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Educational Psychology

Q1. A) Explain the terms assimilation, accommodation
and equilibration as defined in the work of jean Piaget.
Give appropriate examples.
Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896. He published his first scientific paper at the tender
age of 10 a 100-word description of an albino sparrow in a naturalist magazine. Between the
ages of 15 and 19 he published numerous papers on mollusks and was even offered a job as a
curator at a museum, although he had to decline the offer since he still had two years of high
school to complete.

Piaget's interest in child cognitive development was influenced by watching his 13-month-old
nephew, Gerard, at play. By chance, Piaget observed the toddler playing with a ball. When the
ball rolled under a table where the boy could still see it, Gerard simply retrieved the ball and
continued playing. When the ball rolled under a sofa out of his sight, however, the child began
looking for it where he had last seen it. This reaction struck Piaget as irrational.
Piaget came to believe that children lack what he referred to as the object concept - the
knowledge that objects are separate and distinct from both the individual and the individual's
perception of that object.
Jean Piaget set out to study his daughter Jacqueline as she developed through infancy,
toddlerhood, and childhood. He quickly noted that during the early months of his daughter's life,
she seemed to believe that objects ceased to exist once they were out of her sight. At nearly a
year, she started to search actively for objects that were hidden from her view although she made
mistakes similar to the one Gerard made. By 21 months, Jacqueline had become skilled at
finding hidden objects and understood that objects had an existence separate from her perception
of them.
Piaget's observations of his nephew and daughter reinforced his budding hypothesis that
children's minds were not merely smaller versions of adult minds. Instead, he proposed,
intelligence is something that grows and develops through a series of stages. Older children don't
just think faster than younger children, he suggested. Instead, there are both qualitative and
quantitative differences between the thinking of young children versus older children.

To better understand some of the things that happen during cognitive development, it is
important first to examine a few of the important ideas and concepts introduced by Piaget. The
following are some of the factors that influence how children learn and grow:
Fundamental Concepts

Schemas - A schema describes both the mental and physical actions involved in understanding
and knowing. Schemas are categories of knowledge that help us to interpret and understand the
In Piaget's view, a schema includes both a category of knowledge and the process of obtaining
that knowledge. As experiences happen, this new information is used to modify, add to, or
change previously existing schemas.
For example, a child may have a schema about a type of animal, such as a dog. If the child's sole
experience has been with small dogs, a child might believe that all dogs are small, furry, and
have four legs. Suppose then that the child encounters an enormous dog. The child will take in
this new information, modifying the previously existing schema to include these new
Assimilation - The process of taking in new information into our already existing schemas is
known as assimilation. The process is somewhat subjective because we tend to modify
experiences and information slightly to fit in with our preexisting beliefs. In the example above,
seeing a dog and labeling it "dog" is a case of assimilating the animal into the child's dog
Accommodation - Another part of adaptation involves changing or altering our existing schemas
in light of new information, a process known as accommodation. Accommodation involves
modifying existing schemas, or ideas, as a result of new information or new experiences. New
schemas may also be developed during this process.
Equilibration - Piaget believed that all children try to strike a balance between assimilation and
accommodation, which is achieved through a mechanism Piaget called equilibration. As children
progress through the stages of cognitive development, it is important to maintain a balance
between applying previous knowledge (assimilation) and changing behavior to account for new
knowledge (accommodation). Equilibration helps explain how children can move from one stage
of thought into the next.
Final Thoughts
One of the most important elements to remember of Piaget's theory is that it takes the view that
the creation of knowledge and intelligence is an inherently active process. "I find myself opposed
to the view of knowledge as a passive copy of reality," Piaget explained. " I believe that knowing
an object means acting upon it, constructing systems of transformations that can be carried out
on or with this object. Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that
correspond, more or less adequately, to reality."

b) Discuss Piagets four stages of cognitive development

in human beings. (15)
A Look at Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

The Sensori motor Stage: During this stage, infants and toddlers acquire knowledge
through sensory experiences and manipulating objects. It was his observations of his daughter
and nephew that heavily influenced his conception of this stage. At this point in development, a
child's intelligence consists of their basic motor and sensory explorations of the world. Piaget
believed that developing object permanence or object constancy, the understanding that objects
continue to exist even when they cannot be seen, was an important element at this point of
development. By learning that objects are separate and distinct entities and that they have an
existence of their own outside of individual perception, children are then able to begin to attach
names and words to objects.

