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Summative Examination in Foundations of Education Essay

One of the chief characteristics of a living organism is its ability to grow. A seedling grows into a plant which, in course of time, grows into a huge tree. A child in due course turns into an adult. In living organisms, growth takes place by multiplication of the cell. Every living structure grows to a certain limit; it cannot go on growing all the time through life. By physical growth is meant the progressive development of the various parts of the body and their capacity to function. Physical growth is determined by a variety of factors, some of which are difficult to understand. These factors may be classified as internal and external. The internal factors include heredity, sex, secretion of the ductless or endocrine glands etc. Some of the important external factors are sunlight, air, food, fatigue, exercise and water. Seasons of the year is another external factor influencing growth? The maximum gain in weight takes place between October and December and the minimum gain between April and June. The initial changes immediately
after birth include the expansion of the lungs and certain stages in the circulation of blood. The growth of the brain during the first year is very rapid. The bones start growing in length and thickness. The milk-teeth start erupting from the sixth to the eighth month. By two and a half years, all the twenty teeth of the first set should have erupted. These teeth start falling off after six years and the teeth of the permanent set start erupting. The last tooth of the permanent set normally erupts by the 25th year. About the age of 13 years, the individual starts attaining sexual maturity. At this age, called the age of puberty, girls start menstruating and show the secondary sexual characteristics. In males, similarly, at puberty, secondary sexual characteristics appear and voice breaks due to the changes in the larynx. Complete growth is attained by the age of 16 years in girls 20 years in boys.

Cognitive development is the emergence of the ability to think and understand. A large portion of research has gone into understanding how a child imagines the world. Jean Piaget was a major force in the discovering of this field study, forming his “theory of cognitive development”. Piaget had four stages of cognitive development which consisted of the following: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. Many of his theoretical claims have since fallen out of favor. However, his description of the tendencies of cognitive development (e.g., that it moves from being dependent on actions and perception in infancy to understanding of the more observable aspects of reality in childhood to capturing the underlying abstract rules and principles in adolescence) is generally still accepted today. Besides, many of the phenomena that he discovered, such as object permanence in infancy and the conservations in school age children, attract the interest of current researchers. In recent years, alternative models have been advanced, including the neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development, which aim to integrate Piaget’s ideas that stood the test of time with more recent theorizing and methods in developmental and cognitive science.

Jean Piaget believed that people move through stages of development that
allow them to think in new, more complex ways.

Sensorimotor stage
The first stage in Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development is the sensorimotor stage. This stage lasts from birth to two years old. During this stage, behaviors lack a sense of thought and logic. Behaviors gradually move from acting upon inherited reflexes to interacting with the environment with a goal in mind and being able to represent the external world at the end. The sensorimotor stage has been broken down into six sub stages that explain the gradual development of infants at this age. Birth to one month

Each child is born with inherited reflexes that they use to gain knowledge and understanding about their environment. Examples of these reflexes include grasping and sucking.

1–4 months
Children repeat behaviors that happen unexpectedly because of their reflexes. For example, a child’s finger comes in contact with the mouth and the child starts sucking on it. If the sensation is pleasurable to the child, then the child will attempt to recreate the behavior. Infants use their initial reflexes (grasping and sucking) to explore their environment and create schemes. Schemes are groups of similar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment. Once a child begins to create schemes they use accommodation and assimilation to become progressively adapted to the world. Assimilation is when a child responds to a new event in a way that is consistent with an existing schema. For example, an infant may assimilate a new teddy bear into their putting things in their mouth scheme and use their reflexes to make the teddy bear go into their mouth. Accommodation is when a child either modifies an existing scheme or forms an entirely new schema to deal with a new object or event. For example, an infant may have to open his or her mouth wider than usual to accommodate the teddy bear’s paw.[8]

5–8 months
Child has an experience with an external stimulus that they find pleasurable,
so they try to recreate that experience. For example, a child accidentally hits the mobile above the crib and likes to watch it spin. When it stops the child begins to grab at the object to make it spin again. In this stage habits are formed from general schemes that the infant has created but there is not yet, from the child’s point of view, any differentiation between means and ends. Children cannot also focus on multiple tasks at once, and only focus on the task at hand. The child may create a habit of spinning the mobile in its crib, but they are still trying to find out methods to reach the mobile in order to get it to spin in the way that they find pleasurable. Once there is another distraction (say the parent walks in the room) the baby will no longer focus on the mobile. Toys should be given to infants that respond to a child’s actions to help foster their investigative instincts. For example, a toy plays a song when you push one button, and then a picture pops up if you push another button.

