Cognitive development part I

Over the next week or so, we are going to look at the way children process information.  Recently I’ve been wondering if our lower than other industrial country math scores have some relationship to our expectation that children preform skills that are not in their developmental abilities.  So, for my own good, I’m reviewing the Stages of Cognitive Development first developed by Piaget.  As I think through this more fully, we’ll look at the stages as it relates to casa, elementary, and erd kinder expectations.

Sensorimotor stage (Infancy).

The child demonstrates her intelligence through motor activity without the use of symbols. Because physical interactions and experiences are needed, knowledge of the world is limited.  The more mobile the child becomes the more the child begins to develop new intellectual abilities.  Some language abilities develop at the end of this stage.

Pre-operational stage (Toddler and Early Childhood). 

Language use matures so intelligence can now be demonstrated through the use of symbols.  Memory and imagination are developing.  Thinking is nonlogical and is non-reversible.  The child is the center of the universe.

Concrete operational stage (Elementary and early adolescence). 

Logical and systematic manipulation of symbols that can relate to concrete objects allows for further intelligence maturity.  Operational thinking develops so the child can think backwards through an event or process.  The child is able to set aside their desires for the good of the group – less egocentric.

 Formal operational stage (Adolescence and adulthood). 

The ability to relate symbols to abstract concepts is demonstrated.  The child can hypothesis abstract thoughts. The child returns to egocentric thoughts.


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