There are processes that children use as they construct their knowledge of the world. Concepts of accommodation and assimilation are two examples of ideas that are important in the learning process development. Therefore, accommodation and assimilation are a response to knowledge acquisition in which the brain either makes the new information fit within the existing understanding of the world or adjusts schemes to consider new experiences. Human knowledge evolves over time, and this fact can be exemplified by incidents that determine whether one assimilates or accommodates the information.
Instances of Assimilation
Assimilation of knowledge is indeed a cognitive development concept that has shaped my thought process for a long time. As a young boy, I had a friend, Charlie, who was a kind, quiet, and composed young boy. One evening, I did not attend school because I was sick the whole day. I heard noises from outside the house in the direction of Charlie’s parents’ house. Looking through the window, I saw Charlie having been nabbed by a lady who owned a grocery store within the estate. Charlie was accused of several accounts of shoplifting by the store’s owner. After the incident, Charlie remained my friend, and he continued sharing his fruits and snacks with me. Clearly, the new behavior was made to fit in with my earlier understanding of my friend’s character (Santrock, 2018). This is the reason why his misbehavior did not affect our relationship.
Another instance where assimilation has affected my schema was the point at which I was learning data analysis software and computer programming languages. Being bred and raised by an economist, I had a great inclination toward Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) because that was the software I was taught to use by my father. The difficulty arose when I attended STATA classes and was required to use the commands of the program. Often, I would draw my conclusions from SPSS analyses. Without a doubt, this meant a usage of the existing schema to handle the new information (Santrock 2018). However, assimilation of the new programming experience provided me with an additional choice in data analytics.
One classic example of accommodation involves the bearded individuals and me. As a result of the teachings of my parents, I formed a schema against bearded men as untrustworthy, greedy, cunning, and evil. In my college life, I have interacted with bearded instructors and began to understand that the view that I held against them was entirely accurate. I, therefore, had to rework my schema for the group to accommodate my earlier fears.
Again, I experienced accommodation when I graduated from elementary to junior high school. During my years in elementary school, my schema on mathematics was limited to basic arithmetic and such operations as multiplication, addition, subtraction, and division. As I proceeded to junior high school, I learnt that there was more to math from the introduction of sets, basic algebra, and abstract mathematics. In this case, restructuring the new information helped in ensuring that the mathematical concepts fit better (Santrock, 2018). Therefore, I became more adaptive to the mathematics class in a more complex manner.
In summary, everyday experiences show that human knowledge is not static because, at one time, an individual has to either assimilate or accommodate new information. As an individual, I have had to unwillingly establish a relationship that exists between new and old experiences to make the new ones fit within my existing understanding of a person’s behavior or learning exercise. Additionally, I have had to incorporate new ideas by restructuring my perceptive skills to enhance my cooperation with people with whom I had a poor view and learn new things.
Santrock, J. (2018). A tropical approach to life-span development (9th ed.). Dubuque, IA: McGraw Hill Education.