Jean Piaget’s Theory
Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development is one of the most widely known perspectives on cognitive expansion. His theory includes four distinct stages in children which explain how the child constructs a mental model of its surroundings. The main goals seem to reach toward explaining the processes of how the infant learns and grows mentally, and how a child advances into a mature, logical thinking individual. Jean Piaget’s concept of cognitive development focuses on how learners interact with their environment to develop intricate reasoning and knowledge, and explains his opinions on the growth of human intelligence from infancy to adulthood. He believes the growth of intelligence is influenced by these four factors; Sensorimotor stage (birth-age 2), Preoperational stage (2-7 years), Concrete Operational stage (7-11 years), and Formal Operational stage (7+ years). Each of these stages work together as one as the child grows.
This theory catches my attention for many reasons. His explanation of how an infant grows into a child, then child to adulthood is a very logical way of seeing how any human becomes intelligent. I agree with his theory because every child goes through the same stages of development. One child might learn and grown quicker than the other, but they all display the same stages in development. Each of these stages have an impact on the child’s adulthood since each one is a basic building block of learning intelligent behaviors. Infants are born with a limited mental structure which require interaction with the many aspects of their environment. Social and physical interaction play an immense role in how the child constructs an understanding of the world around them. Cognitive development is a major part of any child’s life in order to understand, respond, and adapt to situations occurring. I mainly agree with his theory of cognitive development stages because I have seen them in action.
It is not easy to understand how an infant grows into an intelligent being. Becoming a mother to my now 6 year old child has taught me many things about the way a child thinks. She has displayed the first 3 stages of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and still is exhibiting many learning qualities of the third stage of development and she will continue with formal operational stage from age 11 until adulthood. As a newborn she knew things like how to drink from a bottle and how to display needs with crying in different tones, and from then she learned many things from her surroundings and individuals around her. The environment had a big impact on things she learned and how quickly she was able to comprehend things around her. She did not have many individuals around as an infant, so she relied on my help more than I would have liked, but she had a very exciting environment, since I would take her almost everywhere I went and as an infant she developed rather quick since she had many things to keep her busy learning. I started reading my child books as soon as she was born even though she did not understand things I read, she would still show some type of response. She knew an object was not gone if I hid it, and could show me where it was. As she grew older she would recognize things in her way. Her favorite toy was an Elmo stuffed toy that she called “Red”. She did not want to recognize it as Elmo. She remembered it as the color RED. Although it is very beneficial to teach your child and constantly help them if needed, it is also very important to let them experience situations around them without an adults help. It gives them a chance to learn from their perspective and understanding, since children become egocentric in stages of their childhood. This theory has many logical explanations, and it is clear that all children experience these stages at some point in their childhood. Since all children grow and develop differently it is important to realize his theory is not the only theory to believe logical as there are many ways of understanding human development. It’s all in an individuals perspective.