Assimilating and accommodating
Initially proposed by Jean Piaget, the term accommodation refers to part of the adaptation process.
The process of accommodation involves altering one's existing schemas, or ideas, as a result of new information or new experiences.
Schemas become more refined, detailed, and nuanced as new information is gathered and accommodated into our current ideas and beliefs about how the world works.
Accommodation does not just take place in children; adults also experience this as well.
New schemas may also be developed during this process.Consider, for example, how small children learn about different types of animals.
A young child may have an existing schema for dogs.
Because of his upbringing, he might even harbor prejudices toward people in this group.l When the young man moves away to college, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by people from this group.
Through experience and real interactions with members of this group, he realizes that his existing knowledge is completely wrong.
Much of Kolb’s theory is concerned with the learner’s internal cognitive processes.
She knows that dogs have four legs, so she might automatically believe that all animals with four legs are dogs.
When she later learns that cats also have four legs, she will undergo a process of accommodation in which her existing schema for dogs will change and she will also develop a new schema for cats.
This question seems quite simple, yet it is a topic that has long been a major subject of interest for psychologists and educators.
Experts agree that there are many different processes by which information can be learned.
These skills continue as the child grows up and becomes an adult.