A.S.Arul Lawrence Principal, St.Joseph College of Education, Kadamboduvalvu, Nanguneri-627108 COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT
PIAGET’S THEORY Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence Principal, St.Joseph College of Education, Kadamboduvalvu, Nanguneri-627108 email@example.com Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 2
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was one of the 20th century’s most influential researchers in the area of developmental psychology.
He originally trained in the areas of biology and philosophy and considered himself a “genetic epistemologist.” (genetic= development, epistemology = study of knowledge)
Piaget wanted to know how children learned through their development in the study of knowledge.
He administered Binet’s IQ test in Paris and observed that children’s answers were qualitatively different.
Piaget’s theory is based on the idea that the developing child builds cognitive structures (schemes used to understand and respond to physical environment).
He believed the child’s cognitive structure increased with development.
Piaget’s theories of infant development were based on his observations of his own three children. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 3
Jean Piaget (1896-1980): H istory
Born: August 9, 1896 Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: Sept. 16, 1980 ( Age 84) Geneva, Switzerland.
Parents: Eldest son of Arthur Piaget and Rebecca Jackson.
Education: Received Ph.D., from University of Neuchatel in 1918.
Wife: Married to Valentine Chatenay in 1923
Children: 3 children namely Jacqueline, Lucienne and Laurent whose intellectual development from infancy to language was studied by Piaget. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 4
What is Cognition? o The term cognition is derived from the Latin word “cognoscere” which means “to know” or “to recognise” or “to conceptualise”. o It refers to the mental processes an organism learns, remembers, understands, perceives, solves problems and thinks about a body of information. o Experts argue that cognition progresses in stages with increasing levels of complexity and hence the phrase “cognitive development” which is the stages a child goes through conceptualising the world at different age levels. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 5
What is Cognitive Development? Cognitive Development describes how these mental processes develop from birth until adulthood. In other words, what kind of cognitive skills is a 4 year old child capable of compared to a 6 year old. The acquisition of the ability to think, reason, and problem solve. It is the process by which people's thinking changes across the life span. Piaget studied cognitive development by observing children in particular, to examine how their thought processes change with age. He pioneered a way of thinking about how children grow psychological y. It is the growing apprehension and adaptation to the physical and social environment. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 6
H o w C o gn itive D evelo p m en t O ccu rs? Cognitive Development is gradual ， orderly, changes by which mental process become more complex and sophisticated. The essential development of cognition is the establishment of new schemes. Assimilation and accommodation are both processing of the ways of cognitive development. The equilibration is the symbol of a new stage of the cognitive development. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 7
K ey C o n cep ts: 1.Schema : an internal representation of the world. A schema describes both the mental and physical actions involved in understanding and knowing. Schemas are mental or cognitive structures which enables a person to adapt and to organise the environment. Schemas are categories of knowledge that help us to interpret and understand the world. Piaget called the schema the basic building block of intel igent behavior – a way of organizing knowledge (includes both a category of knowledge and the process of obtaining that knowledge). Indeed, it is useful to think of schemas as “units” of knowledge, each relating to one aspect of the world, including objects, actions and abstract (i.e. theoretical) concepts. As experiences happen, this new information is used to modify, add to, or change previously existing schemas. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 8
For example, at birth the schema of a baby is reflexive in nature such as sucking and grasping. The sucking reflex is a schema and the infant will suck on whatever is put in its mouth such as a nipple or a finger. The infant is unable to differentiate because it has only a single sucking schema. Slowly, the infant learns to differentiate where milk-producing objects are accepted while non-milk objects are rejected. At this point, the infant has two sucking schemas, one for milk-producing objects and one for non-milk producing objects. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 9
2. Assimilation : is using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation. The process of taking in new information into our previously existing schema’s is known as assimilation. A child sees a Zebra for the first time and immediately calls it a Donkey. Thus, the child has assimilated into his schema that this animal is a Donkey. Why do you think this happened? The child seeing the object (Zebra), sifted through his collection of schemas, until he found one that seemed appropriate. To the child, the object (Zebra) has all the characteristics of a Donkey– it fits in his Donkey schema – so the child concludes that the object is a Donkey. The child has integrated the object (Zebra) into his Donkey schema. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 10
K ey C o n cep ts… 3. Accommodation : Another part of adaptation involves changing or altering our existing schemas in light of new information, a process known as accommodation. Accommodation involves altering existing schemas, or ideas, as a result of new information or new experiences. New schemas may also be developed during this process. The boy who had assimilated the Zebra as a Donkey will eventually accommodate more information and thus realize the different characteristics between a Zebra and a Donkey. The child will learn that the Donkey is not a Donkey but a Zebra, an accommodated ability. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 11
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4. Equilibration : Piaget believed that cognitive development did not progress at a steady rate, but rather in leaps and bounds. Equilibrium is occurs when a child's schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation. However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurs when new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas (assimilation). Equilibration is a balance between assimilation and accommodation. Disequilibrium is an imbalance between assimilation and accommodation As children progress through the stages of cognitive development, it is important to maintain a balance between applying previous knowledge (assimilation) and changing behavior to account for new knowledge (accommodation). Equilibration helps explain how children are able to move from one stage of thought into the next. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 13
