AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 6501 Autumn 2019
Course: Educational Psychology and Guideline (6501)
Semester: Spring, 2019
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 Discuss the nature and scope of educational psychology. How the knowledge of psychology help teachers to create conducive learning environment?
Educational psychology is one of the branches of psychology to study the behaviour of the learner in relation to his education. As specialized branch of psychology concerns itself with suggesting ways and means of improving the process and products of education, enabling the teacher to teach effectively and the learners to learn effectively with the minimum effort.
It is thus designated as the service of education. It has simplified the tasks and improved the efficiency of the teacher or all those connected in the process and products of education by supplying them with the essential knowledge and skills in much need the same way as science and technology has helped in making possible maximum output through minimum input in terms of time and labour in our day-to-day activities.
Definitions of Educational Psychology:
“Educational psychology is the branch of psychology which deals with teaching and learning”.
2. Crow and Crow:
“Educational psychology describes and explains learning experience of an individual from birth to old age”.
“Educational psychology is the science of education”.
The Nature of Educational Psychology:
The nature of educational psychology is regarded as scientific because it is organized, systematic and universally accepted body, wherein the facts remain constantly in search of truth through research and experimentation. Employs scientific methods in its study and its results are subjected to further verification and modification.
The following points further confirm the nature of educational psychology as scientific:
1. Laws of educational psychology are universal:
Educational psychology possesses a well-organized, systematic and universally accepted body of facts supported by the relevant psychological laws and principles.
2. Scientific methods:
Educational psychology employs scientific methods and adopts a scientific approach for studying the learner’s behaviour such as observation, experimentation, clinical investigation and generalization, etc.
3. Constant search of the truth:
The results of any study in educational psychology can be challenged and are modified or altered in terms of the latest explanations and findings. So the findings of any study are never taken as absolute and permanent.
Educational psychology does not accept hearsay and not take anything for granted. It emphasizes that essentially there is some definite causes linked with a behaviour and the causes of this behaviour are not related to supernatural phenomena.
5. Positive science:
Educational psychology is a positive science rather than a normative science.
6. Applied behavioural science:
Educational psychology is an applied/behavioural science.
7. Developing positive science:
Educational psychology cannot claim the status of a developed positive science like other natural or applied sciences. It is considered as one of the developing positive sciences of the learner’s behaviour.
Objectives of Educational Psychology:
The general objectives of educational psychology are:
1. To provide a body of facts and methods which can be used in solving teaching problems?
2. To develop a scientific and problem-solving attitude.
3. To train in thinking psychologically about educational problems.
How the knowledge of psychology help teachers to create conducive learning environment:
By definition, a conducive learning environment is a platform devoid of both physical intimidation and emotional frustration, which allows for a free exchange of ideas.
The key proponents of the learning process are teachers and learners, as such their freedom of interaction, safety and respect should be equally guaranteed within the physical and emotive environment they find themselves in.
The first port of learning is the physical environment, which includes, but is not limited to classrooms.
The classroom should be neat, well ventilated and spacious to allow for free movement.
The chairs and desks should be arranged neatly to give the teacher a clear view of the class, with learners facing the chalkboard.
All learning and teaching materials like chalks, books and charts should be at hand. The classroom should be safe to both the teacher and the learners.
Q.2 Compare different theories of language development, also highlight its importance in teaching learning process.
The most prominent figure in language development is Noam Chomsky, who’s been studying this ever since his days at MIT. Then there are those who have offered their take on language development from a psychological perspective. This includes psychologists such as B.F Skinner, Jean Piaget and Vygotsky. We’ll be giving you a brief overview of their theories and perspectives. Fair warning to all: There’s a lot of psychology here, so be prepared for a bunch of fancy new terms (we’ll explain them briefly as we go, of course).
Noam Chomsky has been studying and developing his theories since the 1950s. In his book “Aspects of the Theory of Syntax” published in 1965, he has pushed forward the fundamental observation that there are deep structures and surface structures in every sentence, no matter what language. This is the reason why you can form sentences with similar meaning using a theoretically infinite combination of words.
Essentially, deep structures are the thoughts and meanings we want to express and surface structures are the words, sounds and symbols we use to try and express them.
