A Week In My Learning: October 28 – November 3

Hello family and friends! As we enter into another month, I will be recapping what I have learned in educational psychology this past week. Enjoy!

Photo by Unsplash

1.Piaget’s Stages of Development

When I was in high school, I learned about Piaget’s stages of development. However, now reviewing it again in college has brought it into a new light for me. The theory is about how children come to know and what ages that may fall under. For example, a baby cannot understand abstract concepts. As a baby, they understand the world through physical interaction. This is why babies often touch everything they can. Because they learn through touching and feeling. And so, with age comes more ability to understand. And I think that it is important to note that everyone follows Piaget’s stages of development. Never has a baby been born with the ability to speak and understand abstractly.

2. Schemes

A scheme is a term that I learned this week in class. At first, when I thought of the word “scheme,” I thought it meant a sneaky plan. However, when schemes are used in the field of education, it means much more than that. A scheme is a concept or an idea a child may already have about anything, whether that thing is a chair or a hat. We are not born with the understanding of what a chair is for, or what hats are used for. As we grew, we began to understand what a chair was and began to categorize things into already existing schemes. Schemes are the broad concepts, and children organize information into those schemes.  

3. Zone of Proximal Development

This is a concept that we learned in class that I feel is very important for teachers to understand. I like how the zone is always shifting and that something can always be learned. This theory is about how teachers need to understand the appropriate level for the children’s’ developmental abilities. I really like this theory because it touches on how as a teacher, we can guide children through learning and expand their horizons. Children are innately curious and teaching is a way to guide their curiosity into learning.  

4. Children and Gender Roles

One of the most surprising things that I have encountered at the Village Project is when two girls were telling me about gender roles/stereotypes. I was talking to two five-year-old girls and they began telling me about how girls and guys are supposed to sit. Remember these were five-year-old girls! They crossed their legs and said “this is how girls sit” and then widened their stance and said, “this is how boys sit.” I sat there in stunned silence because I couldn’t believe those gender roles were embedded in their young minds already. If those gender roles were already present in their mind, I cannot imagine what other stereotypes they already believe and practice. This made me realize that children are so impressionable and will soak in any information that is presented to them.

5. Village Project

As the village project is coming to a close, I am feeling very bittersweet about it. I’m not going to lie saying that I enjoyed every minute of it and was glad to give up my afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursdays. However, as we are approaching the last week of the village project, I am so glad for this experience. I learned how different schools operate and how poverty can greatly affect learning. This fact made me realize that teachers are the most patient people on this planet! I really respect the director of the afterschool program because she has a difficult job, but makes each child feel special. This was great to see because it inspired me to want to do the same for each child. I loved the relationships that I formed over these past weeks. It has been such a blessing to know these children and be a part of their life. The village project has strengthened my aspirations of becoming a teacher.

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