Jean Piaget the first psychologist to develop this study explained it in four stages:
• Sensorimotor Stage: the child gains knowledge through sensory experiences and manipulation of objects since the motor abilities and reflexes have developed and acquires object permanence. In older infants for instance, when a toy is covered, he will continue to look for it because he knows it continues to exist (Wadsworth & Wadsworth, 2003).
• Preoperational Stage: the child is still not able to think logically and uses symbols as his imagination develops and language matures. Their thinking is egocentric as they view everything from their own point of view. For example, they will punish a piece of furniture when they run into it because it has hurt them.
• Concrete Operational Stage: At this stage, kids begin to think more logically and the thinking becomes less egocentric. In addition, they become more aware of their surroundings and can mentally reverse their thoughts. He is able to do simple mathematics like to add and subtract.
• Formal Operational Stage: this final stage is characterized by the ability to think abstractly, formulate hypothesis and ability to reason contrary to fact. If water is poured in a tall skinny glass and in a short, wide glass, the child understands the volume of water did not change.
In conclusion, education systems should focus on the process of the child’s thinking, recognize self-initiated involvement in learning activities, and accept individual differences of the students as implied in Piaget theory (Murray, 2006). ...Show more