Cognitive Development .ppt

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              Cognitive development
Jean Piaget            theory
              n   Children "construct" their
                  understanding of the world through
                  their active involvement and
              n   Studied his 3 children to focus not
                  on what they knew but how they
                  knew it.
              n   Described children's
                  understanding as their "schemas”
                  and how they use:
                   ¨ assimilation
                   ¨ accommodation.
Piaget’s Cognitive Development
n   Cognition: How people think & Understand.
n   Piaget developed four stages to his theory of
    cognitive development:
    ¨   Sensori-Motor Stage
    ¨   Pre-Operational Stage
    ¨   Concrete Operational Stage
    ¨   Formal Operational Stage.
Sensori-Motor Stage (0-2 years)

n   Sensory contact understanding.
n   The child explores the world surrounding them
    using it’s senses
n   Initially sucking/grasping reflex and moving onto
    reaching for objects out of reach.
Object permanence………
n   Major development within this stage.

n   Initially the baby cannot understand that objects
    exists out of sight.
n   As the baby reaches around 7/8 months he/she
    will begin to understand the object/person still
    exists when out of sight.
Pre-Operational stage(2-7yrs old)

n   Toddler can understand the use of symbols and
    language. This is an example of symbolic
    thinking. E.g. pretend play.
n   Language is now understood.
Development of……..
n   Animism…child believes inanimate objects have
    feelings as they do. E.g. ‘bad table. I’ll not talk to
n   Egocentricism…Can only see the world from
    their own point of view

n   All these developments take place in the Pre-
    Operational Stage.
 Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 years)

•"Operation" - Forms of mental action
through which older children solve problems
and reason logically
•Key feature of stage is extensive
•Pre-op kids develop “theory of mind”
(understanding of mental processes)
                 Some Dimensions of
             Conservation: Number, Matter,
                     and Length
    Type of
  conservation        Number            Matter            Length

  presentation    Two identical     Two identical     Two sticks are
                  rows of objects   balls of clay     aligned in
                  shown to child    shown to child    front of child

                  One row is        Experimenter      Experimenter
                  spaced            changes shape     moves one
                                    of one ball       stick to right
Preoperational                                        “No, the one
child’s answer to “No, the longer   “No, the longer   on top is
“Are they still   row has more”     one has more”     longer”
the same?”
Concrete Operational Stage         (7-11 years)

n   The children are now able to conserve,
n   They understand that although the
    appearance has changed the thing it self
    does not.
Formal Operational Stage            (11- 16 years )

n   Most of previous characteristics discussed
    have now developed.
n   The child shows logical thinking and is able to
    work through abstract problems and use logic
    without the presence of concrete
n   E.g. If Kelly is taller than John and John is
    taller than Pete who is the tallest? This is an
    example of inferential reasoning.
Inductive reasoning

     Example: Pendulum problem
                 •Formal operational children will
                 systematically test all possibilities
                 before arriving at a conclusion

           How fast?
    Summary of Piaget: Criticisms
n   Underestimated the importance of
n   Gagne: Complex skills can be acquired easily
    once simpler prerequisite skills have been
    learned. Development is based on LEARNING
    new skills - continuous not discontinuous.
n   Underestimated the ability of children
n   . Tasks were methodologically flawed
n   Underestimated the impact of CULTURE:
n   Piaget’s tasks are culturally biased
n   Schooling and literacy affect rates of
n   This suggest that there were design flaws with
    Piagets original study.
Summary of Piaget: Criticisms
n   Demand characteristics:- the children may
    have wanted to please the experimenter
    therefore changing their behaviour.

n   Social setting:-Piaget ignored the effect of
    the social setting upon the child.The way
    adults use language and gestures.
•Active rather than passive view of the
•Revealed important invariants in
cognitive development.
•Errors informative.
•Perceptual-motor learning rather than
language important for development.

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