The Preoperational Stage: At this stage, kids learn through pretend play but still struggle
with logic and taking the point of view of other people. They also often struggle with
understanding the ideal of constancy. For example, a researcher might take a lump of clay, divide
it into two equal pieces, and then give a child the option of choosing two pieces of clay to play
with. One piece of clay is rolled into a compact ball while the other is smashed into a flat
pancake shape. Since the flat shape looks larger, the preoperational child will likely choose that
piece even though the two pieces are exactly the same size.

The Concrete Operational Stage: Kids at this point of development begin to think more
logically, but their thinking can also be very rigid. They tend to struggle with abstract and
hypothetical concepts. At this point, children also become less egocentric and begin to think
about how other people might think and feel. Kids in the concrete operational stage also begin to
understand that their thoughts are unique to them and that not everyone else necessarily shares
their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

The Formal Operational Stage: The final stage of Piaget's theory involves an increase in
logic, the ability to use deductive reasoning, and an understanding of abstract ideas. At this point,
people become capable of seeing multiple potential solutions to problems and think more
scientifically about the world around them.
It is important to note that Piaget did not view children's intellectual development as a
quantitative process; that is, kids do not just add more information and knowledge to their
existing knowledge as they get older. Instead, Piaget suggested that there is a qualitative change
in how children think as they gradually process through these four stages. A child at age 7 doesn't
just have more information about the world than he did at age 2; there is a fundamental change
in how he thinks about the world.

Q2. Discuss the characteristics of creative people. Do you agree that most of
the people have a potential for creativity? Give examples to support your

point of view.
It seems that when highly creative people try to solve a problem or achieve a goal, particularly
when the goal is related to their area of creative strength, they use much more of their brains than
do ordinary people or, indeed, than even themselves when they are not focused on a creative
task. If the average person is asked to draw a picture of a cat, she will most likely think about the
physical appearance of a cat and replicate it as best she can with pen and paper. The creative
artist, on the other hand, will think in much more depth. She'll think not only about the cat, but
the placement of the cat; what the cat is doing; the lighting; the kind of lines to use and much
more. She may decide to humanize the cat and give it emotions. Perhaps she'll decide to draw a
sexy cat with a human body wearing an evening gown. Maybe she'll simply draw a blur
representing a cat in motion.
By using much more of her brain to achieve her goal, the highly creative person, in effect,
provides herself with more raw material from which to construct ideas than the average person.
The average person thinks only about drawings of cats and the basic characteristics of cats. This
limits the level of creativity she can achieve. The highly creative person thinks about much more
-- all the while retaining some connection to cats. It is not surprising that, with so much raw
material, she is able to be more creative in the realization of her ideas.
They Think Before They Act
It takes time to run through all that raw material in the brain. This is why creative people tend to
think before they act. They play with the issue in their minds for a time, looking at a range of
possibilities before choosing a direction. I see this when I work with creative people. When you
give an average person a creative challenge, she tends immediately to try and come up with
ideas. But because her mind is too focused on the issues of the challenge, her ideas are limited in
scope as well. They are conventional, obvious ideas. The highly creative person, on the other
hand, tends to turn the problem around in her head. She asks questions, thinks about it in various
scenarios and brings seemingly unrelated information into her problem solving.
For example, if you ask an averagely creative person to come up with ideas for things you could
do with a big box (for example, the kind of box a new washing machine might be packaged in),
she will immediately think of boxes and their usual uses: storage, children's toys, perhaps
protection against the elements.
A highly creative person would go further. She might think about using a box as a children's toy
(as would most people), but she would also think about the kind of games children might play in
a box. She might imagine climbing into the box and then wonder what it would be like. She
might think about tearing apart the box and what to do with the pieces - perhaps use them for
kindling for a fire or raw material for a sculpture. She might invert the box in her mind and climb

on top of it. What would happen if she did that, she might wonder. All of these thoughts enable
her to come up with many more ideas than the averagely creative person. But these thoughts all
come from her mind. She is simply using more of her mind and its memories, thoughts and
notions in order to construct ideas.
Incidentally, the highly creative person does not focus on her left brain or right brain for a simple
reason: it's a myth. Creative people use a lot of their brains, not one hemisphere or the other!

