I. JEAN PIAGET: JUST WHO IS HE? 1.1.Piaget considered the concrete stage a
A. Short description or information about Jean Piaget major turning point in the child's
1. Jean Piaget was a Swiss clinical psychologist cognitive development, because it marks
known for his pioneering work in child the beginning of logical or operational
development. Piaget's theory of cognitive thought.
development and epistemological view are
together called "genetic epistemology" 1.2.This means the child can work things out
internally in their head (rather than
B. Introducing him by telling why and how he physically try things out in the real
discovered his theory world).
1. Piaget (1936) was the first psychologist to
make a systematic study of cognitive 1.3.Children can conserve number (age 6),
development. His contributions include a mass (age 7), and weight (age 9).
theory of child cognitive development, Conservation is the understanding that
detailed observational studies of cognition in something stays the same in quantity even
children, and a series of simple but ingenious though its appearance changes
tests to reveal different cognitive abilities.
and over)
A. Short description or information about his theory
1. According to psychologist Jean Piaget, 1.1. The formal operational stage begins at
children progress through a series of four approximately age eleven and lasts into
critical stages of cognitive development. Each adulthood. During this time, people
stage is marked by shifts in how develop the ability to think about
kids understand the world. Piaget believed abstract concepts, and logically test
that children are like "little scientists" and that hypotheses.
they actively try to explore and make sense of
the world around them. IV. FIRST STAGE: SENSORIMOTOR
2. Through his observations of his children,
Piaget developed a stage theory of intellectual
development that included four distinct stages:
This is the earliest in Piaget's theory of
cognitive development. He described this period as a time of
III. STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT tremendous growth and change.
A. SENSORIMOTO STAGE (Birth – 2 years)
1. Definition: During this initial phase of development,
1.1. The main achievement during this stage children experience the world and gain knowledge through their
is object permanence - knowing that an senses and motor movements. As children interact with their
object still exists, even if it is hidden. environments, they go through an astonishing amount of
cognitive growth in a relatively short period of time.
1.2. It requires the ability to form a mental
representation (i.e. a schema) of the The first stage of Piaget's theory lasts from
object. birth to approximately age two and is centered on the infant
trying to make sense of the world.
1. Definition:
1.1. During this stage, young children are able During the sensorimotor stage, an infant's
to think about things symbolically. This is knowledge of the world is limited to his or her sensory
the ability to make one thing - a word or perceptions and motor activities. Behaviors are limited to simple
an object - stand for something other than motor responses caused by sensory stimuli.
Children utilize skills and abilities they were
1.2. Thinking is still egocentric, and the infant born with (such as looking, sucking, grasping, and listening) to
has difficulty taking the viewpoint of learn more about the environment.


Reflexes (0-1 month): The preoperational stage occurs roughly between the ages two and seven. These a broom is a horse. Conservation may try out different sounds or actions as a way of getting attention from a caregiver. a child is able new schemas. the child becomes more focused on the world and begins to intentionally repeat an action in order Piaget used a number of creative and clever techniques to trigger a response in the environment. and are unable to take the point of view looking. SECOND STAGE: PREOPERATIONAL person or object has actually vanished and will act shocked or startled when the object reappears. Children begin exploring the environment around them and will often imitate the observed Next. the preoperational stage. Language development is one of the hallmarks of this period. For example. they cannot be seen or heard. as having specific qualities. which he termed egocentrism. a child may suck his or her thumb to use an object to represent something else. The understanding of objects also begins what someone else would have observed when looking at the during this time and children begin to recognize certain objects mountain from a different viewpoint. developing object 6. Children begin a period of trial-and-error experimentation during the fifth substage. Early Representational Thought (18-24 months): permanence is one of the most important accomplishments at the sensorimotor stage of development. A. Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18 months): Piaget. the child starts to show clearly intentional actions. Older infants who The preoperational stage is the second stage in understand object permanence will realize that the person or Piaget's theory of cognitive development. children experience this difficulty because they are unable to take on another person's perspective. 