Compare And Contrast Jean Piaget's Contribution To Play Therapy

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An analytical review of two child development theories, comparing their contribution to play therapy For this assignment I have chosen Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory and Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland. His father modelled an ardent commitment to his studies, a characteristic that Piaget followed from an early age. Piaget was known to have described his mother as being inclined to regular neurotic outbursts. Eric Erikson (1902-1994) was born in Frankfurt, Germany. He never knew his own father and was raised by his mother and stepfather. He struggled with his identity during youth as he never felt fully accepted by his stepfather. However he did adopt his…show more content…
His theory stated that “children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through four stages of cognitive development”. Each stage being dependent on age and comprising of particular ways of thinking. Through observation of children he developed these four stages, believing that all children go through them consecutively during their lifetime. • In the first stage, sensorimotor, the child starts to build an understanding of its world by synchronising sensory encounters with physical actions. They become capable of symbolic thought and start to achieve object permanence. • In the second stage, preoperational, the child begins to exemplify the world with words and images that show increased representative thinking. They improve at symbolic thought, though they can’t yet reason. • In stage three, concrete operational, the child now rationalises logically about concrete, real experiences. They have the ability to mentally reverse actions and are able to focus simultaneously on different features of a problem. • In stage four, formal operational stage, the adolescent reasons in conceptual, idealistic and rational ways. They can imagine and reason about hypothetical…show more content…
Piaget believed that young children’s cognitive processes are intrinsically different from adults and that when they moved from a position of egocentrism to sociocentrism (during adolescence) that they had reached their potential in cognition. There has been a fifth stage of cognitive development suggested by many developmental psychologists, known as the post formal stage (Basseches, 1984; Commons & Bresette, 2006; Sinnott, 1998). In this stage, it is believed, that decisions are made based on situations and circumstances. Logic is integrated with emotion as adults develop principles that depend on contexts. The difference between adult post formal and adolescent formal operation thought can be noted in how they handle emotionally charged issues. Piaget stated that children function in a concrete world and therefore are unable to use language in an abstract way until about eleven years old. Consequently language does not afford young children the structure for appropriate self-expression. Piaget believed that children design symbols to communicate their wishes, ideas and emotions. This system of symbols characterises symbolic play (Piaget & Inhelder,
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