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Cognitive Development Of Children Essay

1101 words - 4 pages

Cognitive Development of Children

Cognitive development is very crucial in the development of a child. A friend of mine, Julie just recently had a perfect baby boy. Since Julie found out she was pregnant she has been reading book after book, each book that she has read talks about cognitive development, but never really explains what cognitive development is or how to improve ones development. Julie has asked me to help her to understand what she can do to give Hunter the best optimal cognitive development though out his life. I'm going to start by telling Julie exactly what cognitive development is, the four stages of cognitive development and what kinds of activities to do together as he gets older. I believe that this will help Hunter develop into a very smart child he most likely will be ahead of his classmate's in school and will excel through out his life.
Cognitive development is the growth in children's ways of thinking about and interacting with their environment. Young children initially learn about the world through active, physical exploration and then gradually develop the ability to think symbolically and logically about their experiences. Children are curious explorers, and their cognitive development involves learning new concepts and testing a variety of ideas.
A biologist, known as Piaget was interested in how an organism adapted to their environment, especially behavior adaptation to the environment. Piaget hypothesized that infants are born with schemes operating at birth that he called "reflexes." However, in human beings an infant uses these reflexes to adapt to the environment, these reflexes are quickly replaced with constructed schemes. Piaget described two processes used by the individual in its attempt to adapt: assimilation and accommodation. Both of these processes are used though out life as the person increasingly adapts to the environment in a more complex manner. Assimilation is the process of using the environment so that it can be placed in cognitive structures. Accommodation is the process of changing cognitive structures in order to accept something from the environment. Both processes are used simultaneously and alternately throughout life. In his work Piaget identified the child's four stages of mental growth. In the sensorimotor stage, occurring from birth to age 2, the child is concerned with gaining motor control and learning about physical objects. In the preoperational stage, from ages 2 to 7, the child is preoccupied with verbal skills. At this point the child can name objects and reason intuitively. In the concrete operational stage, from ages 7 to 12, the child begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships. Finally, in the formal operational stage, ages 12 to 15, the child begins to reason logically and systematically. All of these four stages are very important to the developmental growth of a child.
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