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Gestalt Theory

Learning Theory - Constructivist Approach, Schema Theory - HISTORICAL OVERVIEW


HISTORICAL OVERVIEW Learning theories are so central to the discipline of psychology that it is impossible to separate the history of learning theories from the history of psychology. Learning is a basic psychological process, and investigations of the principles and mechanisms of learning have been the subject of research and debate since the establishment of the first psychological laboratory by Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzeig, Germany, in 1879. Learning is defined as a lasting change in behaviors or beliefs that results from experience. The ability to learn provides every living organism with the ability to adapt to a changing environment. Learning is an inevitable consequence of livingif we could not learn, we would die. The evolution of learning theories may be thought of as a progression from broad theories developed to explain the many ways that learning occurs to more specific theories that are limited in the types of learning they are designed to explain. Learning theories are broadly separated into two perspectives. The first perspective argues that learning can be studied by the observation and manipulation of stimulus-response associations. This is known as the behaviorist perspective because of its strict adherence to the study of observable behaviors. This perspective was first articulated in 1913 by John Watson, who argued that psychology should be the study of observable phenomena, not the study of consciousness or the mind. Watson believed that objective measurement of observable phenomena was the only way to advance the science of psychology. The second type of learning theory argues that intervening variables are appropriate and necessary components for understanding the processes of learning. This perspective falls under the broad rubric of cognitive learning theory, and it was first articulated by Wilhem Wundt, the acknowledged "father of psychology," who used introspection as a means of studying thought processes. Although proponents of these two perspectives differ in their view of how learning can be studied, both schools of thought agree that there are three major assumptions of learning theory: (1) behavior is influenced by experience, (2) learning is adaptive for the individual and for the species, and (3) learning is a process governed by natural laws that can be tested and studied. Behavior Theory The behaviorist perspective dominated the study of learning throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Behaviorist theories identified processes of learning that could be understood in terms of the relationships between the stimuli that impinge on organisms and the way organisms respond, a view that came to be referred to asS-R theories. A central process in S-R theories is equipotentiality. Equipotential learning means that learning processes are the same for all animals, both human and nonhuman. By studying learning in nonhuman animals, the early behaviorists believed they were identifying the basic processes that are important in human learning. They also believed that learning could only be studied by observing events in the environment and measuring the responses to those events. According to the behaviorists, internal mental states are impossible topics for scientific inquiry, and thus are not necessary in the study of

learning. For behaviorists, a change in behavior is the only appropriate indicator that learning has occurred. According to this view, all organisms come into the world with a blank mind, or, more formally, a tabula rasa (blank slate), on which the environment writes the history of learning for that organism. Learning, from the behaviorist perspective, is what happens to an organism as a result of its experiences. Types of behavioral learning. There are two main types of learning in the behaviorist tradition. The first is classical conditioning, which is associated with the work of Ivan Pavlov (18491936), a Russian physiologist who studied the digestive processes of dogs. Pavlov noticed that dogs salivated in the absence of food if a particular stimulus was present that had previously been paired with the presentation of food. Pavlov investigated the way in which an association between a neutral stimulus (e.g., a lab technician who fed the dogs), an unconditioned stimulus (food), and an unconditioned reflex (salivation) was made. Pavlov's classic experiment involved the conditioning of salivation to the ringing of a bell and other stimuli that were not likely to make a dog salivate without a previously learned association with food. In the initial stages of the classical conditioning paradigm, an unconditioned response (UCR; in this case, salivation) is elicited by the presentation of an unconditioned stimulus (UCS; in this case, food). If a neutral stimulus (one that does not elicit the UCR, such as a bell) is paired with the presentation of the UCS over a series of trials, it will come to elicit a conditioned response (CR; also salivation in this example), even when the UCS (food) is absent. In the paradigm of classical conditioning, the previously neutral stimulus (bell) becomes a conditioned stimulus (CS), which produces the conditioned response (CR) of salivation. In other words, the animal in the experiment learns to associate the bell with the opportunity to eat and begins to salivate to the bell in the absence of food. It is as though the animal came to think of the bell as "mouthwatering," although behaviorists never would have used terms like think of, because thinking is not a directly observable behavior. Even though the original work on classical conditioning was performed using nonhuman animals, this type of learning applies to humans as well. Learned taste aversions and the development of specific phobias are examples of classical conditioning in humans. For example, the first time a person hears a drill at a dentist's office, it probably will not cause the palms to sweat and the heart rate to quicken. However, through the pairing of the sound with the unpleasant sensation of having a cavity drilled, the sound itself may come to elicit symptoms of fear and anxiety, even if one is not in the dentist's chair. Feelings of fear and anxiety may generalize so that the same fear response is elicited by the sight of the dentist's lab coat or the dental chair. The second type of learning that is categorized in the behaviorist tradition is instrumental or operant, conditioning. The main difference between instrumental conditioning and classical conditioning is that the emphasis is on behavior that is voluntary (emitted), not reflexive (elicited). The target behavior (e.g., a peck at a lever if one is studying birds) comes before the conditioning stimulus (e.g., food), as opposed to the classical model, which presents the conditioning stimulus (e.g., bell) prior to the target behavior (e.g., salivation). In the instrumental paradigm, behaviors are learned as a result of their consequences. Edward Thorndike (18741949) was a pioneer in instrumental conditioning, although he resisted the label of behaviorist. In his view, the consequences of behaving in a particular way controlled learning. Behavior was instrumental in obtaining a goal, and the consequences of the behavior were

responsible for the tendency to exhibit (and repeat) a behavior. Thorndike named this principle of instrumental conditioning the law of effect. He argued that if a behavior had a positive consequence or led to a satisfying state of being, the response (behavior) would be strengthened. If, on the other hand, a behavior had a negative consequence, the response would be weakened. Thorndike developed the principles of instrumental conditioning using a puzzle box that required that an animal exhibit a certain behavior (push a latch) to obtain a goal (open a door for access to food). The animal was given the opportunity, through trial and error, to discover the required behavior, and the behavior was reinforced through the opening of the door and access to food. With practice, the animal decreased the time that it needed to open the door. In the instrumental paradigm, the animal learned an association between a given situation and the response required to obtain a goal. Operant conditioning and reinforcement. B. F. Skinner (19041990) is credited with the development of the operant-conditioning paradigm. Similar to instrumental conditioning, operant conditioning requires that an organism operate on the environment to achieve a goal. A behavior is learned as a function of the consequences of the behavior, according to a schedule of reinforcement or punishment. Unlike Thorndike, who used the concept of reward and satisfying states, Skinner emphasized the influence of reinforcers. Reinforcers are events that follow a response and increase the likelihood that the response will be repeated, but they do not suggest the operation of a cognitive component such as reward (or pleasure). Learning is influenced according to the schedules of reinforcement in the operant paradigm. Skinner tested the operant theory by carefully controlling the environment to study behavior and the effects of reinforcement. According to Skinner, operant conditioning has two laws. The first is the law of conditioning, which states that reinforcement strengthens the behavior that precedes it, which makes it more likely that the behavior will be repeated. The second is the law of extinction, which states that lack of reinforcement for a behavior will make that behavior less likely to reoccur. Reinforcement consists of two types of events, those that are positive, which means that when they are presented (e.g., present tasty food) the probability of a behavior occurring is increased (e.g., press a lever to get the tasty food), and those that are negative, which means that when they are removed (e.g., stop a loud sound or painful shock) the probability of a behavior occurring is increased (e.g., press a lever to stop a loud sound or painful shock). Punishment is defined as an event that weakens the tendency to make a response. Punishment could involve presenting an aversive stimulus (e.g., presenting a loud sound or painful shock), or it could involve removing access to a positive stimulus (e.g., removing a tasty food when a lever is pressed). Skinner also experimented with different reinforcement schedules, and he found that different schedules produced different patterns of responding. Continuous schedules of reinforcement deliver a reinforcer every time the target behavior is exhibited. These schedules are effective in establishing the target behavior, but the behavior disappears quickly if the contingency is not met. Intermittent schedules of reinforcement deliver the reinforcer on a ratio schedule. For example, an experimenter may decide to reinforce every fourth response that an animal makes, or a reinforcer may be presented after a fixed or random time interval. The two types of intermittent schedules that maintain a high rate of responding and are very resistant to extinction are variable ratio and variable interval schedules.

