Cognitive Development in the Classroom

Cognitive Development in educational psychology is key in all aspects of education. Everything from curriculum creating, lesson planning, and classroom implementation is devised with cognitive development in mind. Woolfolk Winne Perry in the book Educational Psychology defines cognitive development as, “orderly, adaptive changes that humans (or animals) go through from conception to death.” Upon first hearing this formal definition my mind raced with the many possibilities of what this could all include, as it appears to be very vague with only surface level understanding. I have come to understand cognitive development as a process that all minds partake in order to revise and expand their field of knowledge. This conclusion is simplistic and has only resulted in days of reflection, and I am sure that my understanding will grow and change throughout my experience in education.

I was also able to learn about the importance of orientation. This concept is quiet abstract to me, but I have come to understand it as a my position in this world in relation to other people and my surroundings. The paths I have taken and the ways in which I have developed have all come together to orient myself and my views in a specific way. My orientation influences the ways I interact with the many theories of cognitive development. Such theories I have learned and are in the processes of internalizing include Piaget’s individualistic stages of cognitive development, Vygotsky’s theory on environmental relationships in relation to cognitive development, and Urie Bronfenbrenner’s theory of the many ecological layers of a person interplaying to influence cognitive development.

As a future educator I connect to the different theories of cognitive development. In order for me to effectively teach the future students in my classroom I must thoroughly understand the many theories of cognitive development to blend into a teaching style that works for all types of learners. Another connection I made was much more personal. I found myself reflecting on my orientation this week. I found myself asking where I currently fit in relation to my surroundings, as well as where I would like to be situated in relation to the identities and labels around me?

Throughout this course, and into the rest of my existence as a lifelong learner I will continue to question my orientation and continue to change my relations for the better.


Paper Source Reference

Perry Winne, Woolfolk. Educational Psychology. 6th ed., Pearson, 2016.


Author: Hayley Hodson

I have known I wanted to be a teacher my entire life. I never had a doubt in my mind of what I wanted to be in this world. Even though I was certain of the end goal, I never stopped to wonder what the journey to get to that point would look like. This blog is it. This blog is the messy middle where I transition from student to teacher. Every thought and belief I have and learn throughout my education is posted to this blog in order to document my journey in becoming a teacher. I invite you all to join me as I strive to become more than just a teacher, but also a kind and inclusive citizen.

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