The process of equilibration, according to Piaget, drives development. Equilibration includes absorption (when individuals alter new knowledge so that it fits inside their previous framework of thought) and accommodation (i.e., people adapt their thinking to incoming information). Both processes are necessary for growth to occur.
In addition to absorption and accommodation, there is another process involved in the learning process: assimilation. Assimilation is the process by which individuals accept new ideas and integrate them into their existing frame of reference. For example, if someone were to learn about DNA sequencing techniques at school, they would probably not understand how DNA sequences could be used to identify people's genes until they experienced it themselves through research or employment. Only then would they assimilate this new idea into what they already knew about genetics.
All these processes work together to help individuals develop their understanding and increase its depth. If an individual fails to absorb or accommodate new information, they may remain at a superficial level of understanding, which can prevent them from growing as people.
Piaget's idea of equilibration outlines the cognitive balance of new information with previous knowledge. Equilibration entails assimilation of knowledge to match an individual's current mental schemas as well as accommodation of information by adjusting it to their way of thinking. Both processes occur simultaneously until a state of equilibrium is reached.
This model has been influential in understanding how children learn about the world around them. Piaget argued that infants and young children are not born with any pre-existing knowledge or concepts. They begin life knowing only what is immediately visible and tangible around them. As they develop, they explore their environment by trying out different actions. If something goes wrong—if they get hurt for example—they try to understand why this has happened. With time and more experience, they start to guess at what is not readily apparent from just looking around them. They make assumptions based on past experiences and draw conclusions about how things might be from these guesses. This is all part of the process of assimilating new information and adjusting it to what we know already which helps us deal with reality effectively.
For example, if a child sees someone else being given a sweet food thing, they might wonder what is inside the box. If they try to eat the box itself, they will realize that it is useless. So they would assume that there must be something valuable inside it.
Piaget's model of mental functioning inspired the three-phase learning cycle (exploration, idea development, and expansion). He believed that each phase was necessary for cognitive growth.
The three phases of the learning cycle are: exploration, idea development, and expansion. Exploration is the initial stage of learning when we try out different things to see what works and what does not. In education, this would include trying out different methods to see which work best for you or your students. The next step is idea development in which you analyze what worked and what did not and use this information to create new ideas that were not considered before. Finally, expansion is reaching beyond what has been learned initially to learn more about topics that were not explored during the first two stages of learning.
This model can be used by teachers to understand how their students learn. For example, if a student shows an interest in music but fails to develop any skills, the teacher could say that he or she is at the exploration stage of learning. If the teacher determines that further instruction is needed, such as teaching the student piano lessons, then the teacher should plan out an action plan for reaching the student at the idea development stage of learning or later at the expansion stage of learning.
Assimilation is the process of assimilating new knowledge into our current schemas. Because we prefer to somewhat adjust events and information to fit in with our prior views, the process is somewhat subjective. The more similar the new information is to what we already know, the easier it will be for us to accept it.
The more different the new information is from what we know, the more difficult it will be for us to accept it. We need to create our own system of categories if we are going to learn anything new, so this makes sense psychoanalytically. The harder we try to assimilate new information, the more resistance we will build up against it.
Every time we learn something new, there is a part of our brain that takes note of this new information. If it is something that can be used to make ourselves feel better or solve problems, then it will be incorporated into our schemata. Otherwise, it will be rejected as irrelevant.
If you want to learn something new, it's best not to focus on rejecting it or trying to get your teacher to change their mind about it. Just notice when your brain has added this new piece of information to its schemata and move on to something else.
Academic Children: Punctuated equilibrium, also known as punctuated equilibria, is an evolutionary hypothesis that says that events like speciation can occur very fast, with extensive periods of minimal change (equilibria) in between. Punctuation of this kind was first proposed by Charles Darwin and later supported by research conducted by modern scientists. The concept states that large-scale changes often result from small differences that eventually become fixed through natural selection.
Punctuated equilibrium helps to explain how species can evolve significantly over short periods of time. For example, two closely related species might look almost identical, but then one species might develop a slight advantage which causes it to leave its counterpart behind. This process would continue, with each new generation picking up where the last left off, resulting in two completely different species. Pause this evolution for too long, though, and both species will have changed so much that they're no longer similar at all. This idea contradicts traditional views about evolution, which say that life forms slowly evolve into better versions of themselves over many thousands or millions of years.
Punctuated equilibrium was first proposed by Darwin in his book On the Origin of Species. He suggested that large-scale changes in species occur suddenly, rather than over long periods of time.
According to the punctuated-equilibrium model of group formation, groups frequently move ahead amid bursts of change following extended periods of little change. Groups that are comparable, stable, small, supportive, and contented are more cohesive than others. They will tend to share traits with other similar groups and be less likely to merge with larger or more competitive ones.
Comparing this model to traditional group dynamics, it is easy to see why some people believe this theory has merit. Punctuated equilibrium seems like a good description of many social movements over time. Groups often form in response to emerging issues that may not be anticipated. When issues are resolved, new problems appear which require further action. The only difference between this model and traditional group dynamics is that punctuated equilibrium assumes that groups undergo periodic changes rather than permanent shifts once they have been formed.
This model has several advantages over traditional group dynamics. First, it can account for the evolution of groups over time. Many social movements arise out of existing groups that seek to resolve issues that prevent them from being more effective. As these issues are resolved, new problems emerge that need to be addressed. Over time, the actions of these groups should lead to significant changes in the way society functions. Second, the punctuated-equilibrium model can explain how groups come together in response to emerging issues. Issues such as government corruption or environmental destruction may not be anticipated by scholars who study group dynamics.