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Piaget, Imagination, and Cognitive Development in Children

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genna giordano

on 6 March 2014

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Transcript of Piaget, Imagination, and Cognitive Development in Children

The Relationship Between Pretend Play & Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget

Swiss psychologist, noted theorist in developmental psychology & the study of human intelligence.

Studied genetic epistomology & theorized that "
increasingly complex intellectual processes are built on primitive foundations laid in earlier stages of development

Interest in cog. development sparked while working w/ Alfred Binet in administering the "Stanford-Binet" test to young children- wanted to know the mental processes behind their answers.

Piaget's Contributions
"4 Stages of Development"
"3 Stages of Play"
Describes stages of normal, intellectual development in children from infancy to adulthood.
Play was an important element in Piaget's theories; a vehicle for children to understand & explore the world; indicator of cognitive intelligence.
1) Practice Play
0-2 years old; sensorimotor stage

Amusement w/ motor actions such as looking, sucking, & the opening/closing of the hands.

Repitition of these motor actions & pleasure in mastering them.

pleasure in being the cause

"exploration proceeds play"

2) Symbolic Play
2 - approx. 7 years old; preoperational stage

Projection of own symbolic schemes onto new objects - feeds doll, puts doll to sleep.

Deferred Imitation
" - pretends to be a cat, learns to wave while saying goodbye, etc.

Pretends that one object is another & treat it accordingly - drinks from a shell, puts cup on head & calls it a hat.

Symbolic Combinations
" - playing house, having a tea party
Early Theorists
(1856-1939) - "
play is pleasurable for the child here & now, and through it's tension-reducing & cathartic functions, it is also beneficial to further development of the child

(1896-1934) - a "leading activity" for the preschool child, as play propels development.

(1896-1980) - necessary for cognitive development, as well as for a child's emotional & intellectual equilibrium

(1902-1994) - as the manifestation of a child's ability to control reality through experiments & planning.

What is "pretend play"?
UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child
(1959) - "
the child shall have full oppurtunity for play & recreation, which should be directed to the same purposes as education

Piaget's "3 Stages of Play"
1) Practice Play

2) Symbolic/Pretend Play

3) Games w/ Rules
3) Games w/ Rules
7 - approx. 11 years old; concrete operational stage

marks transition to activity of the socialized individual

revolves around rules & regulations

sanctions against those who don't follow rules

Issues w/ Piaget's Stages
Children do not follow such smooth & predictable paths.

Biased research participants - his own children, those from high socioeconomic status.

External & internal factors exist -genetics, stimulation, socioeconomic status, etc.

Idea that children learn by exploring & interacting w/ the world around them; different levels of cognitive abilities exist.

Research w/ Animals

"Pretend play may function as a way for children to create a "twin Earth" which allows them to participate in & reason about nonactual situations. (Lillard)"

1964, Marion Diamond & colleagues conduct an experiment on rates to prove that play improves memory & stimulate growth of cerebral cortex.

Raise some rats in solitary confinement & others in excited, toy filled colonies.

Brains of "enriched" rats had thicker cerebral cortices than the "impoverished" rats.

Later research w/ rats (Greenough & Black 1992) shows stimulating environments also leading to increased problem solving - finding their way through mazes.

Symbolic representation
allows for the ability to use mental symbols to represent objects & events - essential to language development b/c it provides means for representational thought.

absence of symbolic play = diagnostic marker of lanuage delay
Piaget's Most Accurate Stage - "Symbolic Play"
Recent Research
Copple, Cocking, and Matthews (1984), research on cognitive activity during symbolic play.

A child bridges the gap b/w what an object would be like & what's actually at hand by using oral language - picks up a calculator "this will be my phone, pretend it has a dial, pretend it has buttons like a phone..."

Demonstrates advanced language schemas to describe the objects at play.
"... symbolic play, substituting one object for another, is a strong predictor for language acquisition." - APA, 2008

Recent Research
McCune (1995), observes parallel changes between the stages of language development & levels of pretend play in normal developing children b/w 8 & 24 months.

Children demonstrating specific symbolic play sets were more likely to exhibit language milestones consisting of the same representational skills.

Results show that development in play & language are both derived from growth in a common, underlying capacity for cognitive representation.
Recent Research
Beeghley (1990), finds remarkable parallels b/w symbolic play & expressive language in children w/ Down Syndrome.

Pre-linguistic children did not engage in symbolic play, while those who were in the beginning stages of combining words were also in the beginning stages of combining simple symbolic schemes.
Play was an important element in Piaget's theories; a vehicle for children to understand & explore the world; indicator of cognitive intelligence.
Piaget's Contributions
"4 Stages of Development"
Describes stages of normal, intellectual development in children from infancy to adulthood.
"3 Stages of Play"
Modern Applications
Early Intervention
" - through symbolic play children are provided the oppurtunity to acquire & generalize newly acquired linguistic, social, and cognitive skills.

Building on symbolic functioning strengths can allow generalization to other areas- for instance language - specifically in the early stages where symbolic play & language development coincides.
Ideas for Further Research
1) Whether or not the effects of symbolic play persist into adult life? If yes, in what ways?
2) Difference of symbolic play across various cultures?

3) Does the relationship between symbolic play and language development differ according to what language a child is exposed to?

4) Development of in symbolic play in children w/ impairments other than those that are linguistic?
pretend play" or "make-believe
" - the acting out of stories or mental schemas which involve multiple perspectives & the playful manipulation of ideas & emotions. Reflects a critical feature of child's cognitive & social development.
Modern Applications
theory of mind
" - an awareness that one's thoughts may differ from those of others & that there exist a variety of perspectives of which each of us is capable (*Piaget)
Differentiated Learning
" - teaching which provides different students of the same classroom w/ different avenues to learning, regardless of differences in ability.
Overall ...

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that high-quality pretend play is an important facilitator of perspective taking and later abstract thought, that it may facilitate high-level cognition, and that there arc clear links b/w pretend play & social & linguistic competence
." - Doris Bergen, Professor of Educational Psychology at Oxford University
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