8–12 months
Behaviors will be displayed for a reason rather than by chance. They begin to understand that one action can cause a reaction. They also begin to understand object permanence, which is the realization that objects continue to exist when removed form view. For example: The baby wants a rattle but the blanket is in the way. The baby moves the blanket to get the rattle. Now that the infant can understand that they object still exists, they can differentiate between the object, and the experience of the object. According to psychologist David Elkind, “An internal representation of the absent object is the earliest manifestation of the symbolic function which develops gradually during the second year of life whose activities dominate the next stage of mental growth.” 12–18 months

Actions occur deliberately with some variation.For example a baby drums on a pot with a wooden spoon, then drums on the floor, then on the table. 18 – 24 months
Children begin to build mental symbols and start to participate in pretend play. For example, a child is mixing ingredients together but doesn’t have a spoon so they pretend to use one or use another object the replace the spoon Symbolic thought is a representation of objects and events as mental
entities or symbols which helps foster cognitive development and the formation of imagination. According to Piaget, the infant begins to act upon intelligence rather than habit at this point. The end product is established after the infant has pursued for the appropriate means. The means are formed from the schemes that are known by the child. The child is starting to learn how to use what it has learned in the first two years to develop and further explore their environment. These six sub-stages represent the approximate growth a child undergoes during Piaget’s sensorimotor stage from birth to age 2. Once the child gains the ability to mentally represent reality, the child begins the transition to the preoperational stage of development.

Preoperational stage
This stage lasts from 2 years of age until 6 or 7. It can be characterized in two somewhat different ways. In his early work, before he had developed his structuralist theory of cognition, Piaget described the child’s thought during this period as being governed by principles such as egocentrism, animism and other similar constructs. Egocentrism is when a child can only see a certain situation his or her own way. One can not comprehend that other people have other views and perceptions of scenarios. Animism is when an individual gives a lifeless object human like qualities. An individual usually believes that this object has human emotions, thoughts and intentions. Once he had proposed his structuralist theory, Piaget characterized the preoperational child as lacking the cognitive structures possessed by the concrete operational child. The absence of these structures explains, in part, the behaviors Piaget had previously described as egocentric and animistic, for example an inability to comprehend that another individual may have different emotional responses to similar experiences.

Concrete operational stage
This stage lasts from 6 or 7 years until about 12 or 13. During this stage the child’s cognitive structures can be characterized by group therapy. Piaget argues that the same general principles can be discerned in a wide range of behaviors. One of the best-known achievements of this stage is that of conservation. In a typical conservation experiment a child is asked to
judge whether or not two quantities are the same – such as two equal quantities of liquid in a short and tall glass. A preoperational child will typically judge the taller, thinner glass to contain more, while a concrete operational child will judge the amounts still to be the same. The ability to reason in this way reflects the development of a principle of conservation.

Formal operational stage
This final stage begins at ages 12 or 13. It marks a movement from an ability to think and reason from concrete visible events to an ability to think hypothetically; to entertain what-if possibilities about the world. Children at this stage develop abstract-thinking. They can solve problems systematically by using abstract concepts. The cognitive structures of this stage can be characterized by four rules for manipulating the content of thought: identity, negation, reciprocity, and correlativity.

Emotional development is the growth in the child’s ability to distinguish between and to express their emotions in socially acceptable ways and to be able to understand the emotional content of other people’s communication.

Emotion is closely related to other phases of development.

Characteristics of Emotion
* Emotion is the complex state of the organism
* Emotion is accompanied by the bodily changes
* Excitement is evident
* Emotion is mark by strong feelings
* Emotion tends to disseminate the person at some given time * Emotion elicits differentiated action
* Emotions are accentuations of character traits and have directions and goals * Emotions can be positive (constructive) and negative (destructive)

3 Primary Emotions Present at Birth
* Love
* Fear
* Rage


Social change or social development refers to an alteration in the social order of a society. Social change may include changes in nature, social institutions, social behaviors, or social relations. The base of social change is change in the thought process in humans. Social change may refer to the notion of social progress or socio-cultural evolution, the philosophical idea that society moves forward by dialectical or evolutionary means. It may refer to a paradigmatic change in the socio-economic structure, for instance a shift away from feudalism and towards capitalism. Accordingly it may also refer to social revolution, such as the Socialist revolution presented in Marxism, or to other social movements, such as Women’s suffrage or the Civil rights movement. Social change may be driven by cultural, religious, economic, scientific or technological forces.

Socialization refers to the shaping of the child’s characteristics and behavior.

Social environment includes his peer mate, his parents, his elders, relatives and other persons directly or indirectly associated with him.

