User Tools

Site Tools


learning_theories:assimilation_theory

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
Next revision
Previous revision
learning_theories:assimilation_theory [2011/07/07 12:28]
jpetrovic [What is assimilation theory?]
learning_theories:assimilation_theory [2011/08/31 12:24]
jpetrovic [What is the practical meaning of assimilation theory?]
Line 16: Line 16:
 Learning, according to Ausubel'​s theory, occurs through **development** of **new cognitive structures** that will hold newly acquired information. Cognitive structure, a central term in his theory is defined as the Learning, according to Ausubel'​s theory, occurs through **development** of **new cognitive structures** that will hold newly acquired information. Cognitive structure, a central term in his theory is defined as the
  
-  * "//​individual'​s organization,​ stability, and clarity of knowledge in a particular subject matter field at any given time//"​((Ausubel,​ David P., and Donald Fitzgerald. Chapter V: Meaningful Learning and Retention: Intrapersonal Cognitive Variables. Review of Educational Research 31, no. 5: p500 -510. December 1, 1961.)) and it is "//​hierarchically organized in terms of **highly inclusive concepts** under which are **subsumed less inclusive subconcepts** and informational data//"​.((Ausubel,​ Robbins, & Blake. Retroactive inhibition and facilitation in the learning of school materials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 48, p267, 1957.))+  * "//​individual'​s organization,​ stability, and clarity of knowledge in a particular subject matter field at any given time//"​(([[http://​rer.sagepub.com/​content/​31/​5/​500.extract|Ausubel, David P., and Donald Fitzgerald. Chapter V: Meaningful Learning and Retention: Intrapersonal Cognitive Variables. Review of Educational Research 31, no. 5: p500 -510. December 1, 1961.]])) and it is "//​hierarchically organized in terms of **highly inclusive concepts** under which are **subsumed less inclusive subconcepts** and informational data//"​.(([[http://​www.sciencedirect.com/​science/​article/​pii/​S0022066307633558|Ausubel, Robbins, & Blake. Retroactive inhibition and facilitation in the learning of school materials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 48, p267, 1957.]]))
  
 As mentioned, **knowledge** is in assimilation theory organized hierarchically in a pyramidal shape where more general ideas and concepts appear at the top of the pyramid and get more and more specific to the bottom of it. The closer to the top of the pyramid a concept is, the more general it is and the longer is its life time. New knowledge is **assimilated** in this hierarchy by **anchoring** to already existing more general concepts (so called //anchoring concept// or //anchoring site//). The //anchoring concept// is characterized by its availability,​ clarity, stability in the cognitive structure, relevance to and discriminability from concepts that are about to be learned.(([[http://​ir.lib.sfu.ca/​bitstream/​1892/​5643/​1/​b12748419.pdf|Rossner,​ Vivian F. A description and critique of David P. Ausubel’s model of learning. Thesis (M.A. (Ed.)), Simon Fraser University, 1982.]])) Characteristics of existing concepts (potential anchoring sites) define the overall characteristics of one's cognitive structure: if well organized, it enables faster learning in terms of adding new ideas and structures to it and therefore is the key aspect of learning. If cognitive structure is unorganized or badly connected, the acquisition of new information will be more difficult. As mentioned, **knowledge** is in assimilation theory organized hierarchically in a pyramidal shape where more general ideas and concepts appear at the top of the pyramid and get more and more specific to the bottom of it. The closer to the top of the pyramid a concept is, the more general it is and the longer is its life time. New knowledge is **assimilated** in this hierarchy by **anchoring** to already existing more general concepts (so called //anchoring concept// or //anchoring site//). The //anchoring concept// is characterized by its availability,​ clarity, stability in the cognitive structure, relevance to and discriminability from concepts that are about to be learned.(([[http://​ir.lib.sfu.ca/​bitstream/​1892/​5643/​1/​b12748419.pdf|Rossner,​ Vivian F. A description and critique of David P. Ausubel’s model of learning. Thesis (M.A. (Ed.)), Simon Fraser University, 1982.]])) Characteristics of existing concepts (potential anchoring sites) define the overall characteristics of one's cognitive structure: if well organized, it enables faster learning in terms of adding new ideas and structures to it and therefore is the key aspect of learning. If cognitive structure is unorganized or badly connected, the acquisition of new information will be more difficult.
Line 31: Line 31:
 Defined concept of meaningful learning leads to another key aspect of Ausubel'​s theory: **prior knowledge**. Since relating old and new knowledge is crucial for meaningful learning, prior knowledge or the existing ideas are the key enabler or restraint of what can be learned next. Defined concept of meaningful learning leads to another key aspect of Ausubel'​s theory: **prior knowledge**. Since relating old and new knowledge is crucial for meaningful learning, prior knowledge or the existing ideas are the key enabler or restraint of what can be learned next.
  