Strict adherence to the behaviorist tradition excluded analysis of mental or internal events. However, Skinner acknowledged the role of thought. He maintained that thought was caused by events in the environment, and therefore a theory of learning that was concerned with the influence of the environment was appropriate. Like Pavlov and Thorndike, Skinner's work was primarily conducted with nonhuman animals, but the principles of operant conditioning can be applied to humans as well, and they are widely used in behavior therapy and education. Cognitive Theories Although behaviorism was a prolific and dominant theory in learning through the early decades of the twentieth century, certain concerns and observations led to a resurgence of interest in cognitive theories of learning. One area of concern was the distinction between performance and learning that is, does behaviorism describe the factors that influence performance of learned behavior, rather than the act of learning itself? Within the behaviorist literature, evidence of cognitive elements like expectation and categorization exist. Under an intermittent reinforcement schedule, for example, animals increase their rate of response immediately before a reinforcer is delivered, thus acting as though they expect it. Similarly, animals can be trained to distinguish between types of stimuli that belong to different classes. Learning this type of distinction seems to involve classification, which is a cognitive process. Most importantly, scientists who studied learning recognized that the behaviorist theories could not account for all types of learning. Humans and animals can learn something without exhibiting what they have learned, meaning that performance does not always reflect what has been learned. Cognitive theories grew from the concern that behavior involves more than an environmental stimulus and a response, whether it be voluntary or reflexive. These theories are concerned with the influence of thinking about and remembering experiences or behavior. The assumptions about learning under cognitive theories are not the same as those for behaviorist theories, because thinking and remembering are internal events. Inferences about the internal events such as thinking and remembering can be made as long as they are paired with careful observation of behavior. Cognitive theorists assume that some types of learning, such as language learning, are unique to humans, which is another difference between these two perspectives. Cognitive theories also focus on the organism as an active processor of information that modifies new experiences, relates them to past experiences, and organizes this information for storage and retrieval. Cognitive psychologists also recognize that learning can take place in the absence of overt behavior. Edward Tolman (18861959) was among the first psychologists to investigate the organization of behavior and learning. He conducted research in the behaviorist tradition (objective research on nonhuman species), but he introduced cognitive elements to his explanation of learning. In Tolman's theory, however, the cognitive elements were based on observed behavior, not on introspection. He believed that learning involved more than stimulus and response events; it involved the development of an organized body of knowledge or expectations about a given situation. Tolman conducted many of his learning experiments using rats whose learning task was to run through a maze. By varying the conditions in the maze, he came to the conclusion that learning involved an understanding about events and their consequences, and this led to purposive, goal-directed behavior. Tolman emphasized the role of expectation and its reinforcing influence on the repetition

of behavior. He popularized the concept of cognitive maps, which represent an organism's understanding of the relationship between parts of the environment, as well as the organism's relationship to the environment. In a clear break with behaviorists, Tolman noted that reinforcement was not a necessary component of learning, and that organisms could demonstrate latent learning. Latent learning is displayed only when an organism is motivated to show it. Tolman was also concerned with differences in behavior that might be attributed to internal states of the organism, a consideration that had been largely rejected by earlier theorists. In identical learning paradigms, two organisms can show different behaviors based on their different moods, physiology, or mental states. Social learning theory. Social learning theory focuses on the sort of learning that occurs in a social context where modeling, or observational learning, constitutes a large part of the way that organisms learn. Social learning theorists are concerned with how expectations, memory, and awareness influence the learning process. Both humans and nonhumans can learn through observation and modeling. Consider, for example, the acquisition of sign language by the offspring of language-trained apes who learn to sign by watching their trained parents. Children learn many behaviors through modeling. A classic experiment by Albert Bandura (1961) allowed one group of children to observe an adult who aggressively pounded on a bobo doll (an inflatable doll used for punching), while another group watched a nonaggressive model and a third group had no model at all. The children who saw the aggressive adult often modeled (imitated) this behavior when given an opportunity to play with the same doll. The children who saw the nonaggressive model showed the least amount of aggressive play when compared to the other two groups. Social learning theorists retain the behaviorist principles of reinforcement and response contingencies, but they also extend the area of inquiry for learning to include components of cognitive processing such as attention, remembering, the processing of information about the environment, and the consequences of behavior. Appreciation of the cognitive components of learning focused attention on the need to remember an experience over various time intervals. Information-processing theories developed from the cognitive perspective and involve the processes of coding, storing, and retrieving information about the environment. Information processing is used to study the processes of memory, a central cognitive component in modern learning theories. Theories of information processing are a byproduct of the computer revolution, and they use the language of computers (e.g., sequential processing stages, input, output) to describe the processes of learning and memory. According to a human information-processing perspective, learning occurs in sequential stages, beginning with encoding information from the environment. Encoding of information involves the process by which information from the environment is translated into usable information. The next stage is storage, which involves keeping the information that has been encoded. Stored information builds the "database" of past learning. The final stage in the information-processing approach is retrieval, which involves accessing the stored information so that it can be used to perform a task. Organisms are seen as active participants in the information-processing model. They do not experience the environment passively or simply absorb information, but instead they seek out certain information, and then manipulate, modify, and store it for later use.

Learning theories have often been used to provide a guide for education. Earlier applications were concerned with the use of appropriate rewards and punishment, concerns that mirrored the major tenets of behaviorist theories. More recently, cognitive perspectives have shaped the field of education, and there has been more concern with learning methods that enhance long-term retention and the transfer of information and skills that are learned in schools to novel problems in out-of-school settings. For example, variability in encoding (learning material in different ways, e.g. video and text) produces more durable long-term retention, even though it is a more effortful (and generally less enjoyable) way to learn. In addition, students can become better thinkers when they receive specific instruction in thinking skillsand when the instruction is designed to enhance transfer. Teaching strategies that enhance transfer include spaced practice (viewing material over time versus cramming), using a variety of examples so learners can recognize where a concept is applicable, and practice at retrieval (repeatedly remembering material over time) with informative feedback. Learning theories are facing new challenges as people grapple with increases in the amount of available information that needs to be learned, rapidly changing technologies that require new types of responses to new problems, and the need to continue learning throughout one's life, even into old age. Contemporary learning theories supported by empirical research offer the promise of enhanced learning and improved thinkingboth of which are critical in a rapidly changing and complex world.

B. F. Skinner (19041990) - Behavioral Analysis, Social Service, Educational Reform


Burrhus Frederick Skinner pioneered the science of behavioral analysis and positive reinforcement as an educational tool. Skinner grew up in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, a small railroad town thirty miles from the New York state line. His father was an ambitious lawyer for the Erie railroad; his mother, a civic-minded woman that continually reminded Frederick to be aware of "what other people think." Despite his mother's strictures, young Skinner enjoyed his Susquehanna boyhood, roamed the countryside, built ingenious gadgets, and did well in school. In 1922 he was valedictorian of his high school class, having gained a reputation for debating intellectual matters with his teachers. That year he enrolled in Hamilton College, just outside Utica, New York, where he spent a miserable first year as he lacked athletic ability and connections with Hamilton alumni. In his second year, however, he entered a social circle at Hamilton that appreciated intellectual and artistic life. He began writing short stories; one was praised by poet Robert Frost. Graduating in 1926, Skinner, against the advice of his parents, decided to spend the next year becoming a writer. He moved into their house in Scranton where his father had taken a position as general counsel for a coal company. It was Skinner's "dark year" as he discovered he had "nothing to say" as a writer. But he was drawn toward behavioral psychology, having read philosopher Bertram Russell's favorable review of John B. Watson's Behaviorism (1928). After a short fling with bohemian life in Greenwich Village, Skinner enrolled in graduate school at Harvard University in the psychology department. Behavioral Analysis