Let’s look at some examples. Take a look at the following sentence:
Language development seems really complicated to me.
I think language development is really complicated.
Both express exactly the same thing using different words and a different word order. The deep structure is the same (the notion that language development is obviously not the simplest thing in the world), though the words used (surface structure) are different.
The use of these words and their structures are refined over the course of time. It changes and evolves on the surface, but the deeper structures remain. This is a part of Chomsky’s transformational-generative grammar theory.
Another important contribution Chomsky made to linguistic studies is the theory of universal grammar. He asserted that the human brain contains a mechanism for language acquisition, meaning that our languages share the same deeper structures despite the largely superficial surface structures.
This is why it’s possible for anyone to learn a foreign language, regardless of the complexity of its grammatical structure or script.
B.F Skinner’s Behaviorist Perspective
Tackling the issue of language from a different perspective was B.F Skinner, the behavioral psychologist. Simply put, the behavioral perspective postulates that everything we do is dictated by our environment and that our behavior is a response to external stimuli through operant conditioning, the process through which behavior changes with positive and negative reinforcement.
B.F Skinner theorized that language acquisition is dictated by our environment and the positive or negative reinforcement we receive from it. Parents, for example, enforce correct usage of a word in children with positive facial or verbal reactions. They play larger roles in our “verbal behavior,” a concept Skinner describes in his book. Verbal behavior introduces the concept of functions to words, as well as meanings.
For example, a child may know what to call a toilet, but they must also learn what the use of that word will allow them to acquire or express. They’ve heard their parents say this word, but what happens when they say it? Most likely, their parents take them to it.
So in this case, the most basic function of the word is to express a need to use the bathroom. A pretty important thing to be able to express, wouldn’t you say?
Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
Jean Piaget was another prominent psychologist who offered yet another take on language acquisition and development. His focus was on child development and the stages children go through to develop and learn.
He asserted that children would only be able to fully grasp some concepts within specific developmental stages, due to the fact that certain sections of the brain would only further develop at certain ages.
For example, since the sensorimotor area develops first during the first two years of a child’s life, children focus on their immediate surroundings, experimenting with the things around them by playing with them, biting them or throwing them.
Throughout this stage, they’ll take things apart, put things back together and explore the concept of things existing in and out of sight. By the end of it all, they’ll be able to visualize things that aren’t there in front of them, which is arguably the most crucial part of this stage when it comes to language and communication.
Next comes the preoperational stage in which children are able to develop their imagination and think in slightly more abstract ways. They begin to toy with symbols. They’ll use words in ways that aren’t generally accepted or understood. For example, they may use the word “pillow” to mean “cloth” purely because of the few shared characteristics between the two objects.
They do this for egocentric communication. Anyone who’s ever tried to communicate with a two-year-old will know that they aren’t all that interested in other perspectives. They’re too busy trying to explore their own mind, so don’t take it personally.
You may have noticed already that these concepts focus less on language and more on cognitive development during childhood and you’d be right. That being said, it’s still important to know because Piaget did establish that language plays a huge role in cognitive development, chiefly in the way children use language throughout each stage.
During the sensorimotor stage, children experiment with sounds, and language is mostly about the auditory aspects. They don’t care about the meaning, they just like to create sounds. During the pre-operational stage, children use language to express themselves, but they can’t really distinguish conversation from pure expression.
During the concrete operational stage, children state facts and observations. Finally, during the formal operational stage, children are able to use language to express, discuss and debate abstract concepts.
Vygotsky’s Constructivist Learning Theory
Not completely unrelated was Vygotsky’s theory of social development. It’s referred to as the constructivist perspective and describes the concept of development through construction of thought and meaning. To understand it completely, you first have to understand his perspective.
It challenges the more widely-held concept of knowledge and proposes that knowledge is a construction of meaning unique to the individual. How a person grew up (their culture) will affect how they think. He emphasizes the importance of others in our development (i.e., social interaction and guided learning).
