Psychology: Jean Piaget Essay example

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Jean Piaget, a cognitivist, believed children progressed through a series of four key stages of cognitive development. These four major stages, sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational, are marked by shifts in how people understand the world. Although the stages correspond with an approximate age, Piaget’s stages are flexible in that as long as the child is ready they are able to reach a stage. In kindergarten, many of the stages of both sensorimotor and preoperational stage were easy to find. For instance, the teacher allowed the students to have a couple minutes of free time. Many of the students chose to go to the tree house play area and began playing house. This is an example of the sensorimotor stage of symbolic thought or the cognitive ability to have one thing stand for another (Bergin & Bergin, 2012). In this case, students were able to use play toys to create a “real-life” kitchen, and the students were able to play characters such as mom, dad, brother, and sister. I was also able to spot aspects of the preoperational stage during their free time. Many students played with inanimate objects and gave the objects lifelike qualities, this is also known as animism. For instance, one little girl in particular was carrying around a baby doll and kept feeding the baby, calling her Lucy, and talking to the baby doll as if it was real. Although features of the sensorimotor and the preoperational stage were easy to find in the kindergarten classroom, I discovered that it was challenging to find evidence of the concrete and formal operational stages in their corresponding, approximate age groups. I did not find evidence that contradicts any of Piaget’s stages, but I also did not find enough evidenc...

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...novices, while social constructivism was seen more with the high school students. Piaget’s cognitive development theory and the social cognitive theory were theories that I felt were least reflected in real life classrooms. When it comes to information processing, having the tools ands strategies to keep the students’ “computer” working is essential in order for them to properly process and store information. Although I was not able to pinpoint many cultural or gender differences in this paper, I do believe both aspects play an enormous role in cognitive development. Overall, many aspects of each theory reflect the growth and learning processes of young students in elementary school.

Works Cited

Bergin, Christi Ann Crosby, and David Allen Bergin. Child and Adolescent Development in Your
Classroom. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

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