Children are classified into one of four stages of development including the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage. Piaget believed that children only advance to the next stage when they have had a sufficient number of experiences within each stage. From their birth to approximately two years of age, children Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist and biologist that studied the cognitive and intellectual development of children.
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Jean Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development, stated that children go through a period of stages in which they develop. The four stages of Piaget's theory grouped the development of a child into age groups, in which interaction with people and the natural world is necessary for cognitive development.
Briefly, the four stages of Piaget's theory are the sensorimotor stage birth until 2the preoperational stage 2 until 6 or 7the concrete operational stage 6 or 7 until 11 or 12and the formal operation stage 11 or 12 through adulthood.
According to Piaget, children in the pre-operational stage use mental representations, such as mental images, drawings, words, and gestures, rather than just motor actions to think about objects and events. Children in this stage think faster, are more flexible and efficient, and more socially involved.
Their thinking is limited due to egocentrism, focus on only perceptual states, reliance on appearance rather than underlying realities, and the inability to comprehend reversibility. In Piaget's opinion, children in the pre-operational were incapable of succeeding at his conservation tasks, because they lacked knowledge to conserve.
Conservation means to understand that certain physical characteristics of objects remain the same, even when their outward appearance changes. Piaget's conservation tasks involved tests for conservation of number, solid, and liquid.
According to Piaget, children in the concrete stage are able to easily solve the problems faced in the conservation task due to their cognitive development.
The conservation of number involves taking two rows with the same number of things, for example coins, fruits, and buttons that are equally spaced. Initially, the 5 year olds knew that the two rows were had the same number, but if one row was shortened, children failed to notice that the two rows were the same.
On the task for conservation of solid quantity, he showed young children two pencils, two pens, or two sticks of the same length laying down next to one another. Piaget, then moved one of the sticks to show the children that by moving one of the sticks, it would make it longer than the other and as he had predicted, the children were unable to realize that the two sticks were of the same length.
In the task of conservation of liquid, he described he showed young children the same amount of water in two identical glasses and allowed the children to realize that both of the glasses were of the same size and the water in them were of equal proportion.
Piaget then took one of the glasses and poured the water into a longer, thinner glass and concluded that the children were unable to comprehend that the new glass contained the same amount as the original two glasses of water.
According to Piaget, children's thinking is perception bound in the pre-operational stage and that they could not focus their attention on two aspects, because their attention was to only one aspect. In two studies done of Piaget's conservation tasks, it was evident that children during the pre-operational stage are unable to succeed as the tests.
Anderson and Cuneo found that twenty children, ages 6 and 7, were put to Piaget's tasks with regard to the concept of area failed. Twenty other children, who were at the age of 8, were able to apply "an additive rule" to solve the problems, while the nonconserving children showed patterns of concentrating on only one of the two dimensions.
In another study, Fiati studied children in the Volta regiorn of West Africa and attempted to find a correlation between children learning in different cultures and conservation.
Since children in the Volta region were growing up in isolated, agricultural villages their experiences with time, money, and mathematical computation were different from children living in settings with schools.
Under these conditions, Fiati discovered that the children living in the non-school setting lacked comparable abilities to the children that went to school.
|Essay: Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Approach to Learning||Piaget studied the growth and development of the child.|
Fiati concluded that children's central conceptual structures for numbers did not advance past the unidimensional level. He also stated that these unidimensional structures are universal and that children tested on central conceptual structures progressed through the same stages and at the same rate, but on the test of specific understanding, there was "cross-national differences" and from this Fiati concluded that if a culture values a particular task and invests time and effort in to teaching them, it is likely that children will pass the tasks.
According to these studies, it is conclusive that children at the stage of pre-operational have problems with Piaget's tasks, but according to Fiati, if these tasks are practiced and effort is put in to learning them, children can pass the tests.
After reviewing Piaget's conservation tasks and the studies done on them, I set up an experiment designed to mimic Piaget's test for conservation of number, solid quantity, and liquid quantity.
The idea that children at the age of 5 are not capable of passing the tasks of conservations, while 8 year olds are able to succeed will be tested in the following experiment. The purpose of this experiment is to test Piaget's belief that children at the stage of Pre-operational are not able to succeed at the conservation tasks because it is not in their ability to understand such concepts.
My subject is a four year old girl named Sarah, who according to Piaget would be in the pre-operational stage and would not succeed at the task that will be presented to her and ten year old Kiran, who would succeed.
Before presenting Sarah and Kiran with the tasks, I had to prepare the experiment according to the way Piaget had performed it.Essay The Theory Of Four Stages Of Cognitive Development.
year 5 class can be used to relate the theory of four stages of cognitive development and sociocultural origins of cognitive development. Jean Piaget and Lev Semanovich Vygotsky are the two most powerful theorists of cognitive development in today 's classroom teaching.
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