Skinner, however, was not attracted to psychology at Harvard so much as to the physiology of Professor William Crozier, a student of German physiologist Jacque Loeb. Loeb and Crozier insisted that real science depended on controlling experimental results rather than mere observation of the phenomena being studied. For Skinner the foundation of behavioral analysis became the control of experimental variables. By 1930 he had devised an apparatus to control a specific behavior of a rat. Starting with a runway resembling a rat maze, Skinner gradually fashioned a box with a lever that delivered a food pellet when the rat pushed it. He also invented thecumulative recorder, a kymograph-like device that marked a paper every time the rat pressed the lever. He allowed the rat (only one to a box) to be fed a pellet only after it pressed a certain number of times, a behavior control known as schedules of reinforcement. He was able to shape lever-pressing behavior so that every time a rat was put on a particular schedule of reinforcement the rate of lever pressing remained constant. The measured behavior was as regular as a pulse beat and marked the beginning of the science of behavioral analysis. Skinner took great pains to distinguish his science from the stimulus-response conditioning of Ivan Pavlov. The latter conditioned surgically altered dogs. He measured the increase in saliva flow (the response) when a bell was rung (the stimulus) before feeding. Skinner, on the other hand, always used intact organisms (either rats or pigeons), and was only concerned with lever-pressing behavior, never glandular secretion. He acknowledged Pavlov's pioneering work in reinforcement and conditioning but insisted that the science of behavioral analysis involved operant conditioning. By 1933 he admitted that there were a multitude of rat behaviors that were not conditioned in what became known as the Skinner Box. The rat ran about, stood on hind legs, sniffed, and so forth. But the operation (operant) of lever-pushing was controlled by the schedule of rein-forcementnot immediately by the food itself but by the sound of the magazine as it dropped the pellet. Hence although stimulus and response could not always be identified, let alone controlled, the operant or behavior of lever-pressing could be. The rat was not conditioned, only one class of rat behavior was. The Behavior of Organisms (1938) clearly established operant behavioral analysis as a new science. Had he only been exclusively concerned with the behavior of rats and pigeons, Skinner would have already secured a significant place in the history of science. But he became a social inventor whose creations (both mechanical and literary) made him one of the most controversial scientists of the twentieth century. The Behavior of Organisms announced Skinner's vision for the future of behavioral analysis: "The importance of a science of behavior derives largely from the possibility of an extension to human affairs" (pp. 441-42). Ultimately this extension would impact American education. Social Service Upon leaving Harvard in 1936 (he received his doctorate in 1933 but continued as a junior fellow) Skinner married Yvonne (Eve) Blue after accepting a position at the University of Minnesota. There he began to transfer operant science to social service. During World War II Skinner and a team of students developed a guidance system for bomb-carrying missiles. A pigeon was conditioned through positive reinforcement to peck the aiming device. But the army deemed "Project Pigeon" unfeasible for wartime use. Disappointed but not discouraged, Skinner moved more directly into a career as a social inventor. He turned his attention to building a baby-tender, later trademarked the aircrib, for his youngest daughter, Deborah.

The contraption was a carefully designed enclosed space, thermostatically controlled to allow the infant to move freely without constraining clothes. The child could be removed from the babytender at any time. It also freed the mother from constant vigilance over the baby because the infant was much more secure than in a conventional crib. Skinner did not do operant experiments on Deborah in the baby-tender; rather, it was designed to improve the quality of life for both mother and child. After an article in Life magazine, the baby-tender was immediately criticized as another Skinner Box, one that imprisoned the child and destroyed the intimate mother-child relationship. For the first time Skinner's fascination with social invention had thrust him into national limelight and controversy. Thereafter Skinner became evermore controversial as he moved aggressively into the possibilities for using operant science to build a better world. Walden Two (1948) envisioned a planned environment that shaped the behaviors of a community using operant techniques of positive reinforcement. Community cooperation and welfare were seemingly naturally conditioned and destructive competition disappeared. The novel met fierce critical commentary as many Americans thought it a grotesque distortion of Henry David Thoreau's Walden. Nonetheless by the late 1960s the book became a best-seller and several actual communities were established modeled after the fictional Walden Two. Educational Reform Leaving the University of Minnesota in 1945, Skinner spent three years at Indiana University before returning to Harvard in 1948. In November 1953 he visited a Cambridge school where Deborah was a student and was appalled by the mathematics instruction. Students were given problems to solve while the teacher walked up and down the aisles, helping some but ignoring others. Some students finished quickly and fidgeted; others struggled. Graded papers were returned days later. Skinner thought there must be a better way and immediately fashioned a crude teaching machine by cutting up manila folders. The manila folder effort evolved into a slider machine used mostly for arithmetic and spelling. Math problems, for example, were printed on cards that students placed in the machine. The right answer caused a light to appear in a hole in the card. Later he made a device that allowed students to compose answers to questions on a tape that emerged from the machine. Later still, students could compose answers on cardboard disks. A lever was moved that covered the student's answer with a Plexiglas platean innovation that prevented altering the answer and also revealed the correct one. Students mostly answered correctly because questions were designed sequentially from simple to complex. This "programmed instruction" was engineered with positive reinforcement coming from correctly answering the questions. With few mistakes the student progressed rapidly toward mastering arithmetic and spelling. Hence, learning behaviors were shaped by immediate positive reinforcement. Skinner did not invent the first teaching machine and gave full credit to Sidney Pressey of Ohio State University who had developed a revolving drum device in 1926. Pressey's machine allowed students to press one of four buttons that revealed the correct or incorrect answerin effect a multiple choice test. Skinner's machines, however, facilitated programmed instruction designed as sequential positive reinforcement. The teaching machine simply transferred immediate positive reinforcement to the mastery of subject matter. One teacher could not possibly immediately reinforce twenty or thirty students in a classroom. What was needed in American education was a technology that

incorporated operant conditioning to shaping the learning behavior of each individual student. Skinner assembled a group of former students and colleagues to produce programmed instruction across of full spectrum of subject matter. He convinced companies such as IBM and Rheem to develop prototype teaching machines that could be mass produced. He hoped for a revolution in American education that he described in Technology of Teaching (1968). But the companies refused to aggressively market the machines and educational leaders, most notably former Harvard President James Bryant Conant, though initially enthusiastic, lost interest. IBM and Rheem could make more money on safer investments, while Conant believed the machines and programmed instruction had not proved their viability to educational experts in each subject area. Then, too, the fears of school administrators and teachers over losing control of a traditionally structured classroom, and perhaps also their jobs, dampened enthusiasm for the teaching machine and programmed instruction. The failure of his teaching machine to become as common as automobiles and televisions was Skinner's most bitter disappointment as a social inventor. He fervently believed that the survival of American culture depended upon a revolution in education. With population growth threatening to overwhelm the ability of people to avoid catastrophic wars and ecological disasters, only a technology of teaching incorporating behavioral science could properly educate a citizenry capable of effectively coping with an enveloping ominous world. Beyond Freedom and Dignity (1971) was Skinner's last and most controversial social statement. He attacked what he believed were the fictions of individual freedom and autonomous man. Every person was under the control of his or her evolutionary, cultural, and immediate operant or behavioral contingencies. What was needed was not only a frank admission of this reality, but the application of the science of behavioral analysis to social problemsmost importantly to the obvious failure of U.S. schools. But the critics and the public read the word beyond in the book title as in place of and were enraged. Skinner made the cover of Time with the inscription, "B. F. Skinner Says We Can't Afford Freedom." He was bewildered by the firestorm of criticism and spent his remaining years answering critics and defending behavioral analysis. He never quite understood the historical entrenchment of treasured American values such as freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, the alternative road for American schools that Skinner, a great and provocative thinker-inventor, devised remains an important contribution to the field of education.