2. cannot mentally environment purely through inborn reflexes such as sucking and manipulate information. Often referred to as the "Three 4. such as pretending by accident and then later intentionally repeat the action. children almost always choose the scene showing their own view of the mountain scene. A very young infant will believe that the other V. around age two as children start to talks and last until approximately age seven. 3. For example. to study the mental abilities of children. as evidenced by the This substage involves coordinating sensation and increase in playing and pretending. However. and many other characters. children begin to move towards understanding the world through mental operations rather than purely through Imagine a game of peek-a-boo. children also become increasingly adept at using symbols. Role playing also becomes important during actions are repeated because the infant finds them pleasurable. a child might realize that a rattle will make a sound when shaken. According to Piaget. For example. Invariably. a child C. children begin to C. Piaget noted that they do not yet understand concrete logic. of other people. During this stage. The child may also combine schemas in Most children are able to do this with little difficulty." children are asked to choose a picture that showed the scene they had observed. SUBSTAGES OF THE SENSORIMOTOR STAGE engage in symbolic play and learn to manipulate symbols. the child understands the do not yet understand concrete logic. "doctor". children are asked to select a picture showing behavior of others. Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months): B. a child will purposefully pick up a toy in One of the famous techniques to order to put it in his or her mouth. Primary Circular Reactions (1-4 months): During the preoperational stage. Coordination of Reactions (8-12 months): Mountain Task. This stage begins object continues to exist even when unseen. The sensorimotor stage can be divided into six separate sub-stages that are characterized by the development of a new skill. Characteristics of the Preoperational Stage 1. Egocentrism During this substage. "daddy". . demonstrate egocentrism involved using a three-dimensional display of a mountain scene. Object permanence is a Children begin to develop symbols to represent events child's understanding that objects continue to exist even though or objects in the world in the final sensorimotor substage. Children often play the roles of "mommy". During this substage. for example. For example. During this time. Piaget noted that children in this stage During this substage. actions. order to achieve a desired effect. According to 5. For example.

The formal operational stage is the fourth and final A. inductive logic would be noticing that every time you are  During this time. suggesting that children become less egocentric at an earlier age than Piaget believed. While kids at this age become more logical about concrete and specific things. An example of adulthood. Logic A. You might then reason from that experience that you are demonstrating a child's understanding of conservation. a concept known as conservation. a child might learn that A=B. Despite seeing that the liquid amounts were equal. a runny nose. Other Key Characteristics However. and C. such as a tall and thin cup or using deductive logic. task was simply because they did not understand it. In one allergic to cats. a child might be able to recognize that his yet do. While children in the preceding VI. but might still struggle to understand that A=C. Another well-known experiment involves throat. Characteristics of the Formal Operational Stage Piaget determined that children in the concrete operational stage were fairly good at the use of inductive logic  The formal operational stage begins at (inductive reasoning). For example. During this time. kids in the concrete stage are able to think about things the way that others see them. An example of this is being able to reverse the order of relationships between mental categories. . The emerging abstract thought and hypothetical reasoning mark this phase of The concrete operational stage begins around age seven development. Piaget conducted a number of similar experiments on the conservation of number. understanding that when something changes in shape or argued that the reason that children failed at the three mountains appearance it is still the same. much of Piaget's focus at this stage of development focused on what children could not For example. Reversibility quantity. and theoretical concepts and use logic to come up with creative solutions to problems. LAST STAGE: FORMAL OPERATIONAL abstract ideas. the most liquid. The concepts of egocentrism and conservation are both or her dog is a Labrador. The concrete operational stage is also marked by egocentrism disappearance. equal amounts of liquid are poured into two identical containers. for example. Hughes demonstrated into smaller pieces it is still the same amount at when the candy that children as young as age four were able to understand was whole. not everyone agrees with Piaget's assessment Another key development at this stage is the of children's abilities. The liquid in one container is then On the other hand. Piaget's Thoughts on the Preoperational Stage be reversed. but more sophisticated and advanced. or awareness that actions can D. volume. and a swollen think about abstract concepts. and B=C. children in the concrete theory of cognitive development. One of the most important developments in this stage is an understanding of reversibility. for example. In an Kids at this stage