Vygotsky postulated that language develops similarly, but focused on the development of social speech, private speech and inner speech. Social speech is the language we use with others while private speech (talking to ourselves) is not meant to communicate with others (this happens around the age of three). Inner speech only really begins to appear around the age of six or seven with private speech being internalized. It’s a complex idea that goes beyond the scope of this post, but children at this stage begin to internalize language and meaning and, as Vygotsky says, begin “thinking in pure meaning.” Suffice it to say that our relationship with language becomes increasingly more sophisticated and goes beyond the meaning of the words and into the feelings or ideas the words elicit.
Q.3 Discuss the factors affecting cognitive growth and development in the light of Piaget Theory of cognitive process?
Cognitive development — the brain’s development — often is associated with intellectual capacities, but also includes memory and sensory development. Though many parents are interested in the way genetics affects their infants, environment strongly affects a child’s cognitive development. Children raised in enriched, engaging environments typically develop more quickly than other children develop and may have higher IQ’s as adults.
Typically, infants living in households with a low socioeconomic status develop slower and have less favorable outcomes than other children do, according to the textbook “Child Psychology.” These children may be exposed to poor housing and malnutrition. Parents of these infants may be highly stressed and they may work multiple jobs — which could result in having less time to spend with their children. Parents who spend less time with their kids are less likely to read, talk to and engage with their infants. Factors often associated with poverty can affect infants’ cognitive development. Similarly, infants living in dysfunctional households — regardless of socioeconomic status — develop slower than other children do.
Cognitive skills related to vision and hearing may seem like natural developments to most people in the industrialized world. However, these skills require practice and exposure to sensory input. Children deprived of this sensory stimulation may not develop regularly. When children’s eyes or ears must be covered due to illness, or when children are kept in dark, quiet environments, their sensory skills may not develop regularly. Children exposed to a variety of sights and sounds, however, may develop additional skills. For example, early exposure to music seems to correlate with later interest in music, according to “Child Psychology.”
Nutrition, in many cases, seems to strongly affect a child’s cognitive development — even before she is born. Unborn babies who receive inadequate protein, for example, may have slower development both in the uterus and after birth, according to neurologist Lise Eliot. Furthermore, the high-quality nutrition children receive from breastfeeding correlates with higher IQ scores later in life, according to several studies reported by Eliot. Children who are chronically malnourished often develop slower than other children do.
Environmental enrichment can strongly affect a child’s cognitive development. Children whose parents read and talk to them frequently tend to have better vocabularies and develop skills like reading and speaking earlier. Conversely, television — even educational programs — may have a negative impact on children’s development. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 2 years old should not watch any television and that, after this age, television exposure should be limited. Parents interested in increasing their children’s intellectual capacities should expose their babies to a variety of toys and stimuli including blocks, play letters, books and dolls.
Genetics is particularly relevant in the development of infants with developmental disabilities and health problems. Genetic health problems may limit a child’s access to stimulating environments, delaying her intellectual development. Children with genetically based intellectual deficits are limited in their capacities to develop some skills. Early intervention and nurturing environments can offset some of these difficulties.
Q.4 Write a brief but comprehensive note on the following:
a) Learning is the modification of behaviour
Behavior modification is a treatment approach, based on the principles of operant conditioning, that replaces undesirable behaviors with more desirable ones through positive or negative reinforcement.
Behavior modification is used to treat a variety of problems in both adults and children. Behavior modification has been successfully used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), phobias, enuresis (bed-wetting), generalized anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder, among others.
Behavior modification is based on the principles of operant conditioning, which were developed by American behaviorist B. F. Skinner (1904-1990). Skinner formulated the concept of operant conditioning, through which behavior could be shaped by reinforcement or lack of it. Skinner considered his concept applicable to a wide range of both human and animal behaviors and introduced operant conditioning to the general public in his 1938 book, The Behavior of Organisms.
One behavior modification technique that is widely used is positive reinforcement, which encourages certain behaviors through a system of rewards. In behavior therapy, it is common for the therapist to draw up a contract with the client establishing the terms of the reward system. Another behavior modification technique is negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement is a method of training that uses a negative reinforcer. A negative reinforcer is an event or behavior whose reinforcing properties are associated with its removal. For example, terminating an existing electric shock after a rat presses a bar is a negative reinforcer.
