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ERIC Number: ED338655
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar-30
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Education for Adaptation.
Keefe, James W.
The question of what schools should do about individual differences among learners is discussed with reference to the cognitive theories of Piaget. Historically, teachers were not expected to adjust to individual differences; the child who could not adapt was at fault. Around the turn of the present century, educators began to turn their attention to modifying the learning environment for the child. Eventually, two approaches emerged: (1) cognitive researchers and theorists examined models of learning and information processing to search for basic teaching concepts and learning skills; and (2) practitioners looked for ways to modify the teaching/learning environment to accommodate different types of learners. The cognitive development theory of Piaget provides a philosophical foundation for a middle ground between extreme augmentational and individualistic positions. Adaptation is the balance point between the processes of assimilation, by which the learner incorporates stimuli without having to modify them, and accommodation, by which the learner modifies existing schema. Both augmentation of cognitive skills and personalization of the learning environment can be adaptive behaviors. Piaget's theory supports a middle ground that recognizes a role for augmentation and personalization, depending on the ages and needs of learners. The decision to change the learning environment or the learner becomes a practical one involving many tradeoffs. Nine references are included. (SLD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A