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academic term Insomnia

Insomnia
        How many times during the night do we toss and turn, check the clock, and find it ticking away and tell ourselves, "If I could fall asleep right now I would get at least five hours of sleep"?  But, sleep doesn't come so we continue to toss and turn.  This happens to many people and may suffer from a disorder known as insomnia.  People who suffer from this disorder have many complaints, and many have similar symptoms.  Symptoms can vary from stress to pain to always feeling tired.  Insomnia is a very difficult disease to have to live with.  It is hard for both those that suffer from it and their family members.
        According to Linde and Savaley's, The Sleep Book, (1974), "the person who has trouble sleeping is not alone" (p. 9).  They also claim, "An estimated thirty million people suffer from chronic insomnia" (p.9).  Many non-insomniacs have occasional periods when they wonder if they'd make it through a sleepless night.  Many insomniacs can't fall asleep because of pain and discomfort.  Those that can fall asleep but can't stay asleep might be caused from depression, or too many things to worry about.  In Ernest Hartmann's The Sleeping Pill (1978) some causes of insomnia (p. 113).  He states that pain and discomfort do indeed play an important part in the difficulty remaining asleep.  For those having difficulty remaining asleep might be because of depression or having too much to worry about.
        In Linde and Savary's, The Sleep Book  (1974), Dr. Dale C. Friend claims,  "insomnia can be classified by four causes: tension, fatigue, discomfort, and in and out insomnia" (p. 100).  Tension insomnia occurs mostly in executives or people who worry about their businesses.  Tension builds up inside during the day and is still inside at bedtime, it won't come out, so they tend to worry and are not able to go tot sleep.  Fatigue insomnia happens when people who get tired during the day and then they take a nap in the early afternoon and as a result they cannot go to sleep at bedtime.  People suffering from discomfort insomnia often complain of stomach upsets, such as ulcers, toothaches, or arthritis.  This causes them to wake up during the night, which gives them discomfort.  In and out insomnia occurs when patients feel that they didn't sleep at all during the night when they really did, but only stayed in the first stages of light sleep and woke up frequently throughout the night.  
        Dr. Allan Rechtschaffen states in Linde and Savary's The Sleep Book, (1974) "Insomniacs spend less time in REM sleep than normal sleepers" (p. 110).  REM sleep, or rapid eye movement sleep is the final stage of sleep reached in a normal sleep cycle.  To better understand this cycle of sleep scientists have used an electroencephalogram to measure brain waves during sleep.  A normal sleep cycle consists of five distinct stages with paradoxical, or REM stage being the final stage.  REM sleep is what is commonly known as deep sleep.  
        There are many other causes of Insomnia such as the many environmental causes said by Ernest Hartmann's The Sleeping Pill (1978).  Hartmann states, "any loud noise or sounds that can irritate or aggravate can disrupt a persons sleep" (p. 116).  When trying to sleep, the littlest things can bother someone's sleep whether hearing the bathroom water faucet dripping or even the heater coming on during the night.  All these things can keep a person up all night when they are suffering from insomnia.  He also claims, "there is a condition sometimes called 'habit insomnia'" (p. 116).  Habit insomnia is when something caused the insomnia in the past so when the sufferer associates it into habit.  For example, when the see the bed that they have difficulty sleeping on, they condition themselves to think that they can't sleep because of the bed, therefore they don't sleep.  
        In Mendelson's Human Sleep and It's Disorders, (1977) Incidence of insomnia was found by doing a sampling of 1,645 persons and it was found that 14% of those tested had trouble getting to sleep, (Karacan, et. al., 1973).  The results tended to be higher for women than men and as age increased.  Tiller, ... more

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Pedagogy V Andragogy

Consider the differences between the way in which children and adults learn

Introduction

In this assignment, I intend to consider the possible differences between the way in which children and adults learn. For instance, Piaget believed there to be schemes with four distinct stages of cognitive development.  Between birth and the time a child is ready for school, he/she will pass through two of the four stages.  These stages are the Sensorimotor Stage and the Preoperational Stage. Alternatively, it could be argued that our parents, teachers, and society as a whole condition us, to learn in a particular way, to take our place in society.  This, then in the words of Freire is:

the banking concept of education, in which the scope of action allowed to the student extends only as far as receiving, filing and storing the deposits. (Freire, 1970)

On the other hand, it is suggested, that adults learn from experience and reflection, therefore, it is the way in which people:

understand, or experience, or conceptualise the world around them. (Ramsden, 1992)  

The focus for them then, is gaining knowledge or ability through the use of experience.

These are two extremes of the spectrum of learning and there are, according to theorists such as Piaget, several stages in-between, these are: sensory-motor, pre-operational, concrete-operational and formal-operational.  I intend to look at these stages in detail in the main body of this assignment. Firstly, I intend to consider the meaning of learning and briefly look at the terms pedagogy and andragogy.


Learning

What is learning?  Learning is a process by which we change our behaviour and understanding.  We learn in many ways.  For instance, the cognitive orientation to learning, this could be said to be how children learn, (see child learning section).  Secondly, there is the humanistic orientation to learning, this could be said to be a personal act to fulfil potential, through experience and reflection.  Finally, we have the social/situational orientation to learning; this refers to the way we are pre-conditioned by society.


Child learning: Pedagogy

Firstly, we will look at the term pedagogy, pedagogy means the art and science of educating children and often is used as another word for teaching.  More correctly, pedagogy embraces teacher-focused education.  In the pedagogic model, teachers assume responsibility for making decisions about what will be learned, how it will be learned, and when it will be learned.  Therefore, teachers direct the learning.  This then, according to Friere (70) is the banking method of education.  This term will be considered in greater depth later in this assignment.

Piaget believed schemes apply the basis for future learning, the earliest schemes setting the stage for constructing new and more sophisticated schemes.  Even in a newborn baby, we can find the simplest of schemes.  For example, infants can suck from a bottle, but they quickly apply this to dummies and thumbs.  Later in life, schemes move from a physical sensory-motor focus to more mental aspects.  Toddlers can imagine blocks for stacking and put them to different uses, and eventually learn number schemes, which allow them to further organise their world in new ways.
Schemes develop in this way:
InfancyToddlerhoodChildhoodAdolescence
Action applied to objects Primarily sensory and motor systemsMental processes for organising action Objects, numbers and spatial relationsMental processes for organising self-concept and awareness. IdentityOrganisation of the abstract Meanings of abstract laws and notions, such as physics, life and origins.

Piaget believed there are four distinct stages of cognitive development.  For a complete explanation of these stages, see the table on Piagets stages of cognitive development.

Stage Age Characteristics
Sensorimotor 0-2 Years Your child will begin to make use of her ability to imitate, to think, and to memorise.  She will begin to realise that objects don't cease to exist when they are out-of-sight.  Her actions will become more goal-oriented, rather than motivated through reflexes.
Preoperational 2-7 Years Your childs language skills will begin to develop. She will be able to think in symbolic forms.  Your child will be able to think mental operations through in one direction.  Your child will have difficulty seeing another persons point of view.
Concrete Operational 7-11 Years Your child will be able to solve concrete, hands-on problems in logical fashion.  She will be able to understand laws of ... more

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