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Piaget And His Cognitive Developmental Theory

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Piaget And His Cognitive Developmental Theory Disucss about the Piaget and his cognitive developmental theory.   Answer: Piaget And His Cognitive Developmental Theory Jean Piaget was born on August 9, 1896, Neuchatel, Switzerland. He was a Swiss psychologist who was the first person to make a systematic study about the acquisition of understanding in the children. He had been one of the major figures in the 20th century in the field of development biology. Theory Of How Children Think And Learn Piaget proposed the theory of cognitive development having studied about how human beings interact with the world. His theory traces the child development through various stages till a child becomes an adult. Based on the research Piaget has conferred that every human beings have tendency towards organization and adaptation (Galotti, 2015). Organization can be referred to as “combining, rearranging of behaviors and thoughts in to a system that is coherent. Piaget had witnessed a child constantly creating and recreating his own model of reality, achieving the mental growth by the integration of the simpler contexts in to higher levels of concepts at each of the stages (Galotti, 2015).. While discussing about the developmental concepts, Piaget developed the concept of schema, which is actually a sensory motor map helping the learner to construct their knowledge (Mooney, 2013). Gradually a child learns to develop the ability to represent the outer world in the internal images and thoughts. The schema of a child is normally constructed by the process of assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation can be defined as a way of bringing new objects or information in to a scheme that already exists (Mooney, 2013). Some misunderstandings are common when it is tried to force new objects in an ill fitting schemes, hence in order to resolve this conflict, a child has to adjust the understanding by adding new information. These adjustments are the examples of accommodation, that is the process of modifying the old skills, or by creating the new ones for fitting better with the assimilate information (Mooney, 2013). According to Piaget, children try to understand new experience by assimilating in to the scheme or the cognitive structures that already existed. If the assimilation does not work perfectly, there becomes an imbalance of the old and the new experiences. This state of imbalance Piaget described as cognitive disequilibrium (Mooney, 2013). Equilibration is therefore termed as dynamic process of moving between the states of cognitive disequilibrium, as one dissimilates new and the old schemes.  Piaget regarded accommodation as the engine driving the development of the learner. In the equilibrium process the accommodation and the assimilation interacts with each other continuously and it is the accommodation that opens up the possibilities of assimilation and vice versa and eventually in to an expanding cycle (Mischel, 2013). Achievements Piaget is considered to be a distinguished and a well known theorist in the field of child development due to the fact, that the cognitive developmental theory has helped the teachers to see the importance of children to experience things that we want them to learn by providing them with real world experiences. Again it is largely due to Piaget, that the uninterrupted playing sessions in the early child hood classrooms are being encouraged. Image Of A Child In Piaget’s Perception According to Piaget, children are able to construct their own knowledge in response to their experiences. Children learn several things on their own, without the assistance of the adults and children are likely to become intrinsically motivated to learn and do not need rewards from the adults for motivating the learning.   Preoperational Stages Of Development (Children Aged 2-5 Years) According to Piaget, the development of a child takes place through four stages and necessarily do not takes place in the same order for each and every child. During each of the phases of development there are unique stages of analysis, internal organization and the understanding of the environmental information. Piaget has shown that the understanding of the child is entirely based on the stage where the child has reached (Berk, 2017). The preoperative stage is the second of the four stages of cognitive development. By observing the sequence of the play Piaget was successful in demonstrating the new type of psychological functioning occurring at this stage. At this stage the child is able to reason and provide concrete and logical thoughts. At this stage the child cannot conceptualize abstractly and requires concrete physical situations. The child learns to represent objects with the help of words, images and drawings (Davidson Films,1989). At this stage the language, thinking, problem solving capability of the child develops faster than any stages. The preoperational stage can be featured by animism, transductive reasoning, and lack of decentering, ego-centrism, lack of classification and fast acquisition of the language. The child is able to form stable concepts and mental reasoning and magical beliefs. However the child still cannot perform some operations physically than mentally. There are two sub stages of the pre-operative stages- The symbolic function substage, which occurs between the years 2-4. In this stage the child is able to formulate the designs of the objects that might not be present in the reality (Rathus & Rinaldi, 2015). Some of the other examples of the mental abilities are the language and imaginative play. Although there can be an advancement of the process, but there are some limitations like animism and egocentrism (Mischel, 2013). Egocentrism mainly occurs when a child is not able to differentiate between his/her own viewpoint and the perspective of the other person. Children tend to have their own view of anything that they see, rather than the actual view shown to the others. One example is an experiment performed by Piaget and Barbel inhelder. In the experiment, three images of mountains are shown to a child and was asked, what a travelling doll would see at various angles and the child picks up his / her own view in comparison to the doll that was placed at different angles (Rathus & Rinaldi, 2015).   Another feature that is observed at this stage is animism. Animism can be referred to as the beliefs that inanimate objects have life like qualities. One example is children talking to a doll assuming it to be his / her real friend. The Intuitive thought sub stage occurs between the age 4-7, when children becomes curious and tends to ask several questions, thus beginning to use primitive reasoning capability. There is an emergence in the interest of reasoning. Centration can be defined as the tendency to focus only on one aspect of a situation at a time (Rathus & Rinaldi, 2015). If a child can focus one more than one aspect at the same time, then he /she has got the ability to decentralize. Centration can be noticed in conservation, the awareness that altering the appearance of a substance does not necessarily alters its basic properties (Rathus & Rinaldi, 2015). For example, in one of the famous task of Piaget, a child is represented with two identical beakers having the same quantity of liquid. The child usually notes that both the beakers have the same quantity of the liquid. When liquid from one of the beaker is poured in to a thinner and a taller container, children younger than 7-8 years says that the two beakers says that the two beakers now contain different amounts of liquid. Hence, the child mainly focuses on the height and the width of the containers in comparison to the general concepts (Berk, 2017). Piaget believed that if a child failed the conservation of the liquid task, then he/she is in the preoperational stage   References Berk, L. (2017). Development through the lifespan. Pearson Education India. Davidson Films (1989).Piaget’s development theory: An introduction ( video). New York, NY: Infobase  Galotti, K. M. (2015). Cognitive development: Infancy through adolescence. Sage Publications. Mischel, T. (Ed.). (2013). Cognitive development and epistemology. Academic Press. Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press. Rathus, S.A. & Rinaldi, C.M. (2015).  Voyages in Development. Toronto, ON:  Nelson Education

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