understand that if you break a candy bar up experiment that involved utilizing dolls. you have itchy eyes. As you might have noticed. children almost always choose the cup that appears fuller. At this point in development. situations from multiple points of view. mass. thinking becomes much Children begin thinking logically about concrete events. Characteristics of the Concrete Operational Stage stage of Piaget's theory of cognitive development. children at this age have difficulty poured into a different shaped cup. people develop the ability to around a cat. THIRD STAGE: CONCRETE stage of development (the preoperational stage) struggle to take OPERATIONAL the perspective of others. weight. D. B. length. which involves using a general principle a short and wide cup. that a Labrador is a dog. Children are then asked which cup holds to determine the outcome of a specific event. they is an animal. In Piaget's The concrete operational stage is the third in Piaget's Three-Mountain Task. children gain a better understanding of mental operations. Kids can think about abstract have difficulty understanding abstract or hypothetical concepts. He found that few children showed any understanding of conservation prior to the age of five. and continues until approximately age eleven. This period spans the time of operational stage can describe how a mountain scene would middle childhood and is characterized by the development of look to an observer seated opposite them. Researcher Martin Hughes. logical thought. Inductive logic involves going from a approximately age twelve and lasts into specific experience to a general principle. conservation experiment. lack the understanding that things look different to other people and that objects can change in appearance while still maintaining the same properties. they still struggle with VII. and that a dog centered on abilities that children have not yet developed.

the kids considered location as well as weight but had to arrive at the correct answer using trial-and. children begin to consider possible outcomes and consequences . At this point. deductive of actions. Logic Piaget believed that deductive reasoning became necessary during the formal operational stage. or the ability to think about their thoughts as well as the ideas of In another experiment on formal operational thought. An eye in the middle of one's hand would by useful for looking around corners. Instead of relying solely on previous experiences. How Did Piaget Test Formal Operations? In earlier stages. Stage Younger children around the ages of 3 and 5 were Piaget believed that what he referred to as unable to complete the task because they did not understand the "hypothetico-deductive reasoning" was essential at this stage of concept of balance. the scale and then complete the task. Science and mathematics often require this type of thinking about hypothetical situations and concepts. however. the ability different ways: to systematically solve a problem in a logical and methodical way emerges. To balance organized approach to solving a problem. during this stage. An eye at the back of one's head could be helpful for seeing what is happening in the background. both important indicators of formal operational thought. were able to come up with a variety of creative ideas about where to place this hypothetical eye and various ways the eye could be used. D. others. Other Characteristics of the Formal Operational role. Seven-year-olds knew that they could adjust intellectual development. the scale. C. It wasn't until around age 13 that children could use logic are very particular in their thoughts. While kids in the previous stage (concrete operations) error. This type of thinking is important in long-term reasoning. Children at the formal operational stage of One task involved having children of different ages cognitive development are often able to plan quickly an balance a scale by hooking weights on the each end. the children needed to understand that both the heaviness of the weights and distancing from the center played a F. teens become capable of the scale by placing weights on each end. ponder "what-if" type situations and questions and can think about multiple solutions or possible outcomes. kids in the formal to form a hypothesis about where to place the weights to balance operational stage become increasingly abstract in their thinking. Problem-Solving B. the ability to think about abstract concepts emerges during the formal operational stage. Such creative ideas represent the use of abstract and hypothetical thinking. By age 10. Abstract Thought While children tend to think very concretely and specifically in earlier stages. but failed to thinking about abstract and hypothetical ideas. They also develop what is known as metacognition. and systematic planning also emerge planning. Deductive logic requires the ability to use a general principle to determine a particular outcome. Piaget asked children to imagine where they would want to place a third eye if they had one. During the formal operational stage. children used trial-and-error to solve Piaget tested formal operational thought in a few problems. Younger children said that they would put the imagined third eye in the middle of their forehead. E.  Skills such as logical thought. Older children. They often understand that where they put the weights was also important.

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