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Learning and Teaching

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Jean Piaget studied how the Child’s understanding develops when he observed them as they performed exercises he had given them. His study led him to develop a theory on the role of maturation on the capacity of a child to understand their surrounding. He identifies, in his study, ages 7years to 12 years as the ages when the child starts to identify their capabilities. In essence, this suggests that, before these ages, the child is not able to understand matters in particular ways.

The normal cascade of a child’s psychological development, according to Piaget, would involve Adaptation, Classification, Class inclusion, Conservation, Decentration, Egocentrism, Operation, Schema, and stage. As an elementary school teacher, I am at a different stage of understanding from most of the students. Most of these students are still either at the pre-operational or Concrete operational stages of understanding, while I, as a teacher, is at the Formal operational stage. At these stages, their thinking is still egocentric, and they have difficulties taking the view points of other people. They have also barely acquired the capacity to classify things in accordance to several features, and achieved conservation of numbers, mass, and weight. I, on the other hand, is capable of thinking logically and systematically testing hypothesis. I am more concerned about hypothetical and ideological problems.

Therefore, for effective communication with the students, the teacher has an obligation to alter their teaching methods or styles to suit Pre-operational and Concrete operational stage of understanding. For instance, instead of merely stating simple facts by verbal language, I would try to use objects and shapes to explain some languages. I would also be more patient and accommodative with these students, with the understanding that most of them are still egocentric in their thinking. 

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