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ITJ Campus Guadalajara Science Fair 2014

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mxico

Ages and stages

Carolina Gonzlez,
Marina Vlez
Giovanna Schiavone
rea: Media Superior
Categora: Social Science

Guadalajara, Jalisco, March 9 2014

Ages and stages

Carolina Gonzales, Marina Velez and Giovanna Schiavone
Based in knowledge theories, the project is an extensive research of five influential men: Jean Piaget, Lev
Vygotsky, Carl Rogers, David Ausubel and Joseph Novak. From stages to social interaction, concept maps or
explanations all have made impact in psychology and education. Jean Piaget said The principle goal of
education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply
repeating what other generations have done. (Jean Piaget, Brainyquote).
However, the experiment is just two of them: Piaget and Vygotsky; using clay and water, children of different
ages identify which has more. The goal is to prove how age deprives you from learning and relate them. Stages
to social interaction, how one leads to another.

1. Introduction
Learning theories have existed for a long time, all of them suggest different ideas of a childs
development in its early years. They explain how information is used and processed while
learning. Understanding either emotionally, socially, or from past experiences it plays a big
part in education. When studying psychology it can be divided in different areas: behaviorists,
humanists, educators, etc. All focus in different aspects of the human development and the
brains process. Some psychologist, such as Jean Piaget, said that learning is divided in
stages. These stages are separated by ages(depending the maturation the kid has, is the
way he receives the information and understands it). In this project the goal is to make a test
for a certain age stage based on two different theories and apply it to 3 different groups: one
group below, one above and one with kids the age the test was made for to see how relatable
they can be.
2. Objective
To combine two knowledge theories and create a test using clay and water to compare them
and know which one is more accurate.
2.1. Essential question
Is age influential in the learning process?
2.2. Hypothesis

Out of the five theories of knowledge the team thinks the most accurate is Piagets. When
doing the quizzes the expectations will be based in the childs age as explained in his theory.
2.3. Specific objectives
To prove Piagets theory and create a guide that will help people understand the methods of
all the psychologists used in this project.
3. Background Research
Jean Piaget was a French psychologist that believed children will be the ones that are
going to save our society from a collapse. With his theory, he suggested that the learning
development functions by stages and that all children have different capacity to learn,
depending on their age. He studied childs reasoning and observed them, either how they
talked or interacted his idea was to know if children acted different around adults . Piaget said
that there are 6 stages, starting with birth: Simple reflexes, First habits and primary circular
reactions, Secondary circular reactions, Coordination of secondary circular reactions, Tertiary
circular reactions, and Internalization of schemata. When a child turns two there are three
more stages: Preoperational stage, Concrete operational stage, and the Formal operational
stage, which goes on until the child turns sixteen. From adolescence onwards theres another
stage in which reasoning is now more developed. Jean thought you learned independently,
first you experience problems by yourself and then your perspective about things changed,
but always by yourself.
Carl Rogers was born in 1902 and died in 1987. He developed a theory of human
learning capacity through ages and stages. He was a humanistic psychologist and
distinguished two different types of learning: cognitive (meaningless) and experient
(significant). The former corresponds to academic knowledge like learning vocabulary or
multiplication tables and the latter refers to applied knowledge like learning about engines in
order to repair a car or more complicated things. The key to the distinction is that experiential
learning addresses the needs and wants of the learner. Rogers lists these qualities of
experiential learning: personal involvement, self-initiated, evaluated by learner, and pervasive
effects on learner.
Lev Vygotsky was a soviet psychologist born in 1896 and died in 1934 . He made a
theory based in cognitive development, he said that social interaction plays a big role in the
process of making meaning. Learning is necessary and universal aspect of the process of

developing culturally organized, specifically human psychological function. (Lev. Vygotsky,

p.90) His theories are incomplete and some of them are still being translated. Individual
development cant be understood without a reference of the social and cultural place they are
involved in. He thought that culture affects the development and he said that other theories
that talk about stages arent as important as social factors for the development and he used
different emphasis on the role of language. He thought that to learn you needed someone
else, supporting the idea of interaction.
David Ausubel was an American psychologist who based his opinions on Jean Piaget
theories. He was completely opposed to the rote memorization way and agreed to the
meaningful learning form, thats the most important factor in a child learning development,
what the kid already knows. His method was basically to organize the information, to do that,
he divided the graphic organizers in two: the comparative organizers (which are used mainly
as remainder, information the kid hasnt realized that is useful) and the expository organizers
(used to contain information the kid will understand later on).
Joseph Novak is an American educator, mostly known for his concept mapping. Novak
focused his theories on David Assubel, he deeply believe that the principal factor of how
someone learns depends on what that person has already learned.
4. Procedure
Have two balls made of clay of the same size. With a ball on each hand ask the kid which one
has more clay. Grab the ball that the kid didnt choose and change the physical form of it in
front of the child and ask the same question again. In two exact test tubes add the same
quantity of water. Ask the child which one has more. Pour the water of the test tube that the
child said that has less into a smaller test tube in front of him and ask the same question
4.1 Description of Model/Experiment
The experiment will be based in the research of knowledge theories and after having a full
comprehension of this thesis make a test to students with different age ranges. The test is
based in proving Piagets thoughts on learning process. Using clay and water children of
different ages will be asked which has the most, both will have the same amount but
according to the theory kids in the early stages dont have the capability yet of
understanding things such as mass and volume. After comparing its theory with Piagets
we will make a small booklet to explain each theory but in a striking manner for people to

learn about them without the necessity of a big research.

