SABARISH

Monday, 31 March 2014

LEARNING - THE GENERATIVE PROCESS

B.Ed. Teaching Notes
Prepared by
SABARISH-P
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Lecturer in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Attur, Thrissur.

LEARNING - THE GENERATIVE PROCESS
(“Learning is the process of building up the tree of cognition. Adding new branches to the existing ones”.)

Children learn by changing their first ideas.  We too change our ideas because they agreed with some new evidence.  And we change our preliminary ideas by testing them against evidences.

For example a small boy has a preliminary idea about the size of an aeroplane; it is as big as a dragonfly!  (This notion he has acquired by direct seeing the plane flying in the sky).  But as he grows he sees the enlarged picture of an aeroplane from a magazine and he corrects his earlier idea to accommodate the new features of the plane he has observed.  Later when he sees the real aeroplane he further modifies his ideas in the light of the new evidences.

Testing of ideas require thinking, experimenting, generalizing, observing etc.  These are the processes of acquiring knowledge.  It requires mental skills and physical skills to process evidence and ideas.  Thus such skills are called process skills.  But the changing of ideas using process skills need to be systematic and scientific, otherwise it leads to misconceptions.  Thus the development of ideas depends crucially on the processes used. 
DEVELOPING CHILDREN’S CONCEPTS (LEARNING)

Children do not come to their classrooms with empty heads but with ideas which they have formed in earlier activities and observations.  If we value this notion of children “owning” their ideas, then teachers are supposed to provide certain kind of opportunities for these changes to take place in a way which gives the child this ownership.
By modifying, ideas become,
-           more widely applicable.
-           More abstract, more complex
-           More precise and quantitative
Ways of helping children develop their concepts
-           helping children to test their ideas
-           helping children to apply ideas in new situations
-           discussions to know other’s ideas.
-           Representing ideas in appropriate ways

Concept
A concept is a generalized idea about things, persons or events that satisfy certain common attributes. It stands for a general class. It is the general mental image of objects or events perceived earlier. Example: Tree, fruit, Father, mother, teacher, Honesty, atom, molecule etc.
Levels of concept attainment.
1)      Concrete level: Meaningfully perceive the object
2)      Identity level: Able to discriminate the object from others.
3)      Classificatory level: Able to classify
4)      Formal level: Individual can give the name and attributes of the concept.
Five elements of a concept
Every concept has
1)      Name : Common name
2)      Exemplar : Examples for concept
3)      Attribute : Characteristics of the items
4)      Attribute value: How much the characteristic is present?

5)      Definition: Complete description in a statement