2. Dewey and Reflective thinking
■ The expository approach to teaching history was in popular use until the introduction of
the so called New Social Studies.
■ In contrast to the expository approach, the new history gives emphasis on giving the
students not the conclusions of the scholars but the raw materials on which the scholars
work, asking him to formulate the questions and work his way through to conclusions,
and in so doing, develop a sense of structure of the discipline.
■ The goal is to get the student to develop his critical and conceptual faculties, to give him
some sense of the nature of facts, of the limits of generalizations, and of relationship
between hypothesis, evidence, and proof; in short, to encourage him to relate knowledge
to inquiry and to help him develop the intellectual tools of inquiry.
3. ■ This approach to the teaching of history may not be applied only to the fast learners or
to the older students. Raw materials can also be handled by the slow learners and the
children of elementary and primary grades. This is so, because the act of inquiry is
possible in all age levels.
■ According to Dewey, every unit of thinking has two limits- a perplexed, troubled and
confused situation on one end and a dispelled and satisfied situation on the other end.
■ According to Dewey, reflection has five phases or aspects.
4. 1. Suggestion
The confused, troubled situation in which one finds himself temporarily, halts the
development of thinking. The urge to move, however persists and is diverted to some
thoughts which Dewey calls suggestions.
This is a translation of what is received emotionally as perplexed situation into
something intellectual. The uncomfortable situation becomes more identified and well
defined. The child therefore identifies what the problem is and what is causing the
5. 3. Hypothesis
New knowledge and perspectives are created and what originally is simple
suggestion becomes a definite supposition.
Through this process, the ideas in the mind of the child are refined. Suggestions
which seem far –fetched sometimes become meaningful and are found to be a great use in
the final analysis.
6. 5. Testing the hypothesis by action
The verification of the hypothesis is the last phase of the process. Verification may be
done through experimentation.
■ According to Dewey, verification does not always follow. Sometimes the corroboration of
ideas is obviously a failure then it must be accepted as such. However, such kind of failure
is instructive. Through reflective thinking, the child sees what went wrong and what is
needed to counter the failure in the future. Indeed, to him, the failure is a learning
7. Bruner and Discovery Learning
■ Jerome Bruner’s study on discovery in man’s intellectual life was inspired by
Maimonides’ book entitled Guide for the Perplexed.
■ Maimonides said that there are four forms of perfections which one can desire for. *The
lowest of these is the perfection of worldly possession. The second is the perfection of
the body. The third is moral perfection and finally, true perfection of man which is the
possession of the highest intellectual faculties.
■ According to Bruner, it is very important that we encourage young minds to know
more about discovering because of the opportunities the experience avails the students.
8. He sees the ff. as possible benefits which can be derived from the experience of learning
1. The increase in intellectual potency.
2. The shift from extrinsic to intrinsic rewards.
3. Learning of the heuristics of discovery.
4. The aid to conserving memory.
9. 1. Intellectual Potency
The increase in intellectual potency is manifested through the development of the
child’s ability to gather information, sort them, organize them into a structure which can
be easily assimilated and remembered. The child’s ability to ask questions indicates a
sharpening of his intellectual potency.
2. Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motives
Some students behave according to some external expectation, usually set by the
parents and the immediate environment. They over achieve because of the external
stimuli. According to Bruner, those who belong to this type are those who develop “rate
abilities” and are always dependent on their ability to give back. They are those who tend
to exhibit a lower ability in developing thought structures.
10. The heuristics of discovery
One learns the arts only by doing it. As the child is exposed more and more to the
process of reflective thinking and discovery, he acquires the skill which are
necessary to use the process. He will know how to work and what to work on. His
satisfaction will be derived, not only, from the knowledge that he developed a
thought structure but more from knowing that he did it by himself, using work
models which he himself constructed.
Conservation of memory
A well structured body of knowledge is better remembered than fragmented ones.
The discovery of associations among facts and principles greatly reinforces the
capacity of the child to remember.
11. Piaget and Concrete Operational Thinking
Learning is basically an internal process that takes place when the child is able to
assimilate and accommodate something knowledgeable into his own knowledge
system and thus create a meaningful conceptual structure.
12. According to Piaget, a child’s mental development, during the ages 7 to 8
which is prior to the formal operations is a landmark achievement.
“Its significance lies on its
1. Current contribution to the organization of mental actions in
operational thinking capacities of the individual as applied to concrete
2. The antecedent experiences that have prepared the child, as it were, to
construct understanding of reversibility, reciprocity; and constancy
3. The child’s grasp of relationships between parts and wholes, the
structuring of which enables him later on to perform the mental
functioning known as formal operations” Mills, 1956.
13. Six Characteristics of Concrete Operational Thinking
1. Groupings - refers to the starting point of all the other operations. It is the process
from which the other operations spring.
Piaget classifies groupings into
1. Those that pertain to identity.
2. Those that refer to the logical system of classes, two classes may be included in the
other or may partially overlap or maybe mutually exclusive,
3. Those that refer to relationships between parts and whole of a concrete object or a
collection of objects or persons.
14. 2. Classification – this is manifested in the ability of the child to observe similarities and
differences. Thus a child may classify objects through similarity of shapes or color or
weight. As the child gains more experiences, the child develops several ways of
classifying the same set of objects. Thus, the child will begin the use of qualifiers-one,
15. 3. Seriation – This process refers to the ability of the child to arrange elements
according to some given criteria.
4. Conversation – develops simultaneously with the aforementioned. This is the
child’s ability to develop a system of regulations that enables him to
compensate internally for an external change.
16. 5. Numbers – the child’s understanding of numbers is a synthesis of the operations of
class inclusion and seriation. The child, during the ability to ignore differences in
ascribing numbers, as 1 desk is equivalent to 1 chair or 1 book, in so far as the
number 1 is concerned. But he must also understand that numbers are seriable and
that he should not count the same object twice in a series. Given objects, the child
should understand the logical mathematical relationship that exists among them.
6. Space – This enables the child to develop the relative position of one thing to another
17. Although to most strategy planners, Piaget’s concept of learning is more applicable
to Math and Science, it can also be a basis of planning social studies strategies.
In disciplines of History and Civics, Geography, Music and Arts, various methods
and techniques are used to develop the child’s mental, social as well as