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Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory

Samantha Andersen, Casie Wilcox, Shanna Bordelon CD 650, Fall 2012

Samantha Andersen

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory

Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory Jean Piaget (1896-1980) "Piaget has often been acclaimed as the most influential researcher in the field of child development in the twentieth century." Thomas p. 185 Piaget considered himself a "genetic epistemologist". His central question was not "What are children like?", but rather "How does knowledge develop in humans?"
Piaget’s conception of knowledge – it is a “process of actions rather than an inventory of stored information” and “to know something is to act on that thing”.
His research approach involved posing problems for children about everyday items like lumps of clay, containers of water, or flowers. Then he observed how the children went about finding a solution. Thomas p.187-190 born in Neuchatel, Switzerland
earned a doctorate by age 21
studied children's development for nearly 60 years
published hundred of journal articles and books Thomas p.185-187 Piaget believed that “The purpose of all behavior or all thought is to enable the child to adapt to the environment.” These adaptations are called Schemes Thomas p. 192 How do children develop
more sophisticated schemes? Assimilation
Accommodation Assimilation changes the environment to fit the scheme. Accommodation changes the scheme to fit the environment. Thomas p. 193-194 click here to see an example of schemes, assimilation & accommodation Factors that influence schemes: 1. Heredity
2. Physical experience
3. Social transmission
4. Equilibrium Thomas p. 195-197 Heredity: "establishes a time schedule for new development possibilities to open up at periodic points throughout the child's growing years" Thomas p. 195 A baby cannot learn to ride a bicycle until her body is physically mature enough. Example: Physical Experience "The child directly manipulates, observes, listens to, and smells objects to see what occurs when they are acted upon... (and) generates knowledge of things and how they work." Example: Thomas p. 196 The child gets on a bicycle for the first time. She feels how the pedals move, how the handlebars feel, and how the bell sounds. Social Transmission "This is education in a broad sense... what parents, the school, and the general social milieu seek to teach." Thomas p. 196-197 Example: Mom explains how to push the pedals with your feet and steer the handlebars with your hands. Equilibrium "Maintains a balance among the other three, fitting the maturational, direct experience, and social transmission influences together harmoniously." Thomas p. 197 Example: The child puts everything together and learns how to ride the bicycle successfully. "Piaget proposed a series of developmental stages" These stages "provide the framework for overall sensorimotor-intellectual development." Thomas p. 197 Piaget's Stages of Development Level 1:
The Sensorimotor Period
(Birth - Age 2) Level 2:
The Preoperational Thought Period
(about Age 2 - Age 7) Level 3:
The Concrete - Operations Period
(about Age 7 - Age 11) Level 4:
The Formal - Operations Period
(about age 11 - 15) Sub stages of level 1: a. Birth - 1 month
Babies use inherited, unlearned reflexes like sucking, crying and grasping
b. 1 month - 4 months
Infants gradually begin to alter their actions as a result of experience.
c. 4 months - 8 months
Babies start to distinguish between self and outside objects, and to perform intentional acts.
d. 8 months - 12 months
Clear acts of intelligence, like anticipating and searching for objects, emerge. Babies begin to understand object permanence and cause and effect relationships.
e. 12 months - 18 months
Babies begin to use accommodation to change existing schemes and make better ones to understand their changing environment. Thomas p. 198-200 click to see a video describing Level 1 Characteristics of Level 2 click to see a video describing level 2 What's the BIG picture? Summary of Piaget's Main Idea Operations = Ways of manipulating objects in relation to each other, such as arranging by size or color.
Operations are internalizable, or can be carried out in thought, and reversible, without losing the original meaning.
Children in level 3 can perform concrete operations, or perform operations on objects that they can see or at least recognize in their minds.
Children become less egocentric and can see things from a different perspective.
Children develop the concept of number. Thomas p. 205-207 click here to see a description of level 3 Characteristics of Level 4 "Children and adolescents are no longer limited by what they can directly see or hear
They can imagine the conditions and develop hypotheses" (formal operations)
Transitivity develops. This means that relationships discovered about certain objects can be carried over to new situations with different objects that logically relate. click here to see an
example of level 4 Thomas p. 208-209 Another example of formal operations: If Jack is taller than Sophie

and Sophie is taller than Rachel

is Jack taller than Rachel?

A child in stage 3 would need to see Jack standing next to Rachel to find out the answer. (relying on perception)
A child in stage 4 would be able to transfer the already known information to a new situation without having to see it. Jack Sophie Rachel "A child's development, according to Piagetian theory seems somewhat like a progressively complex symphony. Its multiple melodies are the schemes formed from the balanced counterpoint of assimilation against accommodation. And the interweaving of themes produces a coordinated whole." Click to see
an example of
Piaget's "symphony" in action! Thomas p. 195 Object Relations "The understanding that objects continue to exist even when they disappear from sight (or hearing range or feeling range). The development of object permanence parallels other developments in the six stages." Herring Growth of Symbolic Activity
Lack of Conservation
Lack of Reversibility
Lack Seriation Skills
Lack Class Inclusion Skills
Cause and Effect
Limited Social Cognition Herring use symbols when one action/object is used to represent an absent one. Growth of Symbolic Activity Herring not selfishness; children in this stage look at things entirely from their own perspective. Can’t take the role or point of view from another person. Egocentrism Herring focus on one aspect of an object or event at a time and ignore other features - underlies egocentrism and makes conservation difficult. Herring Centration lack of understanding the invariance (non-changing) of certain properties such as length, volume, and weight in spite of apparent changes in object. Herring Lack of Conservation lack of ability to reverse an action or steps of reasoning. Herring Lack of Reversibility Lack of Seriation Skills lack of ability to order items based on some characteristic. Herring Lack Class Inclusion Skills lack of understanding of subordinate and superordinate classes. Herring Cause and Effect They know what causes are but tend to think that if two things co-occur then one is the cause of the other. Herring Limited Social Cognition Deficits in role taking and communication resulting from egocentrism, confusions between natural and human events, and notions about the identity of persons when physical appearances change. Herring Characteristics of Level 3 Recommended Additional Readings Piaget’s theory: A Primer by J.L. Phillips Jr. published in 1981
The psychology of the child by J. Piaget and B. Inhelder, published in 1969
The Child's Conception of the World by J. Piaget, published in 1960 References Herring, A. (2012) Piaget Power Point Presentation
Thomas, R.M. (2005). Comparing Theories of Child Development (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. How does Piaget's theory
effect current social policy? Movie Selection
"Freedom Writers" http://issuu.com/naeyc/docs/ps_technology_issuu_may2012?mode=window&backgroundColor=%23222222 With the growing use of technology, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has issued a policy about using technology in early childhood classrooms. This connects to Piaget's theory as he highly recommended organized curriculum, as well as using a teaching methodology that offers "learning activities that challenge the child to advance to the next higher step" (Thomas, 2005, p. 220). As more schools use technology as a teaching method, the teachers can use it to challenge the children as they progress through Piaget's development stages. A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school. Discussion Board Questions 1. Piaget defines equilibrium as the search for a balance between one's self and the world, where do you see this in the movie?

2. Describe a form of assimilation Mrs. Gruwell uses in the classroom to make a connection with her students.

3. In what ways do the students of room 203 fall into Piaget's concept of accomodation?

4. How do the students show signs of stage 4 of Piaget's theory when referring to egocentrism?

5. What are some examples of prejudice in the movie and how would Piaget describe the actions of individuals when confronting these prejudices?
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