Edward L. Thorndike (18741949) - The Man and His Career, A Psychology for Educators, Education as Specific Habit Formation

Edward L. Thorndike was an American psychologist, educator, lexicographer,


and pioneer in educational research. The groundwork for research into learning was provided in 19131914 by his three-volume Educational Psychology, which set forth precepts based on his experimental and statistical investigations. These preceptswhich covered such wide-ranging topics as teaching practices and individual differences between students and such administrative concerns as promotion decisions and grouping according to abilitycame to dominate professional thinking. While such men as John Dewey and Robert M. Hutchins influenced the philosophy of education, Thorndike and those whom he inspired wrote reading and arithmetic books for pupils, school dictionaries and spelling lists, tests, and pedagogical guidebooks and teachers' manuals. Because, however, it is far more difficult to assess influence in the operations of many thousands of American

classrooms than to analyze ideas in the words of educational theorists, Thorndike's contributions are taken largely for granted. The Man and His Career In its external details, Thorndike's life was uneventful and circumspect; its drama lay in his genius (his IQ was estimated at nearly 200) and in the tumultuous times to which his work bore such marked reference. Born in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, on August 31, 1874, of a family line resident in New England since 1630, Thorndike, like a surprising number of other notables of his day, was reared in a clergyman's household. But in an era when science was challenging religion as a source of truth, when inquiry and universal education threatened dogmatism and sectarian inculcation, and when a career in the church was becoming less attractive than life in the laboratory, Thorndike rejected even his father's liberal brand of Methodism for an agnostic secularism. Yet, in his evangelical regard for science, Thorndike transferred to science a religious-like belief in the possibility of personal and societal salvation. Science was, he said repeatedly, "the only sure foundation for social progress." Thorndike grew up in a household where excellence was expected, for the children of a minister were to be models for the congregation in all matters. In academic performance the Reverend Thorndike's children complied, all earning excellent grades and winning the scholarships which made college studies possible. In addition, all established academic careers: Ashley as a professor of English, Lynn as a historian, and Mildred as a high school English teacher; eventually all three Thorndike brothers taught at Columbia University. Edward Thorndike's children continued this scholastic brilliance but turned, like father, from literary to scientific and mathematical careers. All four children earned Ph.D. degrees: Elizabeth Frances in mathematics, Edward Moulton and Alan in physics, and Robert Ladd in psychology. Thus, from his own boyhood, when his parents encouraged early reading and supervised homework, to his own close guidance of his children's schooling, Thorndike brought high degree of personal involvement to his professional study of education. Because of the church's requirement that a minister be moved regularly, Thorndike grew in eight New England towns before 1891, when he left home to enter Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Never feeling at home anywhere in his childhood, when he possessed the power to decide for himself he chose to stay put: he spent forty years at Teachers College, Columbia University, spurning other positions offered, and built a home at Montrose, New York, at age thirty-three. He died there on August 9, 1949, near age 75, leaving his widow, Elizabeth Moulton, whom he married in 1900, and their four grown children. The early moving about left Thorndike with pronounced shyness and social uneasiness, helping to make the lonely privacy of research a comfortable world. His educational work also displays a certain nonsocial cast. Unlike the psychologies of the Progressive educators with whom he shared many beliefs, Thorndike's educational psychology was not a social one. To him learning was an essentially private, organic undertaking, something that happened under one's skin, in the nervous system; the "connections" of interest to the teacher were properly those between stimulus and responsenot the interactions between individual students, which concern those who view a class primarily as a social group. During Thorndike's youth the United States fully entered the age of industrialization and urbanization. The mill towns of New England were part of the industrial revolution that was attracting hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year to manufacturing jobs and making Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and New York great, if trouble-plagued, cities. Coming to New York City in 1897 to complete his doctoral studies at Columbia University, Thorndike was to remain there for the rest of his life, except for a brief tenure from 1898 to 1899 as a teacher of psychology and pedagogy at the College for Women of Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. It was understandable that an urban setting would be attractive to the modern academic man, particularly to the man of science; it was in the cities that industrial wealth built museums, libraries, and laboratories, and it was there that philanthropic foundations had their headquarters. Such foundations as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the General Education Board, and the Commonwealth Fund established the Institute of Educational Research at Teachers College, to which Thorndike devoted his energies almost exclusively from 1921. It was at this time that the wealth and

centrality of New York City were helping to make Columbia a great national university and its Teachers College the most important center for the training of the leaders in public education in the United States. By 1900 all leading American universities were, like Columbia, in urban settings. Moreover, the leadership of public education nationally was passing into the hands of the superintendents of big-city school systems and to their counterparts in the state capitals and in the Federal Bureau of Education. By the turn of the century, elementary education in the United States was virtually universal; thereafter, the task was to extend secondary schooling to the entire nation. The need for teachers was great. Although the normal schools, frequently rural institutions, continued to train many teachers, departments of education became common within universities after 1900. Thorndike first arrived at Teachers College in 1899, when its status was changing from that of a private normal school to the education department of Columbia University. Because universities were preeminently places of research, their departments for training teachers and school administrators partook of the prevailing atmosphere favoring scholarly and scientific inquiry. In leaving Western Reserve for Teachers College, Thorndike abandoned a traditional training school for a place which he quickly helped make a center for the scientific study of education and for the training of educational researchers. As its dean, James Earl Russell, recalled: "In developing the subject of educational psychology for students in all departments, Professor Thorndike has shaped the character of the College in its youth as no one else has done and as no one will ever again have the opportunity of doing" ("Personal Appreciations" 1926, p. 460). In addition to urban resources and leadership for research and to the prestige accorded science by the universities, there was another incentive for expanding educational research: the widespread desire in educational circles to have teaching recognized as a profession. Schoolmen were aware of the high total of public spending for education and shared the prevailing faith in schools as critical agencies of character training and national development. Even in an occupation marked by low prestige, minimal preparation, a preponderance of women, high turnover, and legal dependence upon boards of laymen, professional status was regarded as an attractive, realizable goal. One of the characteristics claimed by an occupational group seeking professional status is its possession of a large and growing body of expert knowledge. The function of research was to replace the folklore of the teaching craft with scientifically verifiable assertions. Thorndike acknowledged after thirty years of work that research had yielded only a few answers to the practical questions raised by school operations. He maintained, however, that a true profession awaited those who patiently researched fundamental educational questions. The principal barrier was not, he believed, the limitations of science, but the traditional conservatism and inertia characteristic of institutionalized education. A Psychology for Educators At Teachers College, Thorndike taught psychology to large numbers of teachers and school administrators. In his early courses and in such books as his Notes on Child Study (1901a), Principles of Teaching, Based on Psychology (1906), and Education: A First Book (1912), he tried to inform educators of what was already known of human nature and human variation, of what had been written about behavior and learning by such creative psychological thinkers as Scotland's Alexander Bain and William James at Harvard, under whom Thorndike had once studied. Increasingly, however, he turned away from concentrating his efforts on converting teachers to a scientific attitude and away from deducing educational precepts from existing psychological thought. Instead, he began to construct a new educational psychologyone more in keeping with the experimental quantified directions laid out by the "new psychology" being developed in German and American research centers. The scientific requirement. As much as he admired the brilliance, humane perceptiveness, and stylistic elegance of William James's Principles of Psychology, Thorndike was of that new generation of younger psychologists who, after 1895, sought to sever psychology's ties with "mental philosophy" by rejecting armchair theorizing, avoiding such philosophical concepts as "soul," and opting for the methods, language, and standards of physics and experimental biology. He was deeply impressed by the painstakingly precise observations of animal behavior by Charles Darwin, by the methodological controls in the memory studies of Hermann Ebbinghaus, and by the statistical inventiveness of Sir