-  * "//If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.//"​((Ausubel,​ David P. Educational Psychology: A cognitive view. London: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston, 1968. p. 18.))+  * "//If I had to reduce all of educational psychology to just one principle, I would say this: The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly.//"​(([[http://​books.google.com/​books?​id=17cdAAAAMAAJ|Ausubel, David P. Educational Psychology: A cognitive view. London: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston, 1968. p. 18.]]))
  
-Another important and rather controversial part of Ausubel'​s theory are the **//advance organizers//​**:​ introductory material presented before the learning material "//at a higher level of abstraction,​ generality, and inclusiveness//"​((Ausubel,​ D. The Psychology of Meaningful Verbal Learning. New York: Grune & Stratton. 1963.)) than the learning material. Purpose of advance organizers is to help replace the missing concepts and bridge new material to learner'​s established cognitive structure.(([[http://​books.google.hr/​books?​id=jHNmQgAACAAJ|Joyce,​ Bruce R., Marsha Weil, and Emily Calhoun. Models of teaching. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.]])) They help the learner realize where the new material fits in relation to the prior knowledge about the material and should not be confused with summaries or overviews which usually present key ideas of the material.+Another important and rather controversial part of Ausubel'​s theory are the **//advance organizers//​**:​ introductory material presented before the learning material "//at a higher level of abstraction,​ generality, and inclusiveness//"​(([[http://​www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/​pmc/​articles/​PMC1515323/​|Ausubel, D. The Psychology of Meaningful Verbal Learning. New York: Grune & Stratton. 1963.]])) than the learning material. Purpose of advance organizers is to help replace the missing concepts and bridge new material to learner'​s established cognitive structure.(([[http://​books.google.hr/​books?​id=jHNmQgAACAAJ|Joyce,​ Bruce R., Marsha Weil, and Emily Calhoun. Models of teaching. Allyn and Bacon, 2000.]])) They help the learner realize where the new material fits in relation to the prior knowledge about the material and should not be confused with summaries or overviews which usually present key ideas of the material.
  
-Advance organizers should be of greater help to students with less organized cognitive structures, since organized cognitive structures already possess developed anchoring ideas. Organizers can be most productive when closely related topics or unitary topics need to be learned and when learners prior knowledge can be assessed. ​Advanced ​organizer can include various types of material like pictures, verbal descriptions,​ prequestioning techniques, and cultural background knowledge(([[http://​www.jstor.org/​pss/​329009|Herron,​ C. An investigation of the  effectiveness of using an advance organizer to introduce video in the foreign language classroom. Modern language Journal, 78, 190-197. 1994.]])). So far no significant differences in effects of this types of organizers have been reported(([[http://​www.informaworld.com/​smpp/​content~content=a713757529~db=all|Togo,​ Dennis F. Topical sequencing ​ of questions and advance organizers impacting students examination performance. ​ Accounting Education, 11(3), 203-216. 2002.]])).+Advance organizers should be of greater help to students with less organized cognitive structures, since organized cognitive structures already possess developed anchoring ideas. Organizers can be most productive when closely related topics or unitary topics need to be learned and when learners prior knowledge can be assessed. ​Advance ​organizer can include various types of material like pictures, verbal descriptions,​ prequestioning techniques, and cultural background knowledge(([[http://​www.jstor.org/​pss/​329009|Herron,​ C. An investigation of the  effectiveness of using an advance organizer to introduce video in the foreign language classroom. Modern language Journal, 78, 190-197. 1994.]])). So far no significant differences in effects of this types of organizers have been reported(([[http://​www.informaworld.com/​smpp/​content~content=a713757529~db=all|Togo,​ Dennis F. Topical sequencing ​ of questions and advance organizers impacting students examination performance. ​ Accounting Education, 11(3), 203-216. 2002.]])).
  
