Notebook, 1993-



Take in, Incorporate, Absorb . . . . Bring into Conformity, Adapt, Adjust, Modify . . . . Convert, Make Like, Compare, Liken, Become or be like, Resemble . . . . Cause to Resemble

C O N S I D E R:

Take in






Liken to

Make like

Cause to resemble


Bring into conformity, suitability, fit

Assimiliation & Accommodation
Piaget's Cognitivive Development/Theory of Language Development.

He believed that all children pass through a series of distinct stages in intellectual development. Today, many psychologists are convinced that Piaget gave too little credit to the effects of learning (Harris, 1986). According to learning theorists, children continuously gain specific knowledge; they do not undergo stagelike increases in general mental ability (Carey, 1986). Numerous studies do show that children make swift mental gains at about the ages Piaget stated. In fact, researchers have recently found evidence that cycles of brain growth occur at times that correspond with Piaget's stages (Thatcher et al., 1987). Thus, the truth may lie somewhere between Piaget's stage theory and modern learning theory.

A. Intellect grows through two processes:

l. Assimilation - using existing patterns in new situations. (Using a new wrench like the old hammer--assimilated to existing mental structure.)

2. Accommodation - Occurs when existing ideas are modified to fit new requirements. (Child begins to spend money and is forced to alter ideas about what "more' and "less" mean--a dime isn't worth less than a nickel.)

Thus: New situations are assimilated to existing ideas, and new ideas are created to accommodate new experiences.

[Coon, Dennis. Introduction to Psychology, Exploration and Application. St. Paul: West Publishing Company, 1989.]

R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E  S 
Assimilate [< L assimilat(us) likened to, made like....] 1. to take in and incorporate as one's own; absorb: He assimilated many new experiences in Europe. 2. Physiol. to convert (food) into a substance suitable for absorption into the system. 3. To bring into conformity; adapt or adjust (usually fol. by to or with): they assimilated their customs to the new environment. 4. To make like; cause to resemble (usually fol. by to or with). 5. to compare; liken (usually fol. by to or with). 6. Phonet. to modify by assimilation. -v.i. 7. to be or become absorbed. 8. Physiol. (of food) to be converted into the substance of the body; be absorbed into the system. 9. to become or be like; resemble (usually fol. by to or with). 10. to adjust: The immigrants assimilated easily and quickly. 11. Phonet. to become modified by assimilation.

[Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House,1968.]



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