Unit 331 Child Development
Jean Piaget was a psychologist who studied cognitive development in children. He did this by observing, asking questions and listening while the children completed tasks he set them. His theorised that the way children think is led by their age and stage of development and that they are unable to complete certain tasks unless psychologically mature enough. He referred to children as ‘little scientists’ exploring the world around them and learning through experience. Piaget proposed that we all go through four key stages of intellectual growth, which he called schema, where we acquire knowledge and then adapt what we already know. He recognised that children develop at their own pace, but felt that the sequence of growth is always the same, regardless of their background.
The first stage is the Sensory Motor Stage, which is from birth to two years, during this time the child develops it’s five senses as well as motor development, grasping, sitting crawling. They start to make sense of the world by through exploratory movement.
The second stage is the Pre-Operational Stage age two to six years. Now the child learns through play and copying others, they start to think symbolically and build a vocabulary. They tend to be very egocentric and struggle to see things from any other view than their own.
The third stage called Concrete Operational spans from age seven until eleven and during this period children learn to think logically and are less egocentrical, although they still struggle with more abstract ideas.
The final stage is Formal Operational, which is ongoing from age 12, the child learns to think abstractly and reason about hypothetical problems. As the child develops into an adults the knowledge they acquire constantly adapts and changes the way they see the world. Piaget felt that children don’t just gain knowledge but that they develop the way they use this knowledge. He believed that everyone...