 Ausubel'​s ideas of human cognitive structures also served as a motivation for introducing [[instructional_design:​concept mapping]] and similar instructional materials.(([[http://​books.google.hr/​books?​id=nNcoAO5Za9YC&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=Learning+theories,​+A+to+Z&​hl=hr&​ei=g1jBTYLrHInpOYGHxJ0I&​sa=X&​oi=book_result&​ct=book-preview-link&​resnum=1&​ved=0CCsQuwUwAA#​v=onepage&​q&​f=false|Leonard,​ David C. Learning theories, A to Z. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002.]])) Ausubel'​s ideas of human cognitive structures also served as a motivation for introducing [[instructional_design:​concept mapping]] and similar instructional materials.(([[http://​books.google.hr/​books?​id=nNcoAO5Za9YC&​printsec=frontcover&​dq=Learning+theories,​+A+to+Z&​hl=hr&​ei=g1jBTYLrHInpOYGHxJ0I&​sa=X&​oi=book_result&​ct=book-preview-link&​resnum=1&​ved=0CCsQuwUwAA#​v=onepage&​q&​f=false|Leonard,​ David C. Learning theories, A to Z. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002.]]))
Line 46: Line 46:
   * A successful instructional process is **dependent both on learner and teacher**. Ausubel referred to the process of teaching as //​expository teaching// (teacher centered approach, the teacher presents the concepts and ideas a student should learn) and to learning as //reception learning// (the teacher "​places"​ new ideas in context of learners cognitive structure), yet he notices that learning won't occur unless the student makes an **active attempt** to relate new material to the already acquired knowledge.   * A successful instructional process is **dependent both on learner and teacher**. Ausubel referred to the process of teaching as //​expository teaching// (teacher centered approach, the teacher presents the concepts and ideas a student should learn) and to learning as //reception learning// (the teacher "​places"​ new ideas in context of learners cognitive structure), yet he notices that learning won't occur unless the student makes an **active attempt** to relate new material to the already acquired knowledge.
   * **Prior knowledge** is the key to what will be learned next. In order to fulfill meaningful learning requirements learner has to have crucial higher level concepts (prior knowledge) that will serve as **anchoring sites** (subsumers) for new knowledge or he has to be provided with appropriate organizers.   * **Prior knowledge** is the key to what will be learned next. In order to fulfill meaningful learning requirements learner has to have crucial higher level concepts (prior knowledge) that will serve as **anchoring sites** (subsumers) for new knowledge or he has to be provided with appropriate organizers.
-  * After assuring student has required prior knowledge, the teacher has to **present learning material in an organized and structured manner** (starting from more general concepts and then going to more details), cross reference old and new ideas using different teaching aids or charts, continue with sufficient amount of practice in form of applications of learned material in order to facilitate its assimilation. ​+  * After assuring student has required prior knowledge, the teacher has to **present learning material in an organized and structured manner** (starting from more general concepts and then going to more details), cross reference old and new ideas using different teaching aids or charts, continue with sufficient amount of practice in form of applications of learned material in order to facilitate its assimilation. 
 +  * **Advance organizers**. For examples and advice on creating graphical organizers see Baxendell'​s [[http://​www.mde.k12.ms.us/​acad1/​ToolKit/​Articles/​Differentiation/​Baxendell.pdf|The 3 C's of Graphic Organizers]]. The study of effects of advanced organizers is ongoing with a number of studies showing their positive effects.(([[http://​www.sciencedirect.com/​science/​article/​pii/​S1877042810007871|Mohammadi,​ M., M. Moenikia, and A. Zahed-Babelan. “The role of advance organizer on English language learning as a second language.” Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 2, no. 2: 4667–4671. 2010.]]))(([[http://​llt.msu.edu/​vol11num3/​pdf/​linchen.pdf|Lin,​ H., and T. Chen. Reading authentic EFL text using visualization and advance organizers in a multimedia learning environment. Language Learning & Technology 11, no. 3: 83–106. 2007.]]))(([[http://​www.informaworld.com/​10.1080/​00220973.1997.9943789|Kiewra,​ Kenneth A., Richard E. Mayer, Nelson F. Dubois, Maribeth Christensen,​ Sung-Il Kim, and Nancy Risch. Effects of Advance Organizers and Repeated Presentations on Students’ Learning. The Journal of Experimental Education 65, no. 2, 1997.]]))(([[http://​www.springerlink.com/​content/​k8633w8567412210/​|Mayer,​ Richard E. Twenty years of research on advance organizers: Assimilation theory is still the best predictor of results. Instructional Science 8, no. 2: 133-167. April 1979.]]))(([[http://​www.ejmste.com/​v5n4/​EURASIA_v5n4_Shihusa_Keraro.pdf|Shihusa,​ H., and F. N Keraro. Using Advance Organizers to Enhance Students’ Motivation in Learning Biology. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics,​ Science & Technology Education 5, no. 4: 413–420. 2009.]]))
  
 ===== Criticisms ===== ===== Criticisms =====
learning_theories/assimilation_theory.txt · Last modified: 2012/01/12 11:42 (external edit)