In addition to rewarding desirable behavior, behavior modification can also discourage unwanted behavior, through punishment. Punishment is the application of an aversive or unpleasant stimulus in reaction to a particular behavior. For children, this could be the removal of television privileges when they disobey their parents or teacher. The removal of reinforcement altogether is called extinction. Extinction eliminates the incentive for unwanted behavior by withholding the expected response. A widespread parenting technique based on extinction is the time-out, in which a child is separated from the group when he or she misbehaves. This technique removes the expected reward of parental attention.
b) Information processing theory of learning
The basic idea of Information processing theory is that the human mind is like a computer or information processor — rather than behaviorist notions that people merely responding to stimuli. These theories equate thought mechanisms to that of a computer, in that it receives input, processes, and delivers output. Information gathered from the senses (input), is stored and processed by the brain, and finally brings about a behavioral response (output).
Information processing theory has been developed and broadened over the years. Most notable in the inception of information processing models is Atkinson and Shriffin’s ‘stage theory,’ presenting a sequential method, as discussed above, of input-processing-output. Though influential, the linearity of this theory reduced the complexity of the human brain, and thus various theories were developed in order to further assess the inherent processes.
Following this line of thought, Craik and Lockhart issued the ‘level of processing’ model. They emphasize that information s expanded upon (processed) in various ways (perception, attention, labelling, and meaning) which affect the ability to access the information later on. In other words, the degree to which the information was elaborated upon will affect how well the information was learned.
Bransford broadened this idea by adding that information will be more easily retrieved if the way it is accessed is similar to the way in which it was stored. The next major development in information processing theory is Rumelhart and McClelland’s connectionist model, which is supported by current neuroscience research. It states that information is stored simultaneously in different areas of the brain, and connected as a network. The amount of connections a single piece of information has will affect the ease of retrieval.
Q.5 Explain the laws of learning given by Thorndike, what are implication of these laws for teaching learning process at secondary level.
One of the pioneers of educational psychology, E.L. Thorndike formulated three laws of learning in the early 20th century. [Figure 2-7] These laws are universally accepted and apply to all kinds of learning: the law of readiness, the law of exercise, and the law of effect. Since Thorndike set down his laws, three more have been added: the law of primacy, the law of intensity, and the law of recency.
The basic needs of the learner must be satisfied before he or she is ready or capable of learning (see Category 1, Human Behavior). The instructor can do little to motivate the learner if these needs have not been met. This means the learner must want to learn the task being presented and must possess the requisite knowledge and skill. In SBT, the instructor attempts to make the task as meaningful as possible and to keep it within the learner’s capabilities.
Students best acquire new knowledge when they see a clear reason for doing so, often show a strong interest in learning what they believe they need to know next, and tend to set aside things for which they see no immediate need. For example, beginning flight students commonly ignore the flight instructor’s suggestion to use the trim control. These students believe the control yoke is an adequate way to manipulate the aircraft’s control surfaces. Later in training, when they must divert their attention away from the controls to other tasks, they realize the importance of trim.
Instructors can take two steps to keep their students in a state of readiness to learn. First, instructors should communicate a clear set of learning objectives to the student and relate each new topic to those objectives. Second, instructors should introduce topics in a logical order and leave students with a need to learn the next topic. The development and use of a well-designed curriculum accomplish this goal.
Readiness to learn also involves what is called the “teachable moment” or a moment of educational opportunity when a person is particularly responsive to being taught something. One of the most important skills to develop as an instructor is the ability to recognize and capitalize on “teachable moments” in aviation training. An instructor can find or create teachable moments in flight training activity: pattern work, air work in the local practice area, cross-country, flight review, or instrument proficiency check.
Teachable moments present opportunities to convey information in a way that is relevant, effective, and memorable to the student. They occur when a learner can clearly see how specific information or skills can be used in the real world.
For example, while on final approach several deer cross the runway. Bill capitalizes on this teachable moment to stress the importance of always being ready to perform a go-around.
