Cognitive Development In Middle Childhood

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The period of middle childhood develops many new cognitive abilities. This period, also referred to as the period of concrete operations, is where children begin to develop an understanding of conservation. The child also starts to understand and empathise with people’s behaviours and emotions so they develop the ability to logically analyse situations. At a younger age, children were unable to perform mental reversal but it is said in middle childhood that this skill develops. Many of these abilities will have been introduced earlier in the child’s life yet they were unable to explain them therefore being unable to comprehend them. We gather the above cognitive developments during the period of middle childhood by mainly focusing on the works…show more content…
This is an ability that is often mentioned in Piaget’s theory. Conservation, the ability to understand that a change in appearance of an object does not mean a change in quantity, is a difficult concept for children below the age of seven to grasp. Piaget carried out an experiment on 7 year olds in which a glass of liquid was poured into a wider shaped glass and the child was asked whether the quantity of liquid was bigger or the same as the previous quantity. The majority of seven year olds were able to understand that the quantities remained the same whereas five year olds carried out the same experiment but were unable to conserve with liquid. Piaget then concluded that the development of conservation comes about when a child is, on average, seven years of age. It was also found that the children could conserve with numbers by experimenting with rows of counters. However, not all aspects of conservation are developed during middle childhood. “Although they can reason with respect to concrete objects, such as sticks that they have seen, they cannot do so with hypothetical objects. For example, they cannot solve the following problem: Judy is taller than Frank and Frank is taller than Carl. Who is taller, Judy or Carl?” (Martin, Carlson, Buskist, 2010, p.511). Children’s ability to hypothetically analyse things arises in Piaget’s next stage of cognitive development. Although,…show more content…
The years leading up to the concrete operational stage brought about some aspects of these abilities yet it is only during middle childhood that the child begins to understand and interpret them. The ability to conserve, one which is vital and most prominent in children of this age develops as well as the improved ability of flexible problem solving. The skill of interpreting others behaviours, interrelating the things around with your increasing knowledge and the understanding of reversibility are all cognitive abilities which are gradually mastered over the period of middle childhood. This stage of childhood evidently brings about a big change to the child’s process of thinking. They have now developed a more analytical and abstract mind set which will soon develop even further as they mature into the next stage of
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