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Child Development

Who is Jean Piaget and what is his theory?

Jean Piaget was a Development Psychologist who based his theories on his observations of his own three children. His constructivist theory describes child development as an orderly process occuring in four different stages. The stages include:

Sensorimotor
Children use their sensory and motor capacities to make sense of the world.

Approximately ages 0-2 years
Control of movements improves with practice and experience
Physical interaction with enviroment
Object permanence or representing objects in memory

Preoperational
Characterized by perceptual dominance

Approximately ages 2-7 years
Rapid increase in language ability
Symbolic thought occurs
Dominated be perceptions

For example...
Children are distinguishing objects such as truck or dog.
Children are also making conlusions about events...
"It is raining outside. If I go outside, I will get wet."

Concrete Ooperational
The ability to think logically about concrete objects

Approximately ages 7-11years
The ability to deal with logical operations develops such as the ablility to solve simple math problems.

For example...
Billy is taller than Susan. Susan is taller than Becky. Who is the tallest?

The child concludes
Billy is the tallest since Billy is taller than Susan who is taller than Becky.

Formal Operational
Examines abstract problems systematically and generalizes about results

Approximately ages 11-adult years
Abstract thinking develops
Systematical thinking develops
Hypothetical and deductive thinking develops.

At this stage, children are able to solve algebra equations.
The school needs 24 pies for the fun fair. Sally's mom agreed to make a certain number of pies and Bob's mom agreed to double the number of pies Sally's mom makes. How many pies will Sally's mom make?

X + 2X = 24
3X =24
3
X = 8

These stages are characterized by the way children view the world in different periods of their lives.