Curiosity Is Creative Play

Highly creative people are often cited as being very curious. This fits with the way their brains
work. Rather than simply collect information, their brains play with it. One person might see a
horse standing in a field and think it is a magnificent looking animal. Another more curiously
creative person might wonder what the horse thinks about all day in the field. She might wonder
how the horse can cope for long hours of inactivity without a book to read. Or she might notice
that the horse tends to hang out by the fence that borders another field where another horse
resides. The creative person might wonder how two animals that do not have spoken or written
language might bond and what kinds of friendships horses might have.
Spontaneous Ideas
It is by often asking these questions, wondering and being curious that creative people come up
with spontaneous ideas. For instance, it is by asking what use could be made of not-very-sticky
glue that some people discovered Post-Its. Pablo Picasso wondered how he could depict threedimensional reality, as viewed from different perspectives, and came up with surrealism.
Behavior Two: Less Intellectual Regulation
The dorsolateral prefrontal region of the brain is responsible for, among other things, intellectual
regulation. It includes the brain's censorship bureau: the bit of the brain that prevents us from
saying or doing inappropriate things. It allows us to control impulses and to choose appropriate
courses of behavior according to our circumstances. It seems that in highly creative people, this
part of the brain becomes much less active during times of creation. This makes sense. If you can
reduce the level of thought regulation when generating creative work (whether ideas, music, or
artwork), then fewer ideas will be filtered out as inappropriate and more will be developed and
In averagely creative people, on the other hand, the dorsolateral prefrontal region remains more
active all the time. It filters out crazy thoughts; it prevents the person from saying, doing or even
thinking too much about outrageous ideas. It ensures that averagely creative people think and
behave conventionally. And for many people, this is preferred. Most people desire to fit into
society and succeed according to existing rules. It is only creative misfits who want to succeed

by doing things their own wayby ignoring convention, by having the audacity to believe they
know better than convention.
For many people, this is a good thing. Sharing stupid ideas is embarrassing. People might laugh
at the individual who shares seemingly stupid ideas. People might question her competence.
Moreover, the averagely creative individual may wonder why she should bother with creative
ideas when more conventional solutions work well enough. No one is going to be laughed at or
reprimanded for coming up with a conventional idea that is in keeping with the norms of the
local culture (whether it is society, a school or a workplace). On the other hand, sharing a radical
idea that might be stupid could well result in ridicule. Acting on an idea that could fail miserably
could get you in trouble.
In short, it is safer to be conventional and incremental in your creativity than it is to be
unconventional and radical in your creativity for most people. Highly creative people are
different. Their brains are programmed to worry less about fitting in with conventions and
staying within norms. It is not that highly creative people are not afraid of ridicule or criticism
(indeed, many artists are highly sensitive). Rather, it never occurs to them that others might
ridicule their ideas.
Creative People Are Not as Rebellious as You Think
This leads to the myth that creative people are rebellious. I do not believe this is entirely true.
But whereas most people, thanks to their active dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes, regulate their
thinking and behavior to fit with conventional behavior, creative people are not so handicapped.
Instead, they follow their own rules or systems for evaluating ideas and deciding whether to
move forward with those ideas. These rule systems are often logical, at least to the creative
thinker. But, because they are not about conforming to social norms, it makes the creative thinker
seem rebellious. An artist, for example, will not make a name for herself by studiously copying
current trends. Rather, she will become famous by being unique. So, if she makes decisions
based on what is commonplace, ordinary and conforming in the art world, she will never make a
name for herself. However, if she purposely veers from what is popular in order to carve out her
own, unique style she may become famous. She may make a name for herself.
Creative People Are Logical
Another common fallacy about creative people is that they are not logical, that they are driven
purely by feeling and emotion. I do not believe this is true. Rather, as noted, creative people are
not handicapped by a need to conform to social norms. They are not compelled to be a part of
popular culture. Rather, they are driven by a logic that suits their needs and is logical to them.
That logic may be based in part on emotions and feelings -- especially in some artists. But it is a
form of logic nevertheless. All people need to make decisions and decisions are based on some
kind of logic. The creative artist is no exception. If anything, by not feeling compelled to fit the
demands of popular culture, the creative artist needs to be even more logical than the average