Francis Galton and Karl Pearson. Discussions in the summer of 1900 with the famed experimentalist Jacques Loeb at the Marine Biology Laboratory at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, finally convinced Thorndike that his talent lay in "doing science," and that he "ought to be shut up and kept at research work" (Jonich, p. 265). Lacking mechanical aptitude, Thorndike never incorporated into his research the elaborate instruments found in Wundt's Leipzig laboratory and among Titchener's students at Cornell, or favored by Charles Judd, another important educational psychologist. Thorndike's approach was basically observational and problematic: place the subject in some problem (test) situationseeking to escape from a confining place, having to rank his attitudes, choosing the correct response among several alternatives to avoid a mild shockthen observe the behavior aroused and report it in quantitative form. The typical Thorndike experiment was a simple paper-and-pencil investigation, like the first he ever attempted: as a Harvard graduate student he tried to measure children's responsiveness to unconscious cues by giving candy rewards to those correctly guessing the number or object he had in mind. Lessons from animal studies. Despite his typically simple approach, Thorndike is credited with two research techniques basic to modern psychological studies of animal behavior: the maze and the problem box, both of which were invented for his now classic study of learning, Animal Intelligence (1898). A thoroughgoing Darwinist, Thorndike was convinced that, because of evolutionary continuity, the study of animal behavior is instructive to human psychology. Hence, when he had difficulty in securing human subjects, Thorndike switched easily from children to chickens in his Harvard studies. A significant portion of Animal Intelligence is a critique of the uncontrolled observation and casually acquired anecdotal reportage prevalent in what little comparative psychology existed in the 1890s. The faulty methods, Thorndike declared, contributed spurious data and led to unwarranted interpretations. The most serious error was attributing to animals a higher order of intelligence than would be justified by scientific observations of animal behavior. His own painstaking research with cats and dogs, and later with fish and monkeys, convinced Thorndike that the process of animal learning rested not on some form of reasoning and not even on imitation. Learning depends, instead, upon the presence of some situation or stimulus (S) requiring the animal to make various, more or less random responses (R); as a result of such trial and error, the correct, or most adaptive, response is eventually made (for example, hitting a lever to escape a box or to reach food). The effect produced by the appropriate response is a sort of reward: it may be escape, food, sex, or a release of tension (in animals and humans) or an experienced feeling of success or other learned rewards (in humans alone). The effect acts physiologically, creating or reinforcing a neural connection between that response and the situation which provoked it; repetition of that or a similar stimulus becomes more readily able to produce the previously successful response, and inappropriate responses are forgone. Learning has taken place. Reward: the key to learning. The basic principle which Thorndike formulated to account for the S-R connection is the law of effect; in the language of such later psychologists as Clark Hull and B. F. Skinner, this is a reinforcement theory of learning. If, as Thorndike maintained, human behavior represents primordial attempts to satisfy native and learned wants, then an effective, positive, and humane pedagogy is one which facilitates the making of desired and successful responses, forestalls incorrect responses, and is generous with rewards; a poor teaching method, on the other hand, carelessly permits wrong responses and then must punish them to prevent their becoming established as bad habits. Initially Thorndike assumed that reward and punishment were equal opposites, effects evenly capable of causing learning. Reward is preferable since it is more efficient to forestall inappropriate responses by producing and rewarding desired behavior than by punishing incorrect responses; a positive pedagogy is preferable to a punitive one. As a result of empirical studies undertaken in the late 1920s and 1930s, however, Thorndike concluded that he had been mistaken earlier. Punished responses are not weakened as rewarded connections are strengthened; despite common sense and tradition, punishment may actually enhance the probability that an undesired response will be repeated. Thorndike was virtually the first educator to give theoretical and empirical attention to effect, although reward and punishment had been given practical attention by generations of schoolmen.

Still, the pedagogical emphasis at the turn of the century centered on punitive and repressive measures and on fault-finding. In 1906 Thorndike warned teachers that the most common violation of human nature was the failure to reward desired behavior. In propounding the law of effect, then, Thorndike gave a psychologist's support to those educational philosophers, like John Dewey, and those founders of Progressive schools, like Marietta Johnson, who wished to make schools more humane and to have them better relate educational methods to the nature of childhood. However, because of his articulation of another law of learningthe law of exerciseThorndike's psychology differed from that Progressivist thinking which emphasized spontaneity and favored student selection of activities and freedom from a planned curriculum sequence and from drill. (The law of exercise states that once a given response is made to a particular stimulus, each recurrence of that stimulus tends to recall that response; hence, an S-R bond is being strengthened. The educational implication of the law promotes drill, or practice, of desired responses and careful teacher attention to forming appropriate habits.) Education as Specific Habit Formation Accepting William James's views, Thorndike wrote: Intellect and character are strengthened not by any subtle and easy metamorphosis, but by the establishment of particular ideas and acts under the law of habit . The price of a disciplined intellect and will is eternal vigilance in the formation of habits .Habit rules us but it also never fails us. The mind does not give us something for nothing, but it never cheats. (1906, pp. 247248) A radical educational theory stressing freedom, spontaneity, inner direction, and "unfolding," one that "stands out of nature's way," was to Thorndike a "something for nothing" pedagogy. In its place, Thorndike's psychology required the careful ordering of learning tasks, as in the Thorndike Arithmetics (1917), which he prepared for school use; practice (exercise, drill) with reward; and measurement of progress through frequent testing, preferably by standardized tests so that more reliable estimates of learning could be had. Another "something for nothing" educational theorythis one from the conservative, formalistic right wing of educational opinionwas the belief in mental (formal) discipline: that various mental or perceptual faculties are strengthened by being exercised upon some formal, preferably difficult task; that the study of a rigorously logical subject, like geometry, promotes logical behavior; and that practice in accurate copying transfers to other behavior, making one more accurate generally. Some skepticism about transfer of training had already developed, on a priori grounds, before Thorndike published the first major empirical challenge to this widely held theory. The proponents of more modern subjectsvocational courses, the modern languages, physical education, even the scienceshad attacked formal discipline and faculty psychology because the defenders of the classical studies had based classical domination of the curriculum primarily on the grounds that these difficult and abstruse subjects, which were unappreciated by pupils, had tremendous transferability value, just as lifting the heaviest weights develops muscle power better than lighter burdens do. Between 1901 and 1924, Thorndike's research supported those educational reformers who believed that a subject or skill should be included in the curriculum because of its intrinsic value, and not because of unproved assertions about transfer power. Education as a Science In his Educational Psychology, Thorndike wrote: "We conquer the facts of nature when we observe and experiment upon them. When we measure them we have made them our servants" (1903, p. 164). Equally as important as empiricism to Thorndike's psychology was his emphasis on measurement and quantification; poorly prepared by the schools in mathematics and largely self-taught in statistics, Thorndike became the educational world's exponent of the use of science's universal language of description, numbers. His theme was, all that exists, exists in some amount and can be measured. He introduced the first university course in educational measurement in 1902, and two years later he wrote the first handbook for researchers in the use of social statistics, An Introduction to the Theory of Mental and Social Measurements.

