed is that of the capacity of seventh grade students to be able to solve algebraic equations using different orders of operations. The essential behaviorist approach is that of the constructivist radical approach that would be used during instruction. The development of the skill to solve algebraic equations begins through the basic skills that are taught at younger ages so that by the time they are ready to approach problem solving at the algebraic level they have a background that supports this new step in the process. The modified approach is designed using schema theory through which the learner is given time to apply knowledge that is previous to the instruction to the new mathematical problems. In addition to the schema theory, the use of the information processing theory provides a method of teaching learners through a variety of ways so that the information becomes entrenched into the cognitive processes that the learner is using. Techniques such as the use of acronyms provide a broad number of learning tools to effectively create the necessary knowledge. Using the cognitive approach in order to allow students a variety of ways in which to express what they have learned. Group work provides the structure through which the result of the lessons can be evaluated and expressed by the students. The core of the lessons is approached through the constructivist approach as it allows for students to learn on their own. Martin and Loomis (2007) discuss how the constructivist approach can benefit students. The development of a constructivist approach is based upon students using what they know in order to experience the development of answers through the use of tools that facilitate their understanding and growth in a discipline. Teachers are guides rather than didactic reciters of information. Through this basic concept, the development of the teaching method provides students with the opportunity to experience the act of learning. Piaget’s Theory Piaget’s theory defines learning through two individual criteria, that of development and of learning. Development is based upon the mechanisms of action and thinking, while learning is the acquisition of skills. Learning is based on the development of intelligence. Learning can only be accomplished when a child has the pre-requisite skills that are defined by those mechanisms that have come about through development. This provides for a separation of learning and thinking, providing for the opportunity to examine one and the other independently, even as they will act in concert. The concept of learning can be seen through the way in which the ‘factor of equilibrium’ is relevant to the overall event of learning. The example presented by Furth and Wachs (1974) provides a method of thinking about what Piaget considered the ‘factor of equilibrium’. If one looks at a plant it needs water, sunlight, and specific elements in order to grow. However, these advantages do not create growth, but the use of them creates the growth by the plant. ...
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