Describe Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development. Based on this understanding
describe how you would tailor a coaching session to suit the needs of a child who is 6 years
“The influence of Piaget’s ideas in developmental psychology has been enormous. He changed how people viewed the child’s world and their methods of studying children. He was an inspiration to many who came after and took up his ideas. Piaget's ideas have generated a huge amount of research which has increased our understanding of cognitive development.” (McLeod 2009). Piaget purposed that we move through stages of cognitive development. He noticed that children showed different characteristics throughout their childhood development. The four stages of development are The Sensorimotor stage, The Preoperational Stage, The Concrete operational stage and The Formal operational stage.
The Sensorimotor stage – this stage occurs when the child is born till when he/she is two years old.
Piaget described this stage to be where the infant is making sense of the world and during this stage the infant's knowledge is limited. This is where the main senses come into play, such as touch, taste, smell etc. At this stage sport to an infant is a sensory experience, with the use of a ball for example for exploration. Object permanence was highlighted by Piaget as one of the most important accomplishments of the sensorimotor stage. Object permanence is an infant's understanding that objects exists even if the object can not be heard or seen. For example with the game Hide and Seek, a younger infant will simply believe that the person hiding has completely vanished and will be shocked once that person is visible again whereas an older infant who understands object permanence will know that the person is still there even though he/she is unseen.
The Preoperational stage - A child goes through this stage approximately between the ages of two to six. The child begins to use symbols which can represent objects, for example pointing at the television might mean that the child wants to watch the television. The child's vocabulary also strengthens as well as basic skills such as jumping, running and general co-ordination. Role playing also becomes a hallmark of this stage with children often acting out roles of “mummy”, “daddy”, “doctor” and several other characters. Piaget also identifies Egocenterisim at this stage, this is where a child still cannot manipulate information mentally and the child is unable to take the point of view of other people. Piaget used the “Three Mountain Task” to demonstrate egocenterisim with children at this stage. The children were asked to choose a picture of the scene they observed, this was not a problem for the majority of the children but when asked to select a picture of what someone else would have observed when looking at the mountain from a different viewpoint inevitably the children almost always chose the scene showing their own view of the...