Educational and intellectual tests. The movement toward testing was the primary outcome of attempts to translate qualitative statements (Mary seems to be having trouble in reading) into quantitative and comparable terms (In grade 5.6, Mary tests at 4.4 in reading comprehension and 4.7 in vocabulary knowledge). Standardized achievement tests in school subjects were built on centuries of use of teacher-made tests. What the twentieth century added was the standardization necessary for reliability and comparison of results from class to class. Professionally written and administered to thousands of pupils, using norms based on nationwide samples of students, achievement tests were created for every level of schooling, from primary through graduate school, including tests for out-ofschool adults at various age levels. In 1921 use of these tests was established when 2 million pupils took standardized tests of academic achievement; thereafter, growth in the use and development of tests was virtually taken for granted. Thorndike contributed several works on construction of tests and devised various tests of his own: rating scales for handwriting, drawing, and composition; tests of oral and silent reading skill, geographical knowledge, English usage, spelling, reading and reasoning; and college entrance tests and law-school entrance examinations. Intelligence and scholastic aptitude tests have a shorter history but have been even more crucial in shaping school practices (like promotion policies, grouping, and grading) and professional and public thinking. Alfred Binet's point scale, developed in France early in the twentieth century, is the landmark contribution. But before such testing could have great educational or social impact, it was necessary to find means of adapting the individually administered, Binet-type artifact tasks to groups using paper and pencil. This did not come about until World War I, when the U.S. Army commissioned psychologists to prepare and administer tests to aid in classifying recruits. Thorndike was a member of the Committee on Classification of Personnel from 1917 to 1919 and supervised work on the Beta form (the form for illiterate recruits); it and the Alpha form (for literates) were administered to 2 million soldiers by 1919, the world's first effort in the mass measurement of intelligence. Within three years, 1 million schoolchildren took similar tests, many of them the National Intelligence Test which a group of former army psychologists, including Thorndike, had developed. He later devised the CAVD (sentence completion, arithmetic, vocabulary, following directions) intelligence examination and a nonlanguage scale (for illiterates). Aside from the kind of general intelligence measurements which concern educators most, Thorndike was interested in other types of aptitudes, believing that intelligence is not a unitary or general factor but is constituted of millions of discrete stimulus-response bonds; any intelligence test is simply a selective sample-taking of all the possible learned connections that might be present. Thorndike believed that since individuals differ, primarily by heredity, in their relative ability to form connections (that is, to profit from experience, to learn), and since any one individual is unevenly endowed in the ability to form connections of different types, tests of intelligence-in-general may miss certain aptitudes useful for vocational counseling, hiring programs, or selection of employees for special training programs. In 1914 Thorndike began devising tests for use in locating persons with clerical aptitudes and interests and thereby fathered personnel-selection psychology in business and industry. In 1918 he headed the wartime search for men with aptitude for learning to fly. To try to prophesy flying success was itself a pioneering venture in a day when hardly a flying school existed in the United States and the aircraft industry was yet unborn. Such wartime experience in measuring aptitudes was continued in Thorndike's later research into vocational guidance for schools. He advocated special efforts and new departures in vocational education for those schoolchildren perhaps as much as a third of the total who "may learn only discouragement and failure" from much of the existing curriculum (Jonich, p. 473). The vocational education movement lagged, however, with the decline of public interest in the 1920s and massive unemployment of the 1930s. Studying human variation. The new instruments for measuring ability and achievement and especially the widespread use of these instruments inspired new knowledge of and intensified concern with individual differences. "It is useless to recount the traits in which men have been found to differ, for there is no trait in which they do not differ," Thorndike wrote in Individuality (1911, p. 6). The new educational psychology, he said, must reject classical psychology's assumption of a typical mind from which pattern there were only rare departures; it must study individual minds, be a differential psychology which describes, explains, and seeks to make predictions about human variation.

Society's commitment to universal schooling must not, Thorndike believed, obscure its responsibility to every individual and its respect of difference. While psychology will, as a science, search for universal laws explaining human behavior, the pedagogical art, Thorndike believed, must recognize that it is individuals who act, who learn or refuse to learn. The practical consequence of the fact of individual differences is that every general law of teaching has to be applied with consideration of the particular person [for] the responses of children to any stimulus will not be invariable like the responses of atoms of hydrogen or of filings of iron, but will vary with their individual capacities, interests, and previous experience. (1906, p.83) Of these sources of variation, the most important in Thorndike's view was differing capacities differences caused primarily by genetic inequalities. To the persisting debate about heredity and environment, Thorndike offered comparative studies of twins, siblings, and unrelated individuals, of family histories, and of school eliminations (dropouts). His findings convinced him that heredity is the primary determinant of intellectual difference and, because such other traits as personal morality, civic responsibility, industriousness, and mental health correlate positively with intelligence, that genetic endowment is the critical variable for welfare and social progress. So, in the interest of improving the human gene pool, he espoused eugenics. In an age when psychoanalysis introduced arresting concepts of the primitive motivations of mankind, when the arts made a virtue of the "natural," when such educational theorists as G. Stanley Hall espoused a naturalism in education which urged teachers to step aside lest they interfere with nature's way, Thorndike offered dissent. Investigations of original nature and its differing expressions in individuals is not an end in itself, he argued. To find that heredity shapes human potential more than does a favorable environment does not end society's responsibility to improve its institutions, any more than the discovery of gravity was an excuse to cease man's efforts to fly. "The art of human life is to change the world for the better," Thorndike wrote in Education: A First Book (1912, p. 1). "Only one thing [in man's nature] is unreservedly good, the power to make it better. This power of learning is the essential principle of reason and right in the world," he wrote in Educational Psychology(1913 1914, Vol. 1, pp. 281282). It is to institutions called schools and universities that modern societies assign most of the formal stimulation of this power of human learning. For his efforts to improve the abilities of educational institutions to capitalize upon learning potential Thorndike received much recognition during his lifetime: the presidencies of and honorary memberships in numerous American and international scientific and educational associations, honorary degrees from many universities, and election to the National Academy of Sciences. A most appropriate award, the Butler Medal in gold, was bestowed upon Thorndike by Columbia University in 1925 "in recognition of his exceptionally significant contributions to the general problem of the measurement of human faculty and to the applications of such measurements to education" (Jonich, p. 487).

Jean Piaget (18961980) - Stage 1: The Sociological Model of Development


Director of the Institute of Educational Science in Geneva and professor of experimental psychology at the University of Geneva, Jean Piaget was the most influential developmental psychologist of the twentieth century. Many of Piaget's concepts and research methods have become so much a part of the conventional wisdom and practice that psychologists are often unaware of their origin. The stages of development that Piaget observed and conceptualized are given extended treatment in every introductory psychology and developmental psychology textbook. In addition, much of contemporary research on infancy grows directly out of Piaget's innovative studies of his own three infants. Moreover, a great deal of present day research and theory regarding adolescence starts from Piaget's demonstration of the appearance of new, higher level, mental abilities during this age period. In these and in many other ways, Piaget's research and theory continue to be a powerful stimulus in many different fields and areas of investigation. Piaget's work, however, has had an impact on other disciplines as well. The contemporary emphasis upon constructivism in education, for example, stems directly from Piaget's theory of intellectual development. According to Piaget the child does not copy reality, but rather constructs it. Reality is developmentally relative; it is always a joint product of the child's developing mental abilities and his