Factors that may affect Social Development

* Maturation
* Environment
* Culture
* Economic condition
* Family

Forms of Social Behavior

* Negativism
* Rivalry
* Quarreling
* Aggressiveness

2. The Factors Affecting Learning

The factors that affect learning are classified into two: Personal Factors and Other Factors.

Personal Factors Include:
* Intelligence – Researchers define intelligence as the capacity to acquire knowledge, the ability to think and reason in the abstract and the capability of solving problems. * Aptitude – Children’s aptitude tests are intended to measure the child’s potential and capacity for learning. The difference between aptitude and abilities is that aptitude could be the potential which has as not been tapped and trained to skill level, whereas ability as the word describe is present here and now in the individual. * Readiness to learn and mature – Recent studies on readiness, children and schools indicate that there actually are two sides to the readiness issue: getting children ready for school and getting schools ready for children. On maturity of an individual, our brains begin to mature even before we are born. Although they continue to mature throughout most of our lives, brain do not mature at the same rate in each individual. * Goals, Interests and Aspirations – Motivation is both the reason why an individual makes a decision, and their strength purpose in carrying these decisions out. Aspiration is what an individual hopes will happen in the future. * Attitude and Values – Attitude is an individuals feelings about education.

Other Factors are:
* Learning Style – Learning styles may be thought of as the way in which people take in information, select certain information for further processing, use meanings, values, skills, strategies to solve problems, make decisions and create new meanings and change any or all of the processes or structures described in this list. * Physical Factors – Disabilities
and/or disorders may affect learning * Socio – Cultural Factors – Social interactions, interpersonal relations and communication with others influence learning. * Environmental Factors – Environmental factors include heredity, habitat, freedom and self discipline, physical environment of school and experiences.

Directions: Explain/discuss the following in one or two concise paragraphs.

1. The relation and importance of psychology to education.
Education and psychology are interdependent. One psychologist said that we will not understand how a teacher could teach with out the knowledge of education Psychology. Psychology had changed the spirit of education and it gives new meaning to learning in classroom. Psychology contributes to a better understanding of the aims of education by defining them, making them clearer; by limiting them, showing us what can be done and what can not; and by suggesting new features that should be made parts of them. Psychology makes ideas of educational aims clearer. When one says that the aim of education is culture, or discipline, or efficiency, or happiness, or utility, or knowledge, or skill, or the perfection of all one’s powers, or development, one’s statements and probably one’s thoughts, need definition. Different people, even amongst the clearest-headed of them, do not agree concerning just what culture is, or just what is useful. Psychology helps here by requiring us to put our notions of the aims of education into terms of the exact changes that education is to make, and by describing for us the changes which do actually occur in human beings. Psychology also changed the old concept of education where only upper class had the ability and right to learn. Psychology gives education the theory of individual differences that every child has different mental ability and learns with different pace. Today in modern era, education psychology is the foundation of education. Psychology effect education in every filed of teaching learning process. 2. The significance of each of the primary laws of learning to the teaching – learning process. The Primary Laws of Learning include the Law of readiness wherein readiness means a preparation of action. If one is not prepared to learn, learning cannot be automatically instilled in him. Another law is the
Law of Exercise which means that drill or practice helps in increasing efficiency and durability of learning and connections are strengthened with trial or practice and the connections are weakened when trial or practice is discontinued. The last law is the Law of Effect, according to which the trial or steps leading to satisfaction stamps in the bond or connection. Satisfaction strengthens the connection whereas dissatisfaction leads to annoyance or pain. Teaching, therefore, must be pleasing. The educator must obey the taste and interests of the pupils. In other words, greater the satisfaction, stronger will be the motive to learn.

3. The importance of motivation in the teaching – learning process. Motivation is an influential factor in the teaching – learning process. The success of learning depends on the high or low motivation of students. It can drive learners in reaching learning goals. Therefore, motivation is the key of success in learning teaching process. Without motivation, the goal of learning is difficult to be reached. By having motivation, students will be enthusiastic in learning so they will be pushed to study well. Motivation is extremely important for both the teacher and the students. When students are well-behaved and motivated to learn, the teacher is able to spend more time instructing the students. The hours gained from the use of motivation will allow students to advance in the curriculum. The standardized test scores should go up when students spend more time learning. 4. Your positive personality traits and how you can use them in your role as a teacher. Some of the positive traits that I possess include the following: goal setter, friendly, good listener, and creative. Being a goal setter helps me in my role as a teacher since it would help me focus on the task I need to achieve and will also push my students in performing well since my goal for them is to get high grades. Being friendly and a good listener helps my students loosen up and tell me any difficulties they are having in my class so that I would be able to extend my help. Having the quality of being creative adds excitement to the teaching – learning process since the students are being excited with what will happen in our next class because there different approaches in every meeting.

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