Bruner's Theory of Cognitive Development

Bruner’s Theory of Cognitive Development


Bruner’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Bruner’s Theory consists of supporting elements in the learning of students.

This theory has presented ideas related to the learning of the students. These principles of Bruner are also known as the Theory of Learning.

Bruner (1915–2016) was an American psychologist. He made his place famous in psychology through his thoughts.

In this article, we will learn what is Brunner’s theory of cognitive development.

What is Bruner’s theory of cognitive development?

Bruner defined the theory of learning in three elements. He said that one or three elements should be included in the education system for the students to learn in the classroom.

These three elements of Bruner’s theory are as follows-

1. Enactive – It is action-based learning. In which the student tries to understand the objects by doing action and starts establishing the reactions from that object in the form of memory and characteristics in his mind.

For example, if give a toy to a child. You see them doing different types of actions with it. For example, putting it in the mouth or looking at it by rotating it.

This type of learning is more active in the 0 to 3 years of the students. Under this, the student tries to learn things on the basis of action-reaction. Due to this, his memory starts to develop.

2. Iconic – In this, the child starts imbibing the characteristics of an object on the basis of its size, color, etc.

This learning process is more active mainly from 3 to 7 years. In this, the student is motivated to learn by watching instead of doing an action.

For example, at this age, students have to show a picture of an object to remember it. For example, kites, apples, ships etc.

3. Symbolic – Under this, the student begins to identify an audio video or an object as a sign.

At this stage, students start learning something on the basis of language signs.

For example, if a child is told a lion, then after seeing its picture in his mind, he feels it and starts accepting the thoughts related to it. In this, students can easily be taught by giving lectures.

Features of Bruner’s theory

Bruner was a psychologist. He developed the sources of learning related to the students and expressed certain ideas in the learning of his students.

We can understand in terms of its characteristics as follows:

  • Bruner also gives an important place to the prior knowledge of the students through this theory. According to them, the cognitive development of the student is sequence-based.
  • Bruner also emphasizes the principle of reinforcement for learning. Such as rewards and punishments etc.
  • According to this, students begin to learn and understand things through their natural actions and development.
  • According to this theory, students try to understand something by using their own knowledge. This theory of Bruner is also called Discovery Learning.
  • According to them, learning a topic should be done by taking the students from the known to the unknown.
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Importance of Bruner’s Theory

Bruner’s theory attaches importance to the prior knowledge of the students. Due to this, the ideas of scientific principles are also given importance in education. It develops the Logical Thinking of the students.

On the basis of this, the memory and imagination power of the students are developed. It provides opportunities for the students to come to a conclusion by doing activities on their own. Due to this, creativity skills are developed in the students.

These ideas of Bruner are given an important place in the education world.

This psychological theory of learning is a good way to make the present modern teaching-learning process effective.

Burner Theory and Vygotsky Theory

Both Bruner and Vygotsky consider the social environment essential for learning. Both thinkers emphasize the principle of imitation.

According to them, students observe the actions of other people and get experience and knowledge from them.

Both accept scaffolding learning ideas. According to this the student always acquires some knowledge with the help of someone.

According to the students are able to acquire knowledge naturally but they need proper guidelines based on which the student completes the learning process.

There are many similarities between Bruner’s theory and Vygotsky’s theory. Both give the main place to the natural environment for the education of the students.

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Bruner’s theory emphasizes getting students to study sequentially. Because of this, their ideas can also be seen from a scientific point of view.

Their psychological ideas are adopted in the teaching-learning process and they are used for learning.

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