person who assumes that if everyone wears and buys a particular style jacket, then it is safe to
buy and wear such a jacket.
Creative People Tend to Be Less Honest
Another apparent consequence of having a relaxed dorsolateral prefrontal region, combined with
a brain that is adept at building ideas, appears to be a reduced need to be honest. Research by
Francesca Gino and Dan Ariely confirms that, in general, highly creative people are less honest
than averagely creative people. The reason for this seems to be that creative people can use their
creativity to justify their actions in ways that less creative people cannot do. A lot of people,
highly creative people as well as self-proclaimed creative people, will balk at this and claim that
they are very honest. And it is true that they believe that. That is because their creativity is
successful in convincing them that their behavior is justified.

Q3. Define the terms learning objectives and behavioral objectives. Also
describe the value of specifying clear learning objectives prior to setting off on
a particular course.

Q6. It is believed that assessment is an integral part of learning. Explain in the

light of your own experience and observation. Is there any difference between
formative and summative assessment? Discuss very briefly.
Assessment is an integral part of instruction, as it determines whether or not the goals of
education are being met. Assessment affects decisions about grades, placement, advancement,
instructional needs, curriculum, and, in some cases, funding. Assessment inspire us to ask these
hard questions: "Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?" "Are students learning what
they are supposed to be learning?" "Is there a way to teach the subject better, thereby promoting
better learning?"
Today's students need to know not only the basic reading and arithmetic skills, but also skills that
will allow them to face a world that is continually changing. They must be able to think critically,
to analyze, and to make inferences. Changes in the skills base and knowledge our students need
require new learning goals; these new learning goals change the relationship between assessment
and instruction. Teachers need to take an active role in making decisions about the purpose of
assessment and the content that is being assessed.
When assessment works best, it does the following:
Provides diagnostic feedback

What is the student's knowledge base?

What is the student's performance base?

What are the student's needs?

What has to be taught?

Helps educators set standards

What performance demonstrates understanding?

What performance demonstrates knowledge?

What performance demonstrates mastery?

Evaluates progress

How is the student doing?

What teaching methods or approaches are most effective?

What changes or modifications to a lesson are needed to help the student?

Relates to a student's progress

What has the student learned?

Can the student talk about the new knowledge?

Can the student demonstrate and use the new skills in other projects?
Motivates performance
For student self-evaluation:

Now that I'm in charge of my learning, how am I doing?

Now that I know how I'm doing, how can I do better?

What else would I like to learn?

For teacher self-evaluation:

What is working for the students?

What can I do to help the students more?

In what direction should we go next?

What is the difference between formative and summative assessment?
Formative assessment
The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning to provide ongoing feedback
that can be used by instructors to improve their teaching and by students to improve their
learning. More specifically, formative assessments:

help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work
help faculty recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately
Formative assessments are generally low stakes, which means that they have low or no point
value. Examples of formative assessments include asking students to:

draw a concept map in class to represent their understanding of a topic

submit one or two sentences identifying the main point of a lecture
turn in a research proposal for early feedback
Summative assessment
The goal of summative assessment is to evaluate student learning at the end of an instructional
unit by comparing it against some standard or benchmark.
Summative assessments are often high stakes, which means that they have a high point value.
Examples of summative assessments include:

a midterm exam
a final project
a paper
a senior recital
Information from summative assessments can be used formatively when students or faculty use it
to guide their efforts and activities in subsequent courses.