- Slides: 23
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development In Children
Piaget’s Background • Born: August 9, 1896 • Died: Sept. 16, 1980 • Birth Place: – Neuchatel, Switzerland • Education: – Received Ph. D from University of Neuchatel • Married in 1923 to Valentine Chatenay and bore 3 children • (Piaget, 1952)
The Beginning • Piaget was interested in • Piaget’s theory is based on the study of knowledge in idea that the developing children. builds cognitive structures (schemes used to understand • He administered Binet’s and respond to physical IQ test in Paris and environment). observed that children’s answers were • He believed the child’s qualitatively different. cognitive structure increased with development (Brainerd, 1978).
Genetic Epistemology • Epistemology is the study of knowledge • Genetic is development • Definition of Genetic Epistemology – Study of developmental changes in the process of knowing and in the organization of knowledge. • Piaget wanted to know how children learned through their development in the study of knowledge. • He was considered a structuralist – Structuralism: the relationship between the parts and the whole (Brainerd, 1978; Piaget, 1952).
Methodology • Clinical – Interviews – Interaction with the child • Behavioral Observations – Watched kids in their natural environment. – Put down what represented his idea, he was biased (Brainerd, 1978).
Characteristics of Piaget’s Stages 1. Each stage is a structured whole and in a state of equilibrium Ø The stages are qualitative within the structures and quantitative between structures 2. Each stage derives from the previous stage and incorporate and transform to prepare for the next Ø No going back
Characteristics Continued 3. The stages follow an invariant sequence. Ø There is no skipping stages. 4. The stages are universal. Ø Culture does not impact the stages. Children everywhere go through the same stages no matter what their cultural background is.
Characteristics Continued 5. Each stage is a coming into being. Ø There is a gradual progression from stage to stage (Brainerd, 1978).
Stages of Development • Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages and the processes by which children progress through them. • The four stages are: 1. Sensorimotor Stage (birth to 24 months) 2. Preoperational Stage (2 -7 years old) 3. Concrete Operational Stage (7 -11 years old) 4. Formal Operational Stage (11 -15 years old) (Brainerd, 1978).
Sensorimotor Stage • In this period, intelligence is demonstrated through motor activity without the use of symbols. • Knowledge of the world is limited (but developing) because it is based on physical interactions and experiences. • Some symbolic abilities are developed at the end of this stage.
6 Stages of Sensorimotor Stage 1. Modification of reflexes (0 -1 months) 3. Secondary Circular Reaction (4 -8 months) Ø Strengthens and differentiates reflexes Ø Focus is on the outside world 4. Coordination of 2. Primary Circular Secondary Schema (8 Reaction (1 -4 months) 12 months) Ø Circular pattern of having a stimulus and responding Ø Focus is on own body Ø Goal oriented behavior Ø Apply ability to other things
6 Stages Continued 5. Tertiary Circular Reaction (12 -18 months) Ø Active potential Ø Explore object’s potential 6. Invention of New Means through Mental Combinations (18 -24 months) Ø Child moves from overt to covert thoughts Ø The child can use mental representation instead of physical objects (Piaget, 1952; Brainerd, 1978).
Preoperational Stage (2 -7 years old) • In this period, intelligence is demonstrated through the use of symbols. • Language use matures. • Memory and imagination are developed. • Thinking is done in a non-logically nonreversible manner • Ego centric thinking predominates
Pre-Operational Stage Continued • Semiotic Function – Language develops – Uses symbols to represent ideas – Verbal and written language develops • Egocentrism – It is all about them – They can not differentiate between themselves and the world • Rigidity of Thought – Centration: focus on one aspect of an object • Semi-logical Reasoning – They get the general idea • Limited social cognition
Preoperational Stage Continued • Morality of Constraint – No bending of the rules • Morality of Co. Operation – They bend the rules a little bit
Concrete Operational Stage (7 -11 years) • Operation: internalized action part of organized structure. • Mentally carried out actions • Intelligence is demonstrated through logical and systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects. • Egocentric thought diminishes. • Operational thinking develops.
Concrete Operational Stage Cont’d • Piaget’s Water Conservation Task • Consist of two beakers of different sizes, one with water • Demonstrates the following: – Reversibility-pour water in beaker of different size and realize that it is still the same amount. – Compensation- even though one beaker is taller than the other, water is higher because the glass is thinner – Addition and subtraction – Starts out with liquid, then mass, then space
Formal Operational Stage (11 -15 years old) • Intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts. • There could be a return to egocentric thought early in the period. • Many people do not think formally during adulthood. • Many people do not make it to this stage.
Formal Operations Continued • Children formulate hypothesis by taking concrete operations and generate hypothesis about logical relations • Pendulum Swing – The process is more important than the solution (Piaget, 1952; Brainerd, 1978).
Cognitive Equilibrium • Balance between organization and adaptation – Always organized can lead to little or no growth – Always adapting can lead to little or no knowledge (Piaget, 1952; Brainerd, 1978).
Cognitive Adaptation • Allows the child to erect more and more cognitive structures through either – Assimilation: fit reality into current cognitive organization – Accommodation: adjust cognitive organization to fit reality (Piaget, 1952; Brainerd, 1978).
How Piaget’s Theory Impacts Learning • Curriculum: Educators must plan a developmentally appropriate curriculum that enhances their student’s logical and conceptual growth. • Instruction: Teachers must emphasize the critical role that experiences, or interactions with the surrounding environment play in student learning (Bybee & Sund, 1982).
References • Brainerd, C. (1978). Piaget’s theory of intelligence. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall. • Bybee, R. & Sund, R. (1982). Piaget for educators (2 nd Ed. ). Columbus, OH: Charles Merrill. • Piaget, J. (1952). Autobiography. In E. Boring (ed) history of psychology in autobiography (4). Worcester, MA: Clark University Press.