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For this assignment, you will investigate and reflect on learning theories as they relate to brain-based teaching and learning.

Jean Piaget wrote and published his first scientific paper featuring the albino sparrow at age 11. He was a brilliant scientist revered by many and is best known for his research on cognitive development. As you read about Piaget, ask yourself how the stages apply to your classroom, workplace, or family. Early childhood/elementary teachers should focus on object permanence, one-way logic, reversible thinking, semiotic functions, and conservation. Middle/high school teachers should focus on concrete operations, identity, compensation, reversibility, classification, seriation, adolescent egocentrism, formal operations, etc. Private or public professionals should select any topic appropriate to your life, family or workplace.

Lev Vygotsky was a tormented, frustrated young teacher in Russia. Desperate for answers to improve his teaching, he began seeking answers by studying learning and development. He swiftly became a recognized researcher, but was banned in Russia because of his references to Western psychologists. His all-too-brief life yielded a treasure trove of remarkable research on the sociocultural perspective we continue to use today. Vygotsky’s ideas about language, culture, and cognitive development continue to be major influences in sociopsychology today. "Vygotsky assumed that 'every function in a child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level and later on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological)'" (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 57, in Woolfolk, 2002, p. 44).

Erik Erikson was an interesting enigma of a researcher who sought answers as much for himself as he did for others. Born into shame as an illegitimate child in Frankfurt, Germany, the product of a married man and single mother, he spent his life focused on researching one’s identity. His parents kept his identity secret, but he was tormented at temple school for being tall, blonde, and blue-eyed and teased at grammar school for being a Jew. During his early professional life he became acquainted with Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud; there began his exposure to and learning of psychoanalysis. He also studied the Montessori Method of education while in Vienna. When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, he and his wife emigrated first to Denmark and then to the United States, where he became the first child psychoanalyst in Boston. It is important to note that he and his wife spent a year on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota as he developed his theories of child development and the ego. Erikson developed the Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development. As you read, reflect on Erikson's stage progression, your own life, noting transitions, changes, new developments, etc. See if Erikson's theory correlates to your experience!

For each of the three theorists:
- Choose the most compelling and personally or professionally relevant concept the theorist has to offer.
- Share examples of how you have implemented or plan to implement strategies derived from this concept in your personal or professional life.
- Relate what you have read from Jensen (2005) and/or Gladwell (2008) specifically to the concept you have chosen.

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Teaching and learning has been tremendously impacted by brain research and learning theorist alike. The synthesis of these two specialized areas of psychology has revolutionized classrooms both nationally and internationally, changing the processes, protocols and procedures as they related to “effective curriculum and instruction”. The investments by major players in the said specialized areas are assisting our nation’ learning communities in creating learning experiences which are prescriptive to the needs of individual students and differentiated to provide a variety of access points, so that all students within a given classroom can learn at grade level expectation. In a close review and examination of the major players in this field who include but are not limited to: Jensen, Gladwell, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson. The terminology “major player” in this case is utilized to define theorist whose impact has had a greater influence within the national and international world community and whose theories are applicable to high yield teaching...
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