or her experiences with the world. Piaget's research and theory has also had considerable impact upon psychiatry. His description of the intellectual stages of development has provided a very important complement to the psychosexual stages of development outlined by the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud. In these, and in many other ways, the power of Piaget's work continues to be felt in many diverse fields. Jean Piaget was born in Neuchtel, Switzerland. His father was a classics professor at the University of Neuchtel while his mother was a deeply devout Christian. In his autobiography, Piaget suggests that the ongoing conflict between his father's scientific beliefs and his mother's spiritual convictions contributed to his theory of mental development. He came to regard the development of intelligence as motivated by the progressive resolution of conflicting ideas. Be that as it may, Piaget showed his genius early. At the age of fourteen he published his first scientific paper, his observations of an albino sparrow. He also became, thanks to the mentorship of the curator of the Neuchtel natural history museum, a student of mollusks. He began experimenting with crustaceans and publishing his findings in the biological journals. These articles were so well received that he was offered the curatorship of a natural history museum in another Swiss canton. Piaget, however, had to refuse because he had not yet graduated from high school. Once at the university, Piaget took courses in both philosophy and biology and struggled to find some way to reconcile his philosophical interests with his commitment to science. He hit upon a unique solution in an unexpected place. After receiving his doctorate, Piaget explored a number of different professions including psychiatry. He eventually took a position in Paris, translating some of the intelligence tests created by the English psychologist, Sir Cyril Burt, into French. As part of this endeavor, it was necessary for Piaget to test a number of children in order to ensure that his translations had not made the items easier or more difficult than they were for English children of comparable age. While administering these tests, Piaget became fascinated with the children's wrong answers. To Piaget, these wrong answers did not seem random. Rather they appeared to be generated by a systematic way of seeing things that was not wrong, but simply reflected a different world view than that held by adults. Piaget was fascinated by his unexpected discovery that children's perception of reality was not learned from adults, as had heretofore been assumed, but was constructed. Children's conception of the world, Piaget reasoned, was different than that of adults because their thought processes were different. Piaget assumed that he would pursue this problem, the development of children's thinking, for a few years and then move on to other things. Instead, this pursuit of the ways in which children construct reality, became the foundation of a lifelong professional career. Piaget came to realize that the study of the development of children's adaptive thought and action, of their intelligence, was a way of pursuing both his philosophical and his scientific interests. One field of philosophy is epistemology, the study of how people come to know the world. Most philosophers approach this topic by means of introspection and logical analysis. Piaget, however, believed that he could put epistemological questions to the test by studying the development of thought and action in children. Accordingly Piaget created his own new discipline with its own methods and problems. The field was genetic epistemology, the study of child development as a means of answering epistemological questions. Piaget's career exploration of genetic epistemology can be roughly divided into four different stages. Stage 1: The Sociological Model of Development During this first stage, roughly corresponding to the 1920s, Piaget investigated children's heretofore unexplored conceptions of the world, the hidden side of children's minds. To further this exploration Piaget made use of a combination of psychological and clinical methods that he described as the semiclinical interview. He began with a standardized question, but followed up with nonstandard questions that were prompted by the child's answer. In order to get what Piaget called children's "spontaneous convictions" he often asked questions that the children neither expected nor anticipated. In his study of children's conception of the world, for example, he asked children whether a stone was alive and where dreams came from. He made a comparative study of children's answers and found that for these and for similar questions there was a gradual progression from intuitive to scientific and socially acceptable responses.

During this early period, Piaget published The Language and Thought of the Child, The Child's Conception of the World, The Child's Conception of Physical Causality, and The Moral Judgment of the Child. Each of these books was highly original and they made Piaget world famous before he was thirty. In these books he elaborated his first theory of development, which postulated the mental development was fueled by a social dynamic. He proposed that children moved from a position of egocentrism (a failure to take the other person's point of view into account) to sociocentrism (the recognition that others see the world differently than they do). Children moved from the egocentric to the sociocentric position thanks to social interaction and the challenge to younger children's ideas by the ideas of those children who were more advanced. Piaget made it clear, however, that the young children's egocentric ideas were not wrong, but merely different from those of the older children. Egocentric ideas are developmentally appropriate for young children, if not for older ones. Stage 2: The Biological Model of Intellectual Development In 1928 Piaget married one of his graduate students and started a family in the 1930s. Having his own infant children set the stage for the second phase of Piaget's work, the exploration of the development of intelligence in infants. During this period, Piaget studied his own three offspring. The semiclinical interview was clearly not of much use with infants who could not talk. Piaget, therefore, invented a number of ingenious experiments to test the infant's knowledge about the world. For example, he placed a cloth over a toy that the infant was playing with to see whether or not the baby would try to remove the cloth to recover the toy. If the baby removed the cloth this would be evidence that he or she had some mental representation of the toy. If the baby did not remove the cloth, but merely cried in frustration, this would be evidence that the infant had not yet attained representational thought. During this second period of his work, Piaget elaborated a biological model of intellectual development, which he combined with the sociological model of the earlier period. He now described intelligence as having two closely interrelated facets. One of these, carried over from the earlier period, was the content of children's thinking. The other, new to this period, was the process of intellectual activity. Piaget now introduced a truly powerful idea, namely, that the process of thinking could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of adaptation. He argued, for example, that the child who sucked on anything and everything in his or her reach was engaging in an act of assimilation, comparable to the assimilation of food by the digestive system. Just as the digestive system transforms a variety of foodstuffs into the nutriments needed by the body, so the infant transforms every object into an object to be sucked. At much higher level, whenever one classifies an object, say a dog, he or she in effect assimilates this exemplar to their more general dog concept. In so doing the particular dog is transformed into the universal, conceptual dog. At all stages of development, therefore, whenever one transforms the world to meet individual needs or conceptions, one is, in effect, assimilating it. Piaget also observed that his infant children not only transformed some stimuli to conform to their own mental structures but also modified some of their mental structures to meet the demands of the environment. He called this facet of adaptation accommodation. At the biological level the body accommodates when, for example, its blood vessels constrict in response to cold and expand in response to heat. Piaget observed similar accommodations at the behavioral and conceptual levels. The young infant engages primarily in reflex actions, such as sucking the thumb or grasping. But shortly thereafter the infant will grasp some object and proceed to put that in his or her mouth. In this instance the child has modified his or her reflex response to accommodate an external object into the reflex action. That is to say, the infant's instinctual thumbsucking reflex has been adapted to objects in the environment. Piaget regarded this behavioral adaptation as a model for what happens at higher intellectual levels as well. Whenever one learns new facts, values, or skills, he or she is, in effect, modifying mental structures to meet the demands of the external world. In Piaget's view, assimilation and accommodation are the invariant processes of intellectual processing and are present throughout life. Furthermore, because the two are often in conflict they provide the power for intellectual development. The child's first tendency is to assimilate, but when this is not possible, he or she must accommodate. It is the constant tension between assimilation and accommodation and the need for some form of equilibrium between them that triggers intellectual growth. For example, in the "hiding the toy experiment" described above, the six-month-old infant simply cried while the one-year-old infant lifted the cloth to reveal the hidden object. This initial

upset, and failure of assimilation, thus led to the infant's construction of a mental image of the object. This new construction allows the child to solve the problem and remove the cloth from the toy. At each level of development, the failure of assimilation leads to a new accommodations that result in a new equilibrium that prepares for yet another level of disequilibrium. Piaget published the results of these infant studies in three books, The Origins of Intelligence in the Child, The Construction of Reality in the Child, and Play Dreams and Imitation. These books continue to stimulate a wide range of investigations into the developing abilities of infants. Stage 3: The Elaboration of the Logical Model of Intellectual Development During the third period of his work, from the 1940s through the 1960s, Piaget explored the development of many different physical and mathematical concepts in children and adolescents. To explore the physical and mathematical conceptions of children and adolescents, Piaget returned to the semiclinical interview, but in modified form. He decided that the way to test children's level of conceptual development was to challenge their understanding of conservation, that is, their understanding that an object's physical or mathematical properties do not change despite a change in its appearance. Piaget based this methodology on the fact that scientific progress occurs when judgments of reason win out over judgments based upon appearance. The discovery of the roundness of the earth is a good example. The ancients believed that the world was flat. It was only from later observations and reasoning about the disappearance of ships on the horizon and the shadow of the earth on the moon that the perception of flatness could be overcome. To test children's understanding of conservation, Piaget presented children with a wide array of tasks in which the child had to make a judgment on the basis of either perception or reason. Only when the child made his or her judgment on the basis of reason was the child said to have attained conservation. For example, in his studies of children's conception of number, Piaget confronted children with two rows of six pennies, one spread apart so that it was longer than the other. Young children judge the longer row to have more pennies, while older children judge both rows to have the same amount. Older children have attained the conservation of number while younger children have not. With this conservation methodology, Piaget and his longtime colleague, Barbel Inhelder, explored how children constructed their concepts of number, space, time, geometry, speed, and much more. In this third phase of his work, Piaget introduced a logical model to explain children's attainment of conservation in different domains and at different age levels. It is this logical model of intellectual development for which he is perhaps best known. Piaget argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages that are related to age and that are progressive in the sense that each is a necessary prerequisite of the next. There is no skipping of stages. In addition, he contended that each stage was characterized by a set of mental operations that are logical in nature but vary in complexity. At each stage of development the child constructs a view of reality in keeping with the operations at that age period. At the next stage, however, with the attainment of new mental abilities the child has to reconstruct the concepts formed at the earlier level in keeping with his or her new mental abilities. In effect, therefore, Piaget conceived of intellectual development as an upward expanding spiral wherein the child must constantly reconstruct the ideas formed at an earlier level with new, higher order concepts acquired at the next level. The first stage, infancy or the first two years of life, Piaget described as the sensori-motor period. In the first two years of life, the baby constructs elementary concepts of space, time, and causality but these are at the visual, auditory, tactual, and motoric level, and do not go beyond the here and now. At the next stage of development, the pre-operational level, children acquire the symbolic function and are able to represent their experience. Children now begin to use words and symbols to convey their experience and to go beyond the immediate. Concepts of space, time, and causality, for example, begin to be understood with terms like now and later, as well asday and night. Once the child's thought moves from the sensori-motor to the symbolic level, it has much more breadth and depth. By the age of six or seven children attain a new set of mental abilities that Piaget termed concrete operations, which resemble the operations of arithmetic and which lift school-age children to a whole new plane of thinking. Concrete operations enable young children to reason in a syllogistic way. That

