Getting to Know Bruner                                                   

    Jerome,Seymore Bruner, born October 1st 1915 in New York. He received his masters and doctorate in psychology from Harvard University. He is one of the pioneers of the cognitive psychology movement in the U.S. He also studied and did works in developmental, educational and legal psychology as well as language development. He worked on the development of a theory of the narrative construction of reality. He has many published works (books) as well as articles written. Bruner earned many honorary doctorates (Wiki.)Bruner-Profile-200x275

    Bruner’s scaffolding theory:

In order for children to become independent learners as they mature they need the aid of more knowledgeable others (MKO) (peers, teachers, parents) he believed children were dependant of these MKO and as they gained more independence and confidence the less assistance they needed from the MKO’s. Scaffolding and ZPD are very much the same. Bruner like Vygotsky believed a learners social environment plays an active role in learning

     Discovery Learning:

Allows the learner to construct their own knowledge rather than being told it. Teacher should design lessons to help learners discover the relationship between bits of information.

    Spiral Curriculum:

Concept that involves structuring complex ideas in a way that are simolified first and gradually move to more complex when the learner is ready. (McLeod)

    In 1960 Bruner developed a cognitive growth theory, it suggested that intellectual ability is developed in stages in step by step changes. He was influenced Lev Vygotsky’s writtings. (Smith)

    Bruner’s 3 Modes of Representations:

Enactive (0-1 years)

  • Involves encoding action based information and storing it in our memories.
  • ex. a baby remembering the action of shaking a rattle and the sound that it makes.
Iconic (1-6 years)
  • Where information is stored visually in the form of images (mental pictures)
  • This is why when learning new information it may be helpful to incorporate pictures/diagrams
Symbolic (7 years onwards)
  • Where information is stored in code or symbol (language)
*Bruner suggests that when faced with new material to follow a progression from enactive to iconic to symbolic representation (McLeod.)
McLeod,S.A.(2008).Bruner. Retrieved from:
Smith, M.K. (2002) Jerome S. Bruner and the process of Education. Retrieved from:
Wikipedia. Jerome Bruner retrieved from:


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