Conceptual Learning and Development: A Cognitive View

Conceptual Learning and Development: A Cognitive View

Conceptual Learning and Development: A Cognitive View

Conceptual Learning and Development: A Cognitive View

Excerpt

In this book we describe an orderly sequence of conceptual learning and development starting in early childhood and extending into adolescence. Four successively higher levels of concept attainment that characterize the sequence are indicated. The cognitive operations involved in learning concepts at each of the four levels of attainment are specified and described. The new operations that emerge with learning and maturation are identified. These new operations, combined with those already available, enable an individual to attain concepts at the successively higher levels. Information about the levels of attainment and the related operations, as well as the uses of concepts and the role of language, is synthesized in a model of conceptual learning and development.

The model draws on concept-learning experiments conducted in laboratories, controlled experiments and cross-sectional studies carried out in school settings with children four to sixteen years old, behavioral analyses of the concept-learning tasks used in the experiments, and theoretical viewpoints about concept learning. Therefore, the model as described in this book provides a new approach for thinking about conceptual learning and development and for conducting related research. Because much of the reported experimentation has been done in schools with variables manipulated in classroom learning tasks, the model also has implications for instruction and for related instructional research.

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