Schemas are mental plans that are abstract and function as guidelines for action, as a structure for information and a framework for solving problems.
HISTORY OF SCHEMA THEORY
Frederic Bartlett (1932) first introduced the concept of the schema while working on constructive memory. He considered schemas a part of top-down processing. According to psybox.com (2002), Bartlett considered schemas to be "maps or structures of knowledge stored in the long-term memory." Although there may be some debate over the origin of the concept of the schema, some suggest that Piaget first introduced it in 1926, the fact remains that Piaget believed humans develop through a series of qualitative stages built upon common knowledge he called schemas. In other words, a schema is a picture of what we know about life at a particular point in time. As a child develops, he tends to interprets experiences based on what he already knows; what his schema tells him. Piaget referred to this process of making the world fit into our schema as assimilation. If the experience does not fit into our model of knowledge, we begin to modify our schema. Piaget referred to this as accommodation. It was from these teachings of schemas that Richard C. Anderson, a prominent educational psychologist, developed the "schema theory of learning." Anderson's learning theory describes schemas as knowledge that has been carefully organized into an elaborate network of abstract concepts by which we understand life and the world in which we live. These abstract concepts can only be interpreted and understood after a foundation of proven, relevant information has been established through past experiences. According to Anderson's schema theory, our schema is in a constant state of change as we encounter new experiences and new information that shapes our schema. As we develop, we learn to broaden the boundaries of our schema to include more variables building on the foundation of what we...
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