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Cognitive Development

(Piaget Theory)
By Cindy Tsen Pui Yee and Sim Poh Lin
Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Swiss biologist & psychologist
Explains how a child constructs a mental mode
of the world
He believes that cognitive development as a
process which occurs due to biological
maturation and interaction with the
environment
Children construct and undertanding of the
world around them, then experience
discrepancies between what they already know
and what they discover in their environment
He observed his children and eventually
developed a four-stage model of how the mind
processes new information encoutered.
3 Basic components
1. Schemas (building blocks of knowledge)
2. Adaptation processes that enable the transition from one
stage to another (equilibrium, assimilation and
accommodation)
3. Stages of development :
sensorimotor
preoperational
concrete operational
formal operational
Intellectual growth as a process of adaptation (adjustment)
to the world and all this happens through :
Assimilation : Occurs when children incorporate new
informations into their existing knowledge
For example : A 7 year-old child may quickly identify a
slithery object in the backyard as a snake
Accommodation : Dealing with a new event by either
modifying an existing scheme or forming a new one
For example : The 7 year-old child may find a long and
slithery thing with a snakelike body that cannot possilbly be
a snake because it has 4 legs. After making inquiries, he
will develop a new scheme-salamander
Equilibrium: State of being able to explain new events in
terms of existing schemes
4 Stages SENSORIMOTOR STAGE
(Birth to 2 years old)

PREOPERATIONAL STAGE
(Ages 2 to 4)

CONCRETE OPERATIONS
(Ages 7 to 11)

FORMAL OPERATIONS
(Beginning at 11 to adulthood)
Sensorimotor Stage (birth to age 2)
Infants gain knowledge of the
world through the coordination
of physical actions and sensory
experiences
Object permanence is a child's
understanding that objects
continue to exist even though he
or she cannot see or hear them
By the end of the sensorimotor
period, children develop a
permanent sense of self and
object
Preoperational Stage (ages 2-4)
Child begins to learn to speak
Can recall past events and envision future ones
Two substages:
symbolic function substage: children are able to understand,
represent, remember, and picture objects in their mind without
having the object in front of them
intuitive thought substage: children tend to propose the questions
of "why?" and "how come?"
Changing nature in children's play
the engangement in fantasy and make-believe, the children tend to
act out the roles and behaviours of those they see around them.
eg: playing restaurant
Conservation
Conservation : the ability to determine a certain
quantity will remain the same despite adjustment of
the container shape or apparent size
Concrete Operational Stage (ages 7-11)
A major turning point in child's cognitive development (the beginning
of logical or operational thought)
Asking questions as what do you think? and did I get the problem
right?
The children undergo a transition where the child learns rules such as
conservation
Exhibit multiple classification and demonstrate deductive reasoning.
example of deductive reasoning:-
Premise: All dogs have long ears.
Premise: Puddles is a dog.
Conclusion: Therefore, Puddles has long ears.
Formal Operational Stage (ages 11 to adolescene
and adulthood)
Children develop the ability to think about abstract concepts and
logically test hypotheses
For example : do mathematical calculations, think creatively, use
abstract reasoning and imagine outcome of particular actions.
(KBAT questions)
Ability to think about things which the child has not actually
experienced and to draw conclusions from its thinking
May exhibit some idealism about social, political, religious and
ethical issues.
secondary school students often argue that they should be
allowed to wear any attire they want to school.
Cognitive Milestones
Cognitive milestones represent important steps
forward in a child's development
Elementary - aged children learns in sequential
manner, meaning they need to understand numbers
before they can perform mathematical equation
Behaviors that emerge over time, forming the building
blocks for growth and continued learning.
Each milestone that develops is dependent upon the
previous milestone they achieve
Ages (month)
Centered on exploring the basic senses and learning more about
the body and the environment
Birth to 3
For instance, response to the environment with facial expression.

Develop a stronger sense of perception


3 to 6 For instance, recognize familiar faces, response to the facial
expression
Mental processes of infant
6 to 9 For example, ultilize the relative size of an object to determine
how far the object is
Gain a greater mental understanding of the world around them
(in depth)
9 to 12
For example, looking pictures books, imitate gestures and some
basic actions, play with lego
Ages (years)
1-2 Spend a tremendous amount of time observing the actions of adults.
Understand and response to words
Imitate the actions and languages of adults
Learn to exploration

2-3 Becoming increasingly independent, gaining experiences through own


exploration
Sort objects by category
Imitate more complex adults actions (playing house, pretending to do
laundry etc)
3-4 Begins to sort and categorize them into different categories (schemas). More
active in learning process.
Curiosity increases
Longer attention span around 5-15 mins

4-5 Basic activities for school prepareness


Count to 5
Tell where they live
Draw pictures that they often name and describe
Education Implications
Because Piaget's theory is based upon biological
maturation and stages the notion of 'readiness' is
important. Readiness concerns when certain
information or concepts should be taught.
According to Piaget's theory, children should not be
taught certain concepts until they have reached the
appropriate stage of cognitive development
Assimilation and accommodation require active
learner but not passive because problem-solving
skills cannot be taught, but they must discovered.
Student-centered classroom is suggested. Teachers'
role is to facilitate learning rather than direct teaching
or tuition.
Focus on the process of learning more than the end
product
Using collaborative (more groups work)
Evaluate the level of child's development so suitable
tasks can be set