may be the reason the ancients called these years the age of reason. Concrete operations enable children to deal with verbal rules and that is why formal education is usually begun at about this time. Following rules is in effect reasoning syllogistically. Consider the classic model of the syllogism. All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore Socrates is mortal. This is the same form of reasoning the child must employ if he or she is to follow the rule that says "when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking." When two vowels go walking the first one does the talking. In the word ate there are two vowels and the first is an a. In this word, a does the talking. Concrete operations enable young children to construct their conceptions of space, time, number, and causality on a higher quantitative plane. It is during the elementary years that children are able to learn clock and calendar time, map and geographical space, and experimental causality. At about the age of eleven or twelve young people develop yet a higher level of mental operations that Piaget labeled formal. These operations are formal in the sense that they are no longer tied to the here and now and are abstract in the sense that they can be in conflict with reality. For example, if you ask a younger child to imagine a world in which snow was black and to guess what color, in that world, Mickey Mouse's ears would be, the child would have trouble saying they were white. Adolescents who have attained formal operations have no trouble with this problem. Formal operations enable young people to understand celestial space, historical time, and multivariable causality. They can construct ideals, think in terms of possibilities, and deal with multiple variables at the same time. Formal operations move young people to a new plane of thought, which is on a level with adult thinking. Stage 4: The Study of Figurative Thought During the last stage of Piaget's work, which lasted until his death in 1980, Piaget explored what he called the figurative facets of intelligence. By figurative Piaget meant those aspects of intelligence such as perception and memory that were not entirely logical. Logical concepts are completely reversible in the sense that one can always get back to the starting point. The logical addition of concepts, such as "boys plus girls equals children," can be undone by logical subtraction, such as "children minus boys equals girls" or "children minus girls equals boys." But perceptual concepts cannot be manipulated in this way. The figure and ground of a picture, for example, cannot be separated because contours cannot be separated from the forms they outline. Memory too is figurative in that it is never completely reversible. Piaget and Inhelder published books on perception, memory and other figurative processes such as learning during this last period of his work. Conclusion Jean Piaget is clearly the giant of developmental psychology. His experimental paradigms have been replicated in almost every country in the world and with quite extraordinary comparability of results. Piaget's observations, then, are among the hardiest, if not the hardiest, data in all of psychology. No other research paradigm has received such extensive cross-cultural confirmation. In the early twentyfirst century there has been a tendency of investigators to dismiss Piaget's work as pass. This would be a mistake. While it is important to challenge Piaget and to build upon the foundation he has provided, it would be wrong to discount his work without having a comparable database on which to found such a rejection. Indeed, the opposite is more likely the case, namely, that the value of much of Piaget's work both for developmental psychology education and for other disciplines is yet to be fully realized.

John B. Watson (18781958) - Popularizing Behaviorism, The Little Albert Study, The "Dozen Healthy Infants", Life after the University
John B. Watson was an important contributor to classical behaviorism, who paved the way for B. F. Skinner's radical or operant behaviorism, which has had a major impact on American educational systems. A professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University (1908 1920), Watson is often listed as one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century; his work is standard material in most introductory psychology and educational psychology texts. Yet his academic career was brief, lasting for only fourteen years, and his legacy has been hotly debated for nearly a century. Watson helped define the study of behavior, anticipated Skinner's emphasis on operant conditioning, and emphasized the importance of learning and environmental influences in human development. Watson's often harsh criticism of Sigmund Freud has been given credit for helping to disseminate principles of Freudian psychoanalysis. Watson is widely known for the Little Albert study and his "dozen healthy infants" quote. Popularizing Behaviorism John B. Watson is generally given credit for creating and popularizing the term behaviorism with the publication of his seminal 1913 article "Psychology as the Behaviorist Views It." In the article, Watson argued that psychology had failed in its quest to become a natural science, largely due to a focus on consciousness and other unseen phenomena. Rather than study these unverifiable ideas, Watson urged the careful scientific study of observable behavior. His view of behaviorism was a reaction to introspection, where each researcher served as his or her own research subject, and the study of consciousness by Freud and others, which Watson believed to be highly subjective and unscientific. In response to introspection, Watson and other early behaviorists believed that controlled laboratory studies were the most effective way to study learning. With this approach, manipulation of the learner's environment was the key to fostering development. This approach stands in contrast to techniques that placed the emphasis for learning in the mind of the learner. The 1913 article is often given credit for the founding of behaviorism, but it had a minor impact after its publication. His popular 1919 psychology text is probably more responsible for introducing behaviorist principles to a generation of future scholars of learning. In this way, Watson prepared psychologists and educators for the highly influential work of Skinner and other radical behaviorists in subsequent decades. The Little Albert Study In 1920 Watson and an assistant, Rosalie Rayner, published one of the most famous research studies of the past century. Watson attempted to condition a severe emotional response in Little Albert, a nine-month-old child. Watson determined that white, furry objects, such as a rat, a rabbit, and cotton, did not produce any negative reaction in the baby. But by pairing together a neutral stimulus (white, furry animals and objects) with an unconditioned stimulus (a very loud noise) that elicited an unconditioned response (fear), Watson was able to create a new stimulus-response link: When Albert saw white, furry objects, this conditioned stimulus produced a conditioned response of fear. This study is generally presented as a seminal work that provided evidence that even complex behaviors, such as emotions, could be learned through manipulation of one's environment. As such, it became a standard bearer for behaviorist approaches to learning and is still widely cited in the early twenty-first century. The "Dozen Healthy Infants" To a behaviorist, manipulation of the environment is the critical mechanism for learning (e.g., the Little Albert study). To illustrate this point, Watson wrote in 1930, "Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select doctor, lawyer, artistregardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations and race of his ancestors" (p. 104). This quote

routinely appears in introductory texts in education and psychology and is used to illustrate the radical environmental views of behaviorists. But that sentence is only the first part of the quote. In that same statement, Watson subsequently wrote, "I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing so for many thousands of years" (p.104). This second sentence is rarely quoted with the first sentence. In taking this quote out of context, authors have presented Watson and classical behaviorism as having an extreme perspective on the importance of environment. However, Watson was reacting to the work of other psychologists and educators who believed that heredity was solely responsible for human development and learning. Early behaviorists accented the role of environment, but their views were probably not as radical and extreme as they are often presented. Life after the University Following a personal scandal in 1920, Watson resigned his position at Johns Hopkins and entered advertising, where he achieved some degree of success. He also published popular accounts of behaviorism after leaving his university position. His book Psychological Care of the Infant and Child (1928) was very popular, advocating a rather detached approach to parenting, with few displays of affection such as kissing and hugging of children. Given Watson's relatively short academic career, his lasting contributions in the areas of learning, psychological methods, and behaviorism are remarkable.

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