Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Stages By: LiselleQuan Child Development 30 Prof. Bass
Jean Piaget Although there is no general theory of cognitive development, the most historically influential theory was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Psychologist (1896-1980). Piaget divided schemes that children use to understand the world through four main stages, roughly correlated with and becoming increasingly sophisticated with age.
Sensorimotor Stage Sensorimotor:(birth to about age 2) -During this time, the child is focused solely on sensation and movement. This stage is divided into three subcategories: primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, and tertiary circular reactions. -Infants are busy discovering relationships between their bodies and the environment. Researchers have discovered that infants have relatively well developed sensory abilities. The child relies on seeing, touching, sucking, feeling, and using their senses to learn things about themselves and the environment.
Preoperational Stage Preoperational:(begins about the time the child starts to talk to about age 7) -During this stage, a child begins to use his imagination, using symbols to represent objects -The preoperational stage is also where the majority of language development occurs. Language development, like almost everything else, occurs in a defined, set order. Example: “She may hold up a picture so only she can see it and expect you to see it too. Or she may explain that grass grows so she won’t get hurt when she falls." (Boeree, Piaget)
Concrete Stage Concrete:(about first grade to early adolescence) -During this stage, accommodation increases. The child develops an ability to think abstractly and to make rational judgments' about concrete or observable phenomena. -In teaching this child, giving him the opportunity to ask questions and to explain things back to you allows him to mentally manipulate information. Example: a younger child would not understand that a short fat glass and a tall skinny glass hold the same amount. A child in the concrete operational stage, however, realizes that pouring liquid from a short glass into a tall one does not change the volume. Or Finally, during this stage, a child learns to classify things. He now understands that he can live in both the US and California.
Formal Operational Stage Formal Operations:(adolescence) -This stage brings cognition to its final form. a child uses logical, sophisticated thought in hypothetical scenarios -Teaching for the adolescent may be wide-ranging because he'll be able to consider many possibilities from several perspectives. Example: If you ask an eighth grader (roughly 13 years old) a problem such as"If A + B = C, then what does A equal?"he would be able to easily come up with the answer "A = C - B"
What does Cognitive mean? Cognition is defined as the mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, judgment, and intuition. Cognition occurs throughout the brain, but is concentrated in the cerebral cortex.
Information regarding the stages These four stages have been found to have the following characteristics: Although the timing may vary, the sequence of the stages does not. Universal (not culturally specific) Generalizable: the representational and logical operations available to the child should extend to all kinds of concepts and content knowledge Stages are logically organized wholes Hierarchical nature of stage sequences (each successive stage incorporates elements of previous stages, but is more differentiated and integrated) Stages represent qualitative differences in modes of thinking, not merely quantitative differences
Recap of Piaget's stages -The graph shows, the percent of students in Piaget’s stages at different ages. The most important thing to recognize in the graph is that, for example, a child does not switch into formal operations thinking exactly on his 12th birthday. The ages associated with different stages are varied, but the progression of the stages is almost completely guaranteed (you will almost never get stages switched or omitted. The stages build on each other in a predictable way, so a child that misses the concrete operations stage will never enter the formal operations stage).