All learning involves the formation of connections and connections are strengthened or weakened according to the law of effect. Responses to a situation that are followed by satisfaction are strengthened; responses followed by discomfort are weakened, either strengthening or weakening the connection of learning. Thus, learning is strengthened when accompanied by a pleasant or satisfying feeling, and weakened when associated with an unpleasant feeling. Experiences that produce feelings of defeat, frustration, anger, confusion, or futility are unpleasant for the student. For example, if Bill teaches landings to Beverly during the first flight, she is likely to feel inferior and be frustrated, which weakens the learning connection.
The learner needs to have success in order to have more success in the future. It is important for the instructor to create situations designed to promote success. Positive training experiences are more apt to lead to success and motivate the learner, while negative training experiences might stimulate forgetfulness or avoidance. When presented correctly, SBT provides immediate positive experiences in terms of real world applications.
To keep learning pleasant and to maintain student motivation, an instructor should make positive comments about the student’s progress before discussing areas that need improving. Flight instructors have an opportunity to do this during the flight debriefing. For example, Bill praises Beverly on her aircraft control during all phases of flight, but offers constructive comments on how to better maintain the runway centerline during landings.
Connections are strengthened with practice and weakened when practice is discontinued, which reflects the adage “use it or lose it.” The learner needs to practice what has been learned in order to understand and remember the learning. Practice strengthens the learning connection; disuse weakens it. Exercise is most meaningful and effective when a skill is learned within the context of a real world application.
Primacy, the state of being first, often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression and underlies the reason an instructor must teach correctly the first time and the student must learn correctly the first time. For example, a maintenance student learns a faulty riveting technique. Now the instructor must correct the bad habit and reteach the correct technique. Relearning is more difficult than initial learning.
Also, if the task is learned in isolation, it is not initially applied to the overall performance, or if it must be relearned, the process can be confusing and time consuming. The first experience should be positive, functional, and lay the foundation for all that is to follow.
Immediate, exciting, or dramatic learning connected to a real situation teaches a learner more than a routine or boring experience. Real world applications (scenarios) that integrate procedures and tasks the learner is capable of learning make a vivid impression and he or she is least likely to forget the experience. For example, using realistic scenarios has been shown to be effective in the development of proficiency in flight maneuvers, tasks, and single-pilot resource management (SRM) skills.
The principle of recency states that things most recently learned are best remembered. Conversely, the further a learner is removed in time from a new fact or understanding, the more difficult it is to remember. For example, it is easy for a learner to recall a torque value used a few minutes earlier, but it is more difficult or even impossible to remember an unfamiliar one used a week earlier.
Instructors recognize the principle of recency when they carefully plan a summary for a ground school lesson, a shop period, or a postflight critique. The instructor repeats, restates, or reemphasizes important points at the end of a lesson to help the learner remember them. The principle of recency often determines the sequence of lectures within a course of instruction.
In SBT, the closer the training or learning time is to the time of the actual scenario, the more apt the learner is to perform successfully. This law is most effectively addressed by making the training experience as much like the scenario as possible.
In brief implications of the Theory are-
1) According to this theory the task can be started from the easier aspect towards its difficult side. This approach will benefit the weaker and backward children.
2) A small child learns some skills through trial and error method only such as sitting, standing, walking, running etc. In teaching also the child rectifies the writing after commiting mistakes.
3) In this theory more emphasis has been laid on motivation. Thus, before starting teaching in the classroom the students should be properly motivated.
4) Practice leads a man towards maturity. Practice is the main feature of trial and error method. Practice helps in reducing the errors committed by the child in learning any concept.
5) Habits are formed as a result of repeitition. With the help of this theory the wrong habits of the children can be modified and the good habits strengthened.
6) The effects of rewards and punishment also affect the learning of the child. Thus, the theory lays emphasis on the use of reward and punishment in the class by the teacher.
7) The theory may be found quite helpful in changing the behaviour of the deliquent children. The teacher should cure such children making use of this theory.
8) With the help of this theory the teacher can control the negative emotions of the children such as anger, jealousy etc.
9) The teacher can improve his teaching methods making use of this theory. He must observe the effects of his teaching methods on the students and should not hesitate to make necessary changes in them, if required.
10) The theory pays more emphasis on oral drill work. Thus, a teacher should conduct oral drill of the taught contents. This help in strengthening the learning more.