Chapter 4 - Chapter 4 Theories of Cognitive Development...

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Chapter 4: Theories of Cognitive Development PIAGET’S THEORY Views of Child Nature Fundamental assumption: from birth onward, children are active mentally as well as physically, and that their activity greatly contributes to their own development Constructivist : children construct knowledge from themselves in response to their experiences o Generating hypothesis o Performing experiments o Drawing conclusions “Child as a scientist” Central Development Issues Nature and Nurture Nurture: not only nurturing by parents but every experience the child encounters Nature: includes the child’s maturing brain and body, the child’s ability to perceive, act, and learn from experience; and the child’s motivation to meet two basic functions that are central to cognitive growth; adaptation and organization Adaptation : tendency to respond to the demands of the environment in ways that meet one’s goals Organization : tendency to integrate particular observations into coherent knowledge Sources of Continuity Main sources of continuity are three processes – assimilation, accommodation, and equilibrium Assimilation : process by which people translate incoming information into a form that they can understand (IE: calling a bald man with side hair a clown) Accommodation: process by which people adapt current knowledge structures in response to new experiences Equilibrium : process by which people balance assimilation and accommodation to create stable understanding Sources of Discontinuity
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Distinct stages of cognitive development o 1. Qualitative Changes o 2. Broad Applicability : the type of thinking characteristic of each stage influences children’s thinking across diverse topics and contexts o 3. Brief Transitions : before entering a new stage, children pass through a brief transition period in which they fluctuate between the type of thinking characteristic of the new, more advanced stage and the type of thinking characterized of the old, less advanced one o 4. Invariant Sequence : everyone goes through the same order, never skip a stage 4 stages of cognitive development o 1. Sensorimotor Stage (birth -2): intelligence is expressed through their sensory and motor abilities, construct rudimentary forms of fundamental concepts such as time, space and causality, live in the “here and now” o Preoperational Stage ( 2-7): able to represent their experiences in language and mental imagery (inability to perform metal operations) o Concrete Operational Stage (7-12): children can reason logically about concrete objects and events o Formal Operational Stage (12and beyond): children can think deeply not only about concrete events but also about abstractions and purely hypothetical situations The Sensorimotor Stage (0-2) Substage 1 (Birth to 1 month) Simple reflexes and perceptual abilities essential tools for building intelligence Even during the first month, infants modify their reflexes to make them more
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