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Piaget's Theory of Development - Essay Example
Jean Piaget did not start his career studying the mental development of children. He began learning of children and their thinking patterns when conducting research. Based on cognitive principles, he theorized more intellectual development happened when a child, or adult, did not have a frame of reference for the experience.
Accommodation of new experiences into our ideas of the world produced significant mental development. When unable to frame the experience based on our current ideas, we must change our ideas in order to accommodate the new experience. Leaps and bounds in cognitive ability happen in this time according to Piaget.
Four stages were used as a tool in Piaget's work with children. They are sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Each stage is also related to an age period. Sensorimotor is from birth to two years of age, where a child uses sensation and movement to learn about their surrounding world. A world based on objects directly above and around them, and they adapt to new places by what they have learned with touch, sound, and sight.
From age two to seven, pre-operational, is where language gets integrated, and questions abound. Now the ideas they had about the world are expanded with further understanding by words being assigned to things, explanations of new items, and movement again to further experiences.
Concrete operational is when children can think about what an item or object can be by using their current knowledge. Ideas begin to solidify during this period, happening in the ages seven to eleven. ...