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Jerome Bruner Presentation - Mavis Ng Jin Jin

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Presented by Mavis Ng Jin Jin Student ID : 1600351 14 May 2011

One of the best known and influential psychologists of the twentieth century

1915 1937 1939 1941


Oct 1, born in New York City Duke University (B.A) Harvard University (MA) Harvard University (PhD) Professor at Harvard University Professor Oxford University Early Retirement Senior Researcher at New York University of Law

1945-1972 1972-1980 1980-1990 1991-present

Founding father of constructivist theory Bruner's Theory on Constructivism One of the key figures in the 'cognitive revolution His influence has been especially felt in the field of education




Bruners studies helped to introduce Piagets concept of developmental stages of cognition into the classroom. It had a direct impact on policy formation in the United States and influenced the thinking and orientation of a wide group of teachers and scholars The much-translated book The Process of Education (1960) was a powerful stimulus to the curriculum-reform movement of the period. In it he argued that any subject can be taught to any child at any stage of development, if it is presented in the proper manner. According to Bruner, all children have natural curiosity and a desire to become competent at various learning tasks; when a task as presented to them is too difficult, however, they become bored. A teacher must, therefore, present schoolwork at a level so as to challenge the childs current developmental stage. Bruner also studied perception in children, concluding that childrens individual values significantly affect their perceptions.

An American humanities teaching program based upon Bruner's theories. Particularly his concept of the spiral curriculum. Popular in America and Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. The course was much criticized in the United States because of its emphasis upon questioning aspects of life, including belief and morality.


During earliest childhood, learning occurs through movement or action (babies learn to walk or a child learns to ride a bike). action based During middle childhood, learning occurs through images or icons that represent or summarize objects or events (children draw pictures of their families vacation). image based During adolescence, learning occurs through abstract symbols (students are able to represent mathematical functions using equations or understand metaphorical language such as Too many cooks spoil the broth). language based



As children develop, they tend to rely more dominantly on symbolic learning. But even during the symbolic stage, all three modes continue to remain available and can be highly developed. Professional athletes and musicians, for example, are highly skilled enactive learners, while great artists employ finely tuned iconic skills.

Provide study materials, activities, and tools Examples of learning modes to help children learn about dinosaursConstruct a model of a dinosaur (enactive)

Watch a film about dinosaurs (iconic)

Consult reference texts and discuss findings and details of dinosaurs (symbolic)

Singapore Primary School Mathematics Curriculum

MODEL-DRAWING adopted from

Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract

Concrete components include manipulatives (for example, toy cars, pencil, eraser, etc), measuring tools, or other objects. Pictorial representations include drawings, diagrams, charts, or graphs. Abstract refers to symbolic representations such as numbers or letters that the student writes or interprets to demonstrate understanding of a task (number equation).

When using the CPA approach, the sequencing of activities is critical. Activities with concrete materials should come first to impress on students that mathematical operations can be used to solve real-world problems. Pictured relationships show visual representations of the concrete manipulatives and help students visualize mathematical. Finally, formal work with symbols is used to demonstrate how symbols provide a shorter and efficient way to represent numerical operations. Ultimately, students need to reach that final abstract level by using symbols proficiently with many of the mathematical skills they master.

This CPA approach benefits all students but has been shown to be particularly effective with students who have mathematics difficulties, mainly because it moves gradually from actual objects through pictures and then to symbols.

Solving a Routine Heuristic Problem Our approach when teaching Math concepts to young children is from Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract. CPA Approach

To allow pupils to see the word problem in a mathematical way and help them to solve the sums. Usually used in

Concrete Objects

Drawing of Rectangular Bars

Solve Abstract Word Problem

Stage 1: Using Concrete Materials Sherwin has 4 toy buses. He buys 6 more toy buses. How many toys does he have now?

4 + 6 = 10

Stage 2: Pictorial Representation Sherwin has 4 toy buses. He buys 6 more toy buses. How many toy buses does he have now?


4 4 + 6 = 10


Stage 3 : Replace Pictures with Boxes Sherwin has 4 toy buses. He buys 6 more toy buses. How many toy buses does he have now?




4 + 6 = 10

Comparison Bar ModelJia Yi has 6 apples. Ai Wei has 4 apples. How many more apples does Jia Yi have?



? 6-4=2

To effectively address these modes, educators must make instruction both economical and powerful:


Deals with the number of items that must be held in mind and processed to achieve comprehension. Fewer items, means fewer processing steps, resulting in greater economy.



Deals with the degree to which a learner is stimulated to make connections between topics that seem separate. The only possible way in which individual knowledge can keep proportional pace with the surge of available knowledge is through a grasp of the relatedness of knowledge

The chart presenting the various travel routes on a list requires the user to organize, process, and memorize seven items.

But coding the cities

alphabetically and laying them out on a diagram

increaseseconomy byproviding the same information at a glance(Bruner, "Toward a Theory of Instruction" 46-7).


Bruner's theories emphasize the significance of categorization in learning. To perceive is to categorize, To conceptualize is to categorize, To learn is to form categories To make decisions is to categorize.

Bruner maintains people interpret the world in terms of its similarities and differences



A teaching approach in which each subject or skill area is revisited at intervals

In this design, students return to topics throughout their academic careers, continually building upon what they have already learned as they develop and mature.

Jerome Bruner is not merely one of the foremost educational thinkers of the era; he is also an inspired learner and teacher. His infectious curiosity inspires all who are not completely jaded. Individuals of every age and background are invited to join in In his words, Intellectual activity is anywhere and everywhere, whether at the frontier of knowledge or in a third-grade classroom.(Gardner, 2001, pg. 94)

To which mode does this classroom activity belong:

A child Learning subtraction by physically removing 3 toy cars away from 8 toy cars that were given to him.

Enactive ? Iconic ? Symbolic ?

In the Enactive mode, students learn through their . By physically removing the items the students gain an understanding of subtraction and learn that 8 minus 3 equals 5.

own actions

The Enactive mode !!!

In the iconic stage, when they progress to math work without counting, they will see

8-3= and know the answer is 5.

Photo courtesy of http://oaks.nvg.org/bruner-sayings.html GOOGLE WEB IMAGES http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerome_Bruner http://tip.psychology.org/bruner.html http://www.infed.org/thinkers/bruner.htm http://www.psych.nyu.edu/bruner/ http://www.newfoundations.com/GALLERY/Bruner.html http://www.lifecirclesinc.com/Learningtheories/constructivism/bruner.html http://www.animukerji.com/newfaculty201/bruner_bio.htm http://brunerwiki.wikispaces.com/ http://www.wiserearth.org/resource/view/433c9ceb9d283ea1 edb5d26d59240272 Gardner, H. (2001). Fifty modern thinkers on education. from Piaget to the present, London: Routledge.

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