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Developmental theories with reference to research in science


Scope Document and Readings

Course Description:

This course introduces students to developmental theories and draws from literature in psychology and cognition with the objective of developing a critical stance towards their claims. The discussion during the course intends to bring forth the nature of important theories and their use as ‘lenses’ with which to understand various phenomena. A selection of literature from research in mathematics and science education will acquaint students with how different theories are deployed to analyse various data with an eye on appropriate methodology and corresponding outcomes.

Course Readings: Stage 1: Breadth of theories

  • Compulsory chapters from Miller, P. H. (2002) Theories of developmental psychology. New York: Worth Publishers

    1. Introduction: What is a developmental theory etc. (pages 1-23)

    2. Piaget’s cognitive-stage theory and the Neo-Piagetians: Chapter 1

    3. Information processing theory: Chapter 4

    4. Vygotsky and the sociocultural approach: Chapter 7

    5. Contemporary mini-theories and emerging approaches: Chapter 8

    6. Reflections: Chapter 9

  • Chapters covered along with students' seminars from Miller (2002)

    1. Frued’s and Erikson’s psychoanalytic theories: Chapter 2

    2. Social learning theory: Chapter 3

    3. Ethology and other evolutionary theories: Chapter 5

    4. Gibson’s ecological theory of perceptual development: Chapter 6

  • Chapters covered along with students' seminars from Hergenhahn, B. R. (1988) An introduction to theories of learning. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.

  1. Edward Lee Thorndike: Chapter 4

  2. Burrhus Fredric Skinner: Chapter 5

  3. Ivan Petrovich Pavlov: Chapter 7

  4. Gestalt theory: Chapter 10

Course Readings: Stage 2- Two main theories in-depth

  • Compulsory chapters from Flavell, J. H, Miller, P. H. and Miller, S. A (2002) Cognitive development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall

    • Introduction: Chapter 1

  • Chapters covered along with students' seminars from Flavell Et Al (2002)

  1. Infant perception: Chapter 2

  2. Infant cognition: Chapter 3

  3. Representation and concepts: Chapter 4

  4. Reasoning and problem solving: Chapter 5

  • Compulsory chapters from (Reading A) Rieber, R. W. and Robinson, D. K. (Eds.) (2004) The Essential Vygotsky. New York: Kluwer/Plenum Publishers

    1. Introduction to Thinking and Speech: Chapter 1

    2. The crisis at age seven: Chapter 15

  • Chapters covered along with students' seminars in addition to Reading A above from and (Reading B)Rieber, R. W. (ed.) (1997) The collected works of Vygotsky - Volume 4: The history of the development of higher mental functions. New York: Plenum Publishers

    1. The genetic roots of thinking and speech: Chapter 2 (Reading A) and Thought and Word: Chapter 3 (Reading A)

    2. The problem of the development of higher mental functions: Chapter 1 (Reading B) and Research Method: Chapter 2 (Reading B)

    3. Analysis of higher mental functions: Chapter 3 (Reading B); The structure of higher mental functions Chapter 4 (Reading B) and Genesis of higher mental functions: Chapter 5 (Reading B);

    4. The problem of practical intellect in the psychology of animals and the psychology of the child: Chapter 16 (Reading A) and The function of signs in the development of higher mental functions: Chapter 17 (Reading A)

 

Course Readings: Stage 3- Theories with reference to research in mathematics and science education

Following compulsory reading and discussion of articles from mathematics and science education research discussing implementation of developmental theories:

  • Ernest, P. (1998) The culture of the mathematics classroom and the relations between personal and public knowledge: an epistemological perspective. In F. Seeger, J. Voigt & U, Waschesio (Eds.) The culture of the mathematics classroom (pp. 245-268) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Noddings, N. (1990) Constructivism in mathematics education In R. B. Davis, C. A. Maher & N. Noddings (Eds.) Constructivist views of the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 7-18) Virginia: The national council of teachers of mathematics

  • Glasersfeld, E. von (1990) An exposition of cionstructivism: why some like it radical In R. B. Davis, C. A. Maher & N. Noddings (Eds.) Constructivist views of the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 19- 29) Virginia: The national council of teachers of mathematics

