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Piagets Theory Essay Sample

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Piagets Theory Essay Sample

Piaget’s Theory of cognitive development in early childhood is defined as the way a child’s mental activities and capabilities evolve through childhood to adolescents. They gain a sense of mental activities when they begin to think logically about the experiments they conduct to adapt to their environment. This theory has four stages, and they are; sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. The sensorimotor stage(birth- 2) is defined at the time when a child is not capable of making schemas for things that are not in front of them. Children adapt to the world around them by using their five senses and basic motor skills. There are four developmental tasks in this stage, and they are; Symbolic thought, out of sight-out of mind, goal directed behavior and object permanence. Symbolic thought is defined at the way a child labels what they see in everyday life, also known as forming schemas. A child that is still developing cannot think about the imagined or envisioned entity. For example, I played a very well-known game of “peek-a-boo”, with my one year old daughter. I would cover my face with my hands and wait five seconds later and then remove my hands quickly and say peek-a-boo.

She would start laughing and smiling. When I covered my face she would whine a little. In the encyclopedia Britannica, this stage is marked by the child’s acquisition of various sensorimotor schemes, which may be defined as mental representations of motor actions that are used to obtain a goal; such actions include sucking, grasping, banging, kicking, and throwing, etc. The preoperational stage (2-7) is defined as the time when children can represent objects mentally and form schemas before knowing what they are. They are now able to tie their experiments together and test waters. The developmental tasks are preoperational egocentrism, irreversibility and lack of conservation. Preoperational egocentrism is defined as a child’s inability to see the things from someone else’s perspective. They cannot see anyone else’s perspective because theirs is the only way possible. For example, I observed my daughter and she was walking in a pair of my favorite shoes on with her hand on her hip. I asked her, who is that? She said “mommy”. The concrete operational stage(7-11) is defined as the period when a child’s thinking allows them to put their thoughts and ideas together more effectively.

They are now able to make logical thoughts and put objects into more than one category. The developmental tasks in this stage are multiple classification conservation, and reversibility. Multiple classifications are defined as a child’s ability to think of one thing in more than one way. They can now make sub categories into subcategorizes. According to McLeod, the child understands that although the appearance of something changes, the thing itself does not. For example, if you take two pieces of string that are the same length and scrunch one up, a child will reply that the scrunched one is shorter, if conservation hasn’t yet been reached. I performed the same task on my seven year old cousin, and she was able to point out the scrunched one up. The last stage is the formal operational stage (11-16) that is defined as the ability a child at the age of 11 has to think abstractly about things and have an order and structure for doing things.

They can now formulate and test hypothesis while separating and controlling variables at the same time. The developmental tasks are proportional reasoning, formulate and test multiple hypotheses, and separate and control variables. Proportional reasoning is defined as a child’s ability to use proportions and fractions effectively. Formal operational thinkers can now use mathematic concepts in real life situations. As reported by Kendra Cherry, in earlier stages, children used trial-and-error to solve problems. During the formal operational stage, the ability to systematically solve a problem in a logical and methodical way emerges. Children at the formal operational stage of cognitive development are often able to quickly plan an organized approach to solving a problem.

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