Piaget's Stages Of Cognitive Development

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Pre-school children learn best through play. The child education specialists believe that play is a natural way in which children learn and is the most effective learning instrument for them. The child is then mentally active and experiences a continuous learning process. Play facilitates the transition to higher levels of cognitive development and contributes to a happy and creative childhood.
Two of the most recognized cognitive psychologists, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, developed theories that addressed cognitive development and learning among children and adolescents. While there are similarities between the two theories, differences exist.
Cognitive development
Cognitive development can be divided in three major parts dealing the way
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This suggested to him that younger children were not less knowledgeable, but gave different answers because they thought differently.
In 1962, Piaget’s theory is based on stages, whereby each stage represents a qualitatively different type of thinking. The table below describes the Piaget’s stages of Cognitive development
Table 1 Piaget 's Stages of Cognitive Development
Piaget’s stages Description
The Sensor motor Stage (0- 2) The child learns by doing: looking, touching, and sucking. The child also has a primitive understanding of cause- and – effect relationships. Objet permanence appears around 9 months.
The Pre-operational stage (2 -7) The child uses language and symbols, including letters and numbers. Egocentrism is also evident. Conservation marks the end of the preoperational stage and the beginning of concrete operations.
The Concrete operation stage (7 -11) The child demonstrates conservation, reversibility, serial ordering, and a mature understanding of cause – and – effect relationships. Thinking of this stage is still concrete.
The formal operation stage ( 12+) The individual demonstrates abstract thinking, including logic, deductive reasoning, comparison and
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Similarities and differences between Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories
The similarities between the theories of Piaget and Vygotskyare that:
• Cognitive development requires both physical and social stimulation.
• Children need to be achieve and experiment in order to develop thinking.
• Challenge with support will keep students engaged but not fearful.
The differences of Piaget’ theory and Vygotsky are as follows:
Table 2: Table showing the differences of Piaget 's and Vygotsky 's theory
Piaget’s theory v.s Vygotsky’s theory:
• Solitary
• There are strict stages and are aged based.
• Children acquired knowledge through their own explorations.
• Thought drives language
• Egocentric speech becomes social speech. • Social
• Development is different depending on social cultural context
• Children work with others to build knowledge
• Learning precedes a development
• Social speech becomes inner speech.
Application of the theories in Teaching
In Mauritius, teachers can employ these concepts in improving their teaching skills. For exampledue to the uniqueness of each child, teachers should keep in mind that mental capacities develop according to each child’s degree of physical, motor, emotional and social development.At each stage, certain types of experiences are necessary and the children who get the right sort of stimulation have a better chance of moving on the next stage of
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