Oscar and the Accordion

Delivery Method: 

Watch this two-year-old boy, named Oscar, explore the accordion and notice what he learns about the conditional relationship between the buttons and the action of pulling and pushing the bellows. Throughout the episode, Oscar works to guide his own learning about the accordion by carrying out a series of “trials.” We invite you to carefully study this example of self-regulated learning. To help identify the various strategies used by Oscar to gain more information about the accordion, go to click here to view an action transcript (or go to http://www.videatives.com/assets/files/Transcript-Oscar and the Accordion.pdf).


In a few instances, Oscar rests one end of the accordion on the floor (time codes 0:31, 1:34 and 2:42). What does Oscar hope this strategy will help him do? What challenges does he encounter?


At time codes 1:23 and 2:26, what do you think Oscar may be feeling when he looks up at the camera (videographer) and smiles? What just occurred to make him feel this way?


On two occasions, Oscar holds down two buttons at once while pulling and pushing the bellows (see time codes 1:58 and 2:42). What effect may he assume will be produced by pressing down two buttons simultaneously?


At time code 2:21, Oscar alters the sound produced by the accordion by pulling and pushing the bellows more rapidly. In what other ways do you notice Oscar working to vary the sound?


Select two other instances from Oscar’s play and 1) describe in detail what you notice him doing; 2) imagine what he may be thinking as he carries out these actions (what reasons may he have); 3) identify any new information he may have uncovered; and 4) consider how he may use this information to build a new understanding(s) about how the accordion functions.


Oscar remains engaged in his play with the accordion for a full three minutes before looking up at the videographer and asking, “What is this?” Why do you think he did not ask what the object was named (accordion) at an earlier point in the video?


At the end of the clip, what do you think Oscar has learned about how to produce sounds on the accordion? What does he understand about the contingencies between the buttons and the bellows?


In your opinion, would Oscar’s learning experience have been helped or hindered if the teacher had demonstrated the use of an accordion to him?

Keywords: twos, child-object, instruments, logic, sound, self-regulated learning, practice video clip

Length of video: 3 minutes, 8 seconds