Cognitive Development and Cognitive Views of Learning

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Interaction with the environment creates a child's world. Early moral reasoning is, according to Piaget, a developmental process. Reasoning determines behavior, and Piaget's preconventional level of behavior involves an "egocentric point of view." Fear of punishment and desire for rewards are factors that determine a child's behavior from 2 to 7 years old.


Children in the concrete operational stage of development accept the rules and seldom deliberately move outside them. According to Piaget's theory, children from age 7 to 11 move from preconventional to concrete operational where these children have experienced interaction with others in a school setting and have begun to care what others think about them.
Children in the 7-11 age group have the most potential for establishing a positive moral behavioral base. Morality becomes an issue for this age group because this is a time when children move from how a situation will affect them personally to how their behavioral choices will affect someone else. However, throughout this stage, conflicts occur that create moral dilemmas and children in this age group are influenced by so many ideas about what is or is not moral that it is easy for them to make some wrong choices. It is important for a teacher to stress the fact that it is all right to make mistakes because that is how we learn. It is the positive or negative result of the choice made that will help them determine right or wrong in future dilemmas. ...
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