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Accommodation

  • By: Marilyn S. Wilson
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Accommodation is the process of changing a current cognitive schema to include new information.

Jean Piaget (1896–1980) proposed that children learn by adaptation, which includes assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation involves bringing new information into the mind. A child knows birds fly. When he or she sees a butterfly, it fits into his or her beliefs regarding things that fly, as it is small and has wings like birds; this is assimilation. However, when a child sees an airplane in the sky, he or she realizes that it is flying, but it is not small and the wings do not move. In order to incorporate airplanes into the child's thinking regarding things that fly, the child must change his or her beliefs to include large machines with ...

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