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Cognitive And Moral Development Of Children

1501 words - 6 pages

Cognitive and moral developments are determined by a child’s experience and environment. As the child matures into adulthood they begin to view the world differently. The capacity to imagine what other people may be thinking and feeling is defined as perspective taking (Berk, 2007). This view aids in adolescents moral understanding and development. Identifying a child’s developmental stage assists in determining the proper support that is needed in order to provide a safe and nourishing environment. Seven year old Jaylen was interviewed to access and determine her cognitive and moral development well as her perspective taking stages.
Jean Piaget a Swiss cognitive theorist believed that children actively construct knowledge as they manipulate and explore the world (Berk, 2007). Piaget believed that children moved through stages during cognitive development, sensorimotor, preoperational, and concrete operational and formal operational. In Piaget’s sensorimotor stage (birth -2 years) a child brain is developing and they process information with their body. As they progress into the Preoperational stage (2-7years) a child language develops but they have yet to develop rational logic. In the concrete operational stage (7- 11 years) a child begins to understand perception and has logical reasoning and in Piaget’s formal operational stage a child demonstrated adult intelligence. During the interview with Jaylen she was given a series of activities to test her logic. She was asked question on volume, mass and numbers. She answered each question correct. This demonstrated that Jaylen reasoning was logical. She understood that although appearances change the content doesn’t. Jaylen was in Piaget's concrete operational stage of cognitive development. She was beginning to process and organized information rationally and logically. According to Piaget as Jaylen ages her cognitive thinking will increase and she will be able to better understand her external surroundings. As a child continues to develop they will learn from their external environment and support their cognitive development into adulthood.
As adolescents mature they begin to understand other people’s point of view according to Robert Selman this is called perspective taking (Berk, 2007). Robert Selman developed five stages of perspective taking. Throughout each stage as children begin to develop they are able to value others feelings and views. During Jaylen’s interview she was asked a series of questions that dealt with social dilemmas. She was asked how others would feel if they lost at a game or in a contest. Jaylen often times responded by trying to make the other person feel better by sacrificing her own enjoyment. According to Selman’s perspective taking stages, Jaylen is in the self reflective stage. This stage allows Jaylen to analyze the information and process the situation from other people’s viewpoints. These changes support self-concept and self-esteem, understanding...

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