Psychological Foundation

Psychological Foundation
Foundation of Curriculum
 How do we learn (and think)?
 Why do students respond to teaching?
And why do they respond differently?
 Curriculum
Teaching and Learning are Interrelated
 Curriculum and psychology
Psychology and Curriculum
Psychology - curriculum
 Basis of understanding – John Dewey
 a “screen” – Ralp Tyler
 Modes of thinking – Jerome Bruner
 “Unifying elements of the learning process. It
forms the basis for the methods, materials,
and activity of learning… serves… for many
curriculum decision (p. 100)”
Major Theories of Learning
 Behaviorism – stimulus and reinforces
 Cognitivism – mental operation
 Humanistic psychology – whole child (social,
psychology, and cognitive development)
 Connectionism (Thorndike)
 Laws of learning (learning connection)
Law of readiness, law of exercise, law of effect
 Specific stimuli and specific responses
 Tyler – generalized view of learning
 Bobbitt and Charters – Specific Habits to be acquired
 Taba – problem-solving and inquiry-discovery
 Bruner – “Learning how to learn”
 Classical Conditioning (Pavlov, Watson)
 Stimuli association (Bell and food)
 Key to learning
Condition the child in early years of life to train
them what you want them to be
 Operant Conditioning (Skinner)
 Elicited responses– definite stimulus
 Emitted responses– unrelated identifiable
 Key to learning
Operant behavior – role of stimuli is less
definite (Emitted)
Reinforcement (Positive and Negative)
 Operant Conditioning (Skinner)
 Elicited responses– definite stimulus
 Emitted responses– unrelated identifiable stimulus
 Key to learning
Operant behavior – role of stimuli is less definite
Reinforcement (Positive and Negative)
Lead to acquisition of new operants – Behavior
 Observational Learning and Modeling
 People learn through observation and
 Key to learning
Through modeling, learner can learn how to
perform at sophisticated levels of performance
 Hierarchical Learning (Gagné)
 The behaviors are based on prerequisite conditions.
 8 types of learning: Signal learning, stimulus
response, motor chains, verbal association, multiple
discrimination, concepts, rules, and problem solving
 Key to learning
Cummulative process of learning
Learning outcomes can be measured
Behaviorism and Curriculum
 Curriculum should be organized so students
experience success in master the subject
 Behaviorist are very prescriptive and
diagnostic in their approach.
 Rely on step-by-step structured methods for
 Behaviorism in curriculum includes careful
analyzing and sequencing of the learners’
needs and behaviors.
 Theories of Jean Piaget
 Describes cognitive development in terms of
stages from birth to maturity
Sensorimotor stage (0-2), preoperational
stage (2-7), concrete operations stage (7-11)
and formal operations (11 – onwards)
 Key to learning
 Assimilation (incorporation of new
experience), accommodation (learning
modification and adaptation) and equilibration
(balance between previous and later learning)
 Influence
 Tyler’s method - 1. Continuity – Vertical curriculum, 2.
Sequence – Spiral curriculum (past experience builds
upon the preceding one), 3. Integration – Horizontal
 Taba: Curriculum strategies for productive learning
(Based on assimilation, accomodation and
 Bruner – Acquisition, Transformation, and Evaluation
 Kholberg – Preconventional (no sense of right or
wrong), Conventional (concerned about what people
think), Postconventional (morality is based on what
other people feel
 Theory of Lev Vygotsky
 Cultural transmission and development
 Children could, as a result of their interaction with
society, actually perform certain cognitive actions
prior to arriving at developmental stage
 Learning precedes development
 Sociocultural development theory
 Key to Learning
 Pedagogy creates learning processes that lead to
 Child is an active agent in his or her educational
 Thinking and Learning theories
 Gardner’s multiple intelligences.
 Learning styles: Myth???
 Goleman’s emotional intelligence. – Emotion
contain the power to affect action.
 Constructivism (Vygotsky)
 Individual as the active person in the process of
thinking, learning and coming to know
 Learner is the key player
 Key to learning
 The learner constructs understanding from the inside,
not from an external source.
 Learners must make knowledge personally relevant
 Individual must construct own knowledge- make
 Other Problem Solving and Thinking Theories
 Reflective thinking (Dewey)
 Critical thinking (Ennis, Lipman and
 Creative thinking (Fromm, Sternberg,
Picasso, Dylan)
 Intuitive thinking (Bruner)
 Discover Learning (Phenix, Bruner, Taba)
Cognitivism and Curriculum
Why use cognitivism in curriculum making?
 Cognitive approach constitutes a logical method for
organizing and interpreting learning
 Rooted in the tradition of subject matter
 Educators been trained in cognitive approaches
 Schools are the place for cognitive learning.
Students should not afraid to ask, not afraid of being
wrong, not afraid of not please teacher, and not afraid
of taking risk and playing with ideas.
 Gestalt Theory (Gestalt)
 Learning is explained in terms of “wholeness” of the
 Human beings do not respond to isolated stimuli but
to an organization or patter of stimuli.
 Key to learning
Learning is complex and abstract
Learner analyzes the problem, discriminates between
essential and nonessential data, and perceive
Learners will perceive something in relation to the
whole. What/how they perceive it’s related to their
previous experiences.
 Self-Actualization Theory (Maslow)
 Classic theory of human needs.
 A child whose basic needs are not met will not be
interested in acquiring knowledge of the world
 Put importance in human emotions, based on love
and trust
 Key to learning
 Produce a healthy and happy learner who can
accomplish, grow and actualize his or her human self.
 Nondirective and Therapeutic Learning (Rogers)
 Established counseling procedures and methods for
facilitating learning.
 Children’s perceptions, which are highly
individualistic, influence their learning and behaviour
in class.
 Key to learning
Curriculum concerns with process, not product;
personal needs, not subject matter, psychological
meaning, not cognitive scores.
Psychology and Curriculum
Motivation and Achievement
The Concept of Freedom
Self esteem and self concept must be recognized as essential
Affective needs are more important than cognitive needs
Support and nurture
Freedom permits the learners to probe, explore and deepen
Enhance learning opportunities and alternatives
In search of Curriculum
Leaners draw on experiences, subject matter, and intellectual
skills to attain full potential
Affection is measured through testimonials
Curriculum that enhance the self-actualizing and selfdetermining learning process

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