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.
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.
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
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.