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Judgments of children’s cognitive statuses. This assignment required me to interpret children’s cognitive performance on a range of tasks in the light of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. I had to work with children separated in age by at least three to four years. The age groups therefore should be 4-6years and 8-11 years. I then had to give the child 11 tasks to complete and record there answers. Once I had finished with both children I had to record my interpretations of: What each task tested Stage functioning that would be reflected if done correctly Piagetian cognitive processes evident or absent from the child’s answer What stage functioning is reflected in the response of the child Overall level of stage functioning Whether critism’s of Piaget’s theory were reflected in responses or not. This assignment gave me a good insight into how children think and perceive the world. It also demonstrated to me that as a teacher I will have to keep in mind the diversity of learners and cognitive levels in my classroom. Example: Question: Task 3: Place on the table an array, cutouts of three small triangles and three large triangles, three small rectangles and three large rectangles, and three small circles and three large circles. Each small shape should have one in red, one in yellow and one in green, and each large shape should also have one in red, one in yellow and one in green. Ask the child to put together the things that go together. Record how the child sorts the objects diagrammatically. Now ask the child if there is another way to put the objects together that go together, and record answer. My interpretation of the children’s responses. Task 5: This task tested the children’s hierarchical classification skills. This is the organisation of objects into classes and subclasses on the basis of similarities and differences between the groups (Berk 2000). This task reflected the concrete operational stage if successfully completed. In Tara’s preoperational response she showed an example of centration, which is the focusing of attention on one’s characteristic to the exclusion of all others. Tara also displayed the beginning of hierarchical classification skills. Kyle demonstrated his hierarchical classification skills at a concrete level. He clearly demonstrated his ability to organise and illustrated decentration. Piaget believed that when faced with a seldom array of objects that can be grouped together on the basis of two or more properties, preoperational children are seldom capable of using these properties consistently to sort the objects into appropriate groupings (Santrock). Berk believes that because children are not yet capable of logical operations, they cannot organize objects into classes and subclasses on the basis of similarities and differences between the groups. This was reflected in Tara’s response, who came to the conclusion that there was only one way of organising the objects.
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