My family gathered at my sister’s house for Thanksgiving. My sister is seven years older than I am, and the first of the sisters to become a grandmother. Her granddaughter is nearly 2 years old (and adorable!), and watching them together expanded my schema of what a grandmother is.
The term schema in cognitive learning theory was introduced by Jean Piaget and refers to our preconceived ideas about a topic or subject. When we learn new things, our schema expands.
For example, as a child, we may have thought water was only a liquid to drink. But if someone melted an ice cube in front of us and we saw it turn to water, we would gain a new understanding about water–it can take on a different physical property (it can freeze). Through that experience, our knowledge (schema) about water expanded. Read more