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Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory Wafa Nurdin

981 words - 4 pages

Do children perceive, think, and understand the world the way adults do? Jean Piaget asked himself the same question while working at Alfred Binet's laboratory. He noticed that children of the same age tended to give the same wrong answers suggesting that they shared a common way of thinking. He interviewed and observed numerous children over several years and concluded that the child's mind is not a miniature version of the adult's. Through his research, Piaget developed his cognitive development theory. He proposed that all human beings proceed through a series of orderly and predictable stages of cognitive development at about the same age. Moreover, a prior stage must be completed to progress to the next phase and that children proceed from concrete to more abstract thoughts as they grow older. They start from the sensorimotor stage from birth to age 2, then onward to the preoperational stage from 2-7, the concrete operational stage from 7-11, and finally the formal operational stage from adolescence and adulthood until death. This theory is the most accurate hypothesis in explaining how human beings develop into complete selves because it is what the western education system is based upon. Seeing that intellectuality is valued so much, this theory is used as a guide and a base in which children grow academically throughout life.The western world has thoroughly embraced Piaget's theory and hypothesis, so much so, that the whole educational system is based upon the stages he outlined for the mind capacity. Having one of the most practical theories, Piaget actually states the potential that a child should have at a certain age. As a child first enters the classroom, his/her senses are bombarded with the numerous stimuli that are around them. From then on, they are expected to grow and to comprehend the many ideas that Piaget states in his theory. At age 4, when they are first introduced to the concept of school, they are in the preoperational stage. During this stage, the child becomes better equipped mentally to use symbolic representation. A teacher would use role-play to convey the message that they want the child to understand. A child in this stage is expected to independently solve its own problems through increased cognitive ability. Thus, the child functions in a conceptual and representational mode. As the child moves on ward to the concrete operational stage, they are obviously entering the intermediate stage of academics. The principle of conservation is one of the most important concepts learnt in this stage, and as this occurs, children are expected to understand many thoughts that are more advanced. At school, mathematics that are more sophisticated and language are introduced. The child is expected to understand long division and multiplication, which is the building the bases of more abstract ideas. As the child grows, they enter the formal operational stage, and then they are entering middle...

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