4.2 List of Materials

Red Clay

Grey Clay


Two equal glasses

One thin tall glass


Colors and Markers

Papers and spiral


4.3 Detailed Description

After a long research of several influential psychologists theories elaborate two quizzes: the
first using clay and the second using water. The clay quiz is making two small equal pieces of
clay using different colors, and ask kids of different ages which one has more, depending on
the age the answer will be different. At certain ages they still dont have the ability to deduce
mass, volume or height. Then, rub one of the balls until its a thin line and ask again which
one is bigger and the answer will be depending on their capability.
The second test is putting the same amount of water in two equal glasses and ask which one
has more, then using a thinner glass pour one of the glasses water into it and ask again. This
is Piagets theory, kids knowledge depends on the stage they are in, which can later be
compared to Vygotskys since he believed that social environment is what matters the most.
Then, make a small booklet with information of each thesis, easy to understand and
distinguish from each other. The booklet reduced in information and attractive for people to
learn about them.
4.3.1. Take two balls of clay with the same quantity.

4.3.2. Have both of the balls in front of the kid.

4.3.3. Make the child choose which one has more.
4.3.4. Take the ball that wasnt chosen and change the physical form of it.
4.3.5. Ask again which one has more.
4.3.6. Write results.
4.3.7. Take two glasses with the same amount of water
4.3.8. Ask which one has more
4.3.9. In front of the kid pour the water of the glass not chosen into a thinner one

Ask again which one has more


Write results




(Concrete grafica explicacion) children at this age are very stubborn. The cognitive conflict in
this stage is the inability children have to identify the continuity of mass and volume
regardless of its form.
(Formal grafica) this is the stage in which usually teens reach the ability to manage concrete
and abstract ideas, apply this notions to solve complex problems and anticipate a variety of
outcomes in diverse situations. A person in this stage is able to apply the principle


reversibility which allows them to have different phases or aspects of the same problem
present in their mind at all times.
(Preoperational grafica) The cognitive conflict in this stage is that the ability to understand
certain concepts prevents from identifying the change of mass and volume.What underlies
this stage of development is that the children begin to find simple logic and apply it to
situations in life, theyre able to predict the outcome of simple events .

Interpretation of results

Two experiments were made. One of them using two equal pieces of clay and the other one
using two equal glasses of water. In both, children of different ages said which one they
thought had more and depending on the stage they belong to the answer was different.
Sensorimotor Stage (birth- 2 years)- censoring experiences and manipulating objects. We
didnt test with anyone this age.
Preoperational Stage (2 years- 7 years)- kids learn through pretend playing but struggle with
logic and other peoples point of view. 3/ 10 were right. Some children knew both were the
same and others did think there was one with more clay/water because of its size.
Concrete Operational Stage (7 years- 11 years)- think with more logic but rigidly, they have
struggles with abstract and hypothetical concepts. 5/10 were right. The same mistakes as the
younger kids were seen, but this time the amount of right answers had increased from the
past stage.
Formal Operational Stage (adolescence- adulthood)- increase of logic, deducing and
understanding abstract ideas. 8/10 were right. Since the mind is now more developed and
common sense comes naturally at this age, there wasnt people with difficulties when doing

the quiz.



The hypothesis was wrong,

the initial thought

was that Piaget has the most


out of the five chosen and by


books, one of them especially


theories in schools to learn,

the team found

out that calculating by ages is

not as effective

as interacting while teaching.




thinks, age does depend. Nowadays it's believed

Vygotskys theory is the most effective the team
supports the idea; its not only teaching depending on
what is expected to know but understanding. Through
others we become ourselves.

(Lev S. Vygotsky).

Visually children saw the clay and water and answered

depending on their capability. Considering Piagets
stages belief and Vygotsky social environments ideas
you interact in, when the shape changed, kids deduced
something different from what they were visualizing, this is what Lev. explained, mental
functions develop through interactions and cultural knowledge.
7. Future Lines of Research
Investigate more theories and use the similar ones to relate them all as we did in this project,

but using more people. Even though theories deny to each other they all have something in
common that can be linked when doing the quizzes.
8. Acknowledgements
9. References


(2007). Carl




at: [Last Accessed 16/01/2014].


(2013). A








at: [Last Accessed 16/01/2014].







at: [Last Accessed 07/03/14].












Kendra Cherry (2011). Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last Accessed 07/03/14].
SWM (2009). Carl Rogers Theory: 19 Propositions. [ONLINE] Available at: [Last
Accessed 08/03/14]
Saul McLeod (2009). Jean Piaget. [ONLINE]Available at: [Last Accessed at 08/03/14]