Equilibratio n Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 14
5. Adaptation: Assimilation and accommodation are the two sides of adaptation, Piaget’s term for what most of us would cal learning through which awareness of the outside world is internalized. Although one may predominate at any one moment, they are two sides and inseparable and exist in a dialectical relationship. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 15
C o gn itive Stru ctu re Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 16
Stages: 1 .S e n so rim o to r S tage 2 .P re o p e ratio n al S tage 3 .C o n cre te O p e ratio n al S tage 4 .F o rm al O p e ratio n al S tage Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 17
1. The Sensorimotor Stage (birth to 2 yrs) (Infancy) The first stage of Piaget’s theory starts from birth to approximately age 2 and is centered on the infant trying to make sense of the world. During this stage, the child's knowledge is limited to sensory perceptions and simple motor activities. e.g. looking, sucking, grasping. Sub-stages of the Sensorimotor Stage: It can be divided into 6 separate sub-stages. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 18
1. Reflexes (0-1 month): In the first month of life, infants’ behaviors reflect innate reflexes—automatic responses to particular stimuli. The child understands the environment purely through inborn reflexes such as suckling, grasping, knee-jerking. These are the reactive functions that infants essentially exit the womb with. These behaviors are typically, quickly reinforced to provide food when hungry, grab things in the environment, and pull away from potentially threatening sensations. For instance, if you put a nipple or pacifier in or near a newborn’s mouth, she will automatically suck on it. If you put something against the palm of a newborn’s hand, his fingers will automatically close around it. Many of these inborn reflexes are designed to keep the infant alive. The infant soon begins to modify some reflexes to better accommodate to the environment—for instance, by learning to distinguish between a nipple and the surrounding areas of a breast or bottle. And other reflexes, such as the tendency to grab onto something placed in the hand, fade away over time. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 19
2. Primary Circular Reactions (1-4 months): It involves coordinating sensation and new schemas. In the first few months of life, infants’ behaviors are focused almost exclusively on their own bodies (in Piaget’s terminology, the behaviors are primary) and are repeated over and over again (i.e., they are circular). Infants also begin to refine their reflexes and combine them into more complex actions. For example: A child may such his or her thumb by accident and then later intentionally repeat the action. These actions are repeated because the infant finds them pleasurable. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 20
3. Secondary Circular Reactions (4-8 months): In this stage the child become more aware of and more responsive to the outside world (their behaviors become secondary), and they begin to notice that their behaviors can have interesting effects on the objects around them. The child becomes more focused on the world and begins to intentionally repeat an action in order to trigger a response in the environment. For example: A child will purposefully pick up a toy in order to put it in his or her mouth. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 21
4. Coordination of Reactions (8-12 months): The child starts to show clearly intentional actions. The child may also combine schemas in order to achieve a desired effect. After repeatedly observing that certain actions lead to certain consequences, infants gradually acquire knowledge of cause-effect relationships. For example: 1. A child might realize that a rattle will make a sound when shaken. 2. When an infant sees the twine of a pull-toy near her, rather than crawling over to the toy she might instead reach out and grab the twine and then purposely pull the twine in order to acquire the toy. Another acquisition at this sub-stage is object permanence, means knowing that an object still exists, even if it is hidden. According to Piaget, Object Permanence is a child's awareness or understanding that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be seen or heard. For example, when a caregiver hides an attractive toy beneath a pillow, the infant knows that the toy still exists, also knows where it exists, and will attempt to retrieve it. Before this stage, the child behaves as if the toy had simply disappeared. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 22
5. Tertiary Circular Reactions (12-18 months): Piaget believed this marks the developmental starting point for curiosity and interest in novelty. Beginning sometime around their first birthday, infants show increasing flexibility and creativity in their behaviors, and their experimentation with objects often leads to new outcomes (the term tertiary reflects this new versatility in previously acquired responses). For example: A child may try out different sounds or actions as a way of getting attention from a caregiver. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 23
6. Early Representational Thought (18-24 months): Piaget proposed that in the latter half of the second year, young children develop symbolic thought, the ability to represent and think about objects and events in terms of internal, mental entities, or symbols. They may “experiment” with objects in their minds, first predicting what will happen if they do something to an object, then transforming their plans into action. To some degree, mental prediction and planning replace overt trial-and-error as growing toddlers experiment and attempt to solve problems. The capacity for mental representation is seen in the emergence of deferred imitation, the ability to recall and copy another person’s behaviors and infants show some ability to imitate others’ actions. Their newly acquired ability to recall and imitate other people’s past actions enables them to engage in make-believe and pretend play—for instance, by “talking” on a toy telephone or “driving” with the toy steering wheel attached to their car seats. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 24
2. Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 yrs) (Toddler and Early Childhood) Pre-operational stage (two to seven years): This stage begins when the child starts to use symbols and language. This is a period of developing language and concepts. So, the child is capable of more complex mental representations (i.e. words and images). He is still unable to use ‘operations’, i.e. logical mental rules, such as the rules of arithmetic. It is divided into two sub-stages: 1. Preconceptual stage (2 to 4 years): Here, cognitive development becomes increasingly dominated by symbolic activity. The child can use symbols to stand for actions; a toy doll stands for a real baby or the child role-plays mummy or daddy. Language also develops during this stage. 2. Intuitive stage (5 to 7 years): This stage is characterized by the way in which children base their knowledge on what they feel or sense to be true, yet they cannot explain the underlying principles behind what they feel or sense. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 25
The following are the key features of this stage: 1. Egocentrism: The child’s thoughts and communications are typically egocentric (i.e. about themselves or his/her point of view) E.g.:” If I can’t see you, you can’t see me!”. It is the inability to see the world through anyone else’s eyes except on his own. It is wel explained by Piaget as Three Mountain Task. 2. Animism: Treating inanimate objects as living ones. E.g.: Children bathing, dressing and feeding their dolls as if they are alive. 3. Centration: It refers to the tendency to focus on only one aspect of a situation, problem or object, and so cannot see the big picture. Centration is noticed in conservation: the awareness that altering a substance's appearance does not change its basic properties. Children at this stage are unaware of conservation. They are unable to grasp the concept that a certain liquid be the same volume regardless of the container shape. For example, equal amounts of liquid are poured into two identical containers. The liquid in one container is then poured into a different shaped cup, such as a tal and thin cup, or a short and wide cup. Then the child is asked, Which one has more water, the tall glass or the short glass. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 26
3. Concrete Operational Stage (7 to 12 yrs of age) (Childhood and early Adolescence) The Concrete Operational stage is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. Important processes during this stage are: 1. Seriation: the ability to sort objects in an order according to size, shape or any other characteristic. Eg.: if given different-shaded objects, they may make a colour gradient. 2. Transitivity: the ability to recognize logical relationships among elements in a serial order. Eg.: if A is taller than B and B is taller than C, then A must be taller than C. 3. Classification: the ability to name and identify sets of objects according to appearance, size or other characteristic, including the idea that one set of objects can include another 4. Decentering: where the child takes into account multiple aspects of a problem to solve it. For example, the child will no longer perceive an exceptionally wide but short cup to contain less than a normally-wide, taller cup. 5. Reversibility: the child understands that numbers or objects can be changed, then returned to their original state. For this reason, a child will be able to rapidly determine that if 4+4 = t, t−4 will equal 4, the original quantity. 6. Conservation: understanding that quantity, length or number of items is unrelated to the arrangement or appearance of the object or items. 7. Elimination of Egocentrism: the ability to view things from another's perspective. However, in this stage child can solve problems that apply to actual (concrete) objects or events only, and not abstract concepts or hypothetical tasks. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 27
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Stage 3… Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 29
Stage 3… Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 30
4. Formal Operational Stage (from 12 yrs and up) (Adolescence and Adulthood) This is the most complete stage of development. In this stage, the individual’s 1. thought becomes increasingly flexible and abstract, i.e., can carry out systematic experiments. 2. ability to systematical y solve a problem in a logical and methodical way. 3. Understand that nothing is absolute; everything is relative. 4. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning develop inductive as well as deductive logic. 5. Understand that the rules of any games or social system are developed by man by mutual agreement and hence could be changed or modified. 6. The child’s way of thinking is at its most advanced, although the knowledge it has to work with wil change. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 31
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G eneral C haracteristics of this Stages: These four stages have been found to have the following characteristics: 1. Each stage is a structured whole and in a state of equilibrium. 2. Each stage derives from the previous stage and incorporate and transform to prepare for the next and no going back. 3. The stages follow an invariant sequence. There is no skipping stages. 4. The stages are universal. Culture does not impact the stages. Children everywhere go through the same stages no matter what their cultural background is. 5. Each stage is a coming into being. There is a gradual progression from stage to stage. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 33
Applications of Theory in the C lassroom Jean Piaget’s theories are imbedded into the school system in the sense that the curriculum is based on his stage theory. The curriculum is designed to teach students at the first stage and progressively teach new learning to change the schemas in order to move students through each stage. The teacher starts at the basics introducing a new subject and once the knowledge of that subject is mastered, they would create a schema. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 34
To transition to the next stage, or a new learning method, the teacher would demonstrate how the student will change, modify or adapt their schema to the new method in order for new learning to take place. When children enter the school they are generally at the preoperational stage. Teachers must recognize that they cannot learn concrete-operational strategies until the students have mastered the preoperational schemas In other words, students must start at the basic first stage and master it before they can progress well to higher stages. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 35
E d u catio n al Im p licatio n s: 1. Emphasis on discovery approach in learning. 2. Curriculum should provide specific educational experience based on children’s developmental level. 3. Arrange classroom activities so that they assist and encourage self-learning. 4. Do not treat children as miniature adults; they think and learn differently from adults. 5. Practical learning situations. 6. Simple to Complex and Project method of teaching. 7. Co-curricular activities have equal importance as that of curricular experiences in the cognitive development of children. 8. Major goals of education are equal to the creative and critical thinking. Prepared by A.S.Arul Lawrence 36