  • Goldin, G. A. 91990) Epistemology, constructivism and discovery learning mathematics In R. B. Davis, C. A. Maher & N. Noddings (Eds.) Constructivist views of the teaching and learning of mathematics (pp. 31-47) Virginia: The national council of teachers of mathematics

  • Taylor P.C. (1998) Constructivsim: value added In B. J. Fraser and K. G Tobin (Eds.) International handbook of science education (pp. 1111-1123) London: Kluwer

  • Metz, K. (1998) Scientific inquiry with reach of the young children In B. J. Fraser and K. G Tobin (Eds.) International handbook of science education (pp. 81-96) London: Kluwer

  • Roth, W-M. (1998) Teaching and learning as everyday activity In B. J. Fraser and K. G Tobin (Eds.) International handbook of science education (pp. 169-181) London: Kluwer

  • Lave, J. (1990) The culture of acquisition and the practice of understanding In J. W. Stigler. R. A. Shweder & G Herdt (Eds) Cultural psychology: essays on comparative human development (pp. 309-327) New York: Cambridge University Press

  • Cobb, P. and Yackel, E. (1996) Constructivist, emergent and sociocultural perspectives in the context of developmental research In T. P. Carpenter, J Dossey, J Koehler (Eds.) Classics in mathematics education research (pp. 208-226) Virginia: The national council of teachers of mathematics

  • Forman, E. A. (2003) A sociocultural approach to mathematics reform: speaking, inscribing and doing mathematics within communities of practice In J. Kilpatrick, W. G. Martin & D. Schifter (Eds.) A research companion to principles and standards for school mathematics (pp.333-352) Virginia: The national council of teachers of mathematics

  • Davydov, V. V. (1995) The influence of L.S. Vygotsky on education theory, research, and practice. Educational Researcher. 24(3), 12-21

  • Oers, B. V. (2001) Educational forms of initiation in mathematical culture, Educational studies in mathematics, 46, 59-85.

  • Sfard, A. (1998) On two metaphors for learning and the dangers of choosing just one. Educational Researcher. 27(2), 4-13.

  • Schoenfeld, A. H. (1999) looking toward the 21st century: challenges of educational theory and practice Educational Researcher. 28(7), 4-14.

 

 

Choice of readings offered for the book review:

  1. Bruner, J. (1997) The culture of education. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

  2. Dewey, J (1910) How we think. D. C. Heath and Co/ Dover

  3. Donaldson, M. (1986) Children’s minds. Harper Collins

  4. Lave, J. (1988) Cognition in practice: mind, mathematics and culture in everyday life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  5. Lave, J. E. and Wenger, E. (1991) Situated learning - legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press

  6. Newman, D., Griffin, P. & Cole, M. (1989) The construction zone - working for cognitive change in school. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  7. Rogoff, B. (1990) Apprenticeship in thinking: cognitive development in social context. New York: Oxford University Press

  8. Rogoff, B. (2003) The Cultural Nature of Human Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press

  9. Vygotsky, L. V. (1978) Mind in society: the development of higher mental functions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

  10. Vygotsky, L. V. (1996) Thought and language. Massachusetts: The MIT Press

Outlook of assessment:

Break-up of course evaluation:

Assignment A: Seminar 10 30 min PPT

Assignment B: Seminar 10 30 min PPT

Assignment C: Seminar 10 30 min PPT

Assignment D: Seminar 10 30 min PPT

Assignment E: Short essay 10 1000 word essay

Assignment F: Writing 20 1000 word essay

Term Paper G: Writing 30 2500 word essay

Total 100

 

Nature of assignment evaluation:

  • Assignments A, B, C and D: Presentation + Individual perspective + Discussion generated

  • Assignment E: 1000 word thematic essays post group-work and discussion

  • Assignment F: 1000 word essay on a book of your choice addressing the following: What are the main arguments of the book? What if any is refuted? How do the arguments inform developmental theories? How do the arguments inform educational practice? How do the arguments inform educational research?

  • Assignment F: 2500 word essay on topic to be announced / chosen and posed as a question which is then answered.

 

 

 


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