Developmental Theories

Developmental Theories - Developmental Theories Key element...

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Developmental Theories Key element: how the mind develops with age and experience Three main characteristics: 1. Development proceeds through a series of stages 2. Sequencing of stages is invariant (everyone passes through the stages in the same order) 3. Stages are irreversible (e.g., once you’ve reached stage C, you will not fall back to stage B) Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Piaget was interested in epistemology: the branch of philosophy concerned with the acquisition of knowledge o He proposed that children develop knowledge by constructing reality out of their own experience o He argued that cognitive development involves the modification of schemas as a child seeks to understand his/her world Schemas: integrated patterns of knowledge stored in memory that organize information and guide the acquisition of new information The cognitive schemas developed by children must be able to handle new information and situations: 1. Assimilation: interpreting new information in terms of one’s present schema Any 4-legged animal is viewed as a “dog” 2. Accommodation: process by which old schemas are modified to fit reality A horse is not a “dog” According to Piaget, equilibration (balancing assimilation and accommodation) is the driving force behind cognitive development Although it is the most famous developmental theory of intelligence, it has not had much influence on the field of testing Name of Stage Typical Ages Behavior Examples Sensorimotor Birth – 2 years Limited sensory input Preoperational 2-6 years Uses words to symbolize
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