Gradual changes of an innate knowledge base vs. radical shifts

Published: 2017-08-15 14:12:18
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Gradual changes of an innate knowledge base vs. radical shifts

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Human beings are complex to research on and understand in their entirety. Children derive much of their knowledge from the input of others. Conceptual change entails the varying nature of relationships and concepts in the life of an individual. It put into perspective the aspects associated with getting information, associating with others and how one's adjust in each stage in life. From an analytical perspective, it makes more sense to comprehend conceptual change through gradual changes of an innate knowledge base rather than radical shifts.

From their study on several spontaneous-response activities among infants, Onishi, Scott, and Baillargeon (2010) explain that when infant are two years old, they are able to subject false views regarding identity, location and false viewpoints. This ability is robust and can be demonstrated with various belief-inducing situations, with human and non-human agents and different spontaneous-response tasks. Additionally, infants can recognize that agents can hold false beliefs on the location of objects because of the misleading contextual or perceptual cues that cause an agent to inaccurately infer its likely location.

Subsequently, understanding advanced, scientific concepts in various disciplines requires students to not only rely on simple memorization of facts but learn how to restructure their intuitive, naive theories based on their lay culture and everyday experience. They should undergo profound conceptual change, which is not achievable in the absence of systematic instructions, with both constructivist and sociocultural factors.

There has been a dispute between empiricism and rationalism, which concerns the extent that people are dependent upon sense experience in their effort to gain knowledge. Rationalists argues that there are momentous ways that people gain concepts and knowledge independently from the sense experience (Onishi, & Baillargeon, 2005). On the other hand, empiricists argue that sense experience is a definitive source of all the concepts and knowledge that are possessed by people. From their study on whether infants who are fifteen months old can attest to false beliefs, Onishi and Baillargeon (2005) explains that infants have the ability to appeal to their mental conditions such that they are able to explain the behavior of others.

Contemporary psychology is undergoing rapid and far-reaching changes. The conceptual change approach in learning and development is a constructivist approach that relies on various fundamental assumptions, as the way knowledge is acquired in domain-specific theory. Coaching is an effective way of transformational change for the individuals and organizations. Engaging a coach offers a pathway for accelerated professional and personal development. Adopting a coaching mindset approach usually has a profound effect on the productivity and working culture of an organization.

Rationalists commonly develop their view in the following ways; firstly, they may argue that in some cases, the content peoples knowledge or of our concepts outstrips the information that can be provided by sense experience. Secondly, they hypothesize accounts of how additional information about the world can be retrieved. Conversely, empiricists provide complementary lines of thought. Firstly, they show how experience provides information that is cited by rationalists, as it is in the first place (Croft, & Cruse, 2004). Croft and Cruse (2004) provide an analysis of language being controlled by cognitive principles and hence putting into perspective the issue of sense and knowledge. At times, empiricists opt for skepticism as an alternative to rationalism. Secondly, empiricists oppose rationalists' reasoning that reason is a source of knowledge or concepts.

In conclusion, there is a divide in educational research, with the cognitive theorists focusing on inter-mental, individual, cognitive mechanisms instead of inter-mental, social mechanisms. From a personal perspective, instructions are intended to guide children move from their actual knowledge, up to their potential knowledge that refers to the knowledge that students and teachers co-construct in learning. The distance from the actual knowledge up to the potential knowledge is referred to as the zone of proximal development. The disagreement between empiricists and rationalists about the source of individuals ideas leads to their content and subsequently the content of peoples descriptions and knowledge of the world. Also, from a personal perspective, like philosophical debates, empiricist and the rationalist debate ultimately concerns peoples position and views in the world, hence, in this case, people are rational inquirers.


Works cited

Baillargeon, R., Scott, R. M., & He, Z. (2010). False-belief understanding in infants. Trends in cognitive sciences, 14(3), 110-118

Croft, W. A. & Cruse, D. A. (2004). Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Onishi, K. H. & Baillargeon, R. (2005). Do 15-month-ild infants understand false beliefs? Science, 308(5719), 255-258

Vosniadou, Stella, Xenia Vamvakoussi, and Irini Skopeliti. "The framework theory approach to the problem of conceptual change." International handbook of research on conceptual change (2008): 3-34.


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