He developed a cognition theory that has four stages of development that a person progresses through as they learn and grow. These four stages are sensory motor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Through research and testing, Piaget placed an age group on each of the stages. Three to five year olds fall within the preoperational stage of development. Placing emphasis on academic work rather than social skill and self-esteem will help children progress through each stage of cognitive development.
There are a few aspects of the preoperational period conducive to academic work. These aspects are symbolic function, deferred imitation, and qualitative identity. "Symbolic function is the ability to use one thing as a symbol to represent something else." (Vasta et al 268). For example, a child uses an empty box to represent car that the child is driving. They can also use words to represent that they are a cat by meowing or saying they are a cat. This developed skill can be used in the learning process for academic work. It can help lay the basic foundation for reading if the teacher cuts the letters of the alphabet out of Styrofoam and teaches that each piece represents a particular letter. The child will be able to feel and manipulate the shape and develop a representation of the shape with the letter. ...Show more