Piaget?s Cognitive Developmental Theory: I. Cognition: the inner processes of the mind that lead to knowledge? all mental activity. Attention, memory, symbolizing, planning, reasoning, problem solving, creativity? A. Piaget?s thoughts on cognition 1. Infants do not begin life as cognitive beings.. they do not think the same way adults do? 2. How do we get there (thinking like adults)? Through kids perceptual motor behaviors children ?construct? organized ways of making sense of their experiences. Piaget is a large constructivist. 3. This is an active process; kids have a large part in their learning. We do not just learn like a sponge, but have to be involved to learn. 4.Three characteristics to Piaget?s theory: a. All aspects of cognition change in an integrated fashion and follow a similar course. b. The four stages of his theory are invariant à they occur in a fixed order: stage 1,2,3,.4; and no stages are skipped. c. The four stages are universal.. it doesn?t matter where kids are being raised, they will all go through these stages in a fixed order. B. Piaget?s Central Concepts 1. Schemes: specific psychological structures that provide organized ways of making sense of experience. Schemes change with time. [Schemata] a. First schemes are actually sensorimotor actions Ex: dropping scheme @ 6 18 months; dropping becomes more deliberate and creative. b. mental representations are internal depictions of information that the mind can manipulate. (starts around 2 years). One way to tell is that they begin to think before they act, not just a lot of trial and error processes. Sesorimotor is a more cognitive way of thinking that sens. 2. Adaptation: the construction of schemes via direct interaction w/ the environ. a. Two processes in adaptation: 1. Assimilation: use currently existing schemes to interpret the external world. Repeated use of the same scheme. Ex: dropping scheme? doesn?t matter what kind of toy, it will always be dropped. 2. Accommodation: children are creating new schemes or adjusting old ones after noticing that the current ways of thinking does not capture the environment completely. Ex: dropping scheme? drop objects in variable ways à recognize that different objects have different qualities. Throwing a hard object down stairs vs. on carpet. b. How Piaget thought that adapatation and accommodation worked together. equilibrium ?cognitively comfortable? assimil. more disequilibrium ? cog. uncomfort.? accommodating more EQUILIBRATION à the going back and forth of equilibrium and disequilibrium. 3. Organization: Once new schemes are formed, children rearrange them and link them with other schemes to create an interconnected cognitive system. This occurs internally, without direct contact with the environment. Schemes have truly reached equilibrium when all the links have become connected. C. Piaget?s 4 stages 1. Sensorimotor stage birth 2 years infants are thinking with eyes, ears, hands, and other senses. children aren?t carrying out activities mentally. they are done with this stage when they CAN carry out mental representations. 6 substages of the sensor motor stage 1. REFLEXIVE SCHEMES birth to one month perform behaviors in much the same way no matter what experiences they encounter. 2. PRIMARY CIRCULAR REACTIONS one to 4 months begin to gain voluntary control over their actions through primary circular reactions. repeated chance behaviors are largely motivated by basic needs. 3. SECONDARY CIRCULAR REACTIONS 48 mos. becoming skilled at reaching and manipulating objects, which increase and strengthen secondary circular reactions. when babies try to repeat interesting events, not needs, that were caused by their own actions. 4. COORDINATION OF 2NDARY CIRCULAR REACTIONS: 812 mos. combine schemes into new, more complex actions. behaviors leading to new schemes, not random. sophisticated, intentional or goal directed behaviors Object permanence: understanding that objects still exist even when they are out of sight. A not B error à hiding object 5x, kids will return to same place first 5 was hidden, even after seeing object being put somewhere else. A not B has 11,644 citations in the past 10 years 5. TERTIARY CIRCULAR REACTIONS: 1218 mos. toddler repeat behaviors with variation deliberate exploration approach makes children better problem solvers. Accurate AB search, rarely makes errors 6. MENTAL REPRESENTATION: 1824 mos. arrive at solutions suddenly rather than through a trial and error method. mental rep. makes make believe play possible? 2. Preoperational stage 27 years old extraordinary increase in mental representation make believe play à according to Piaget, it is beneficial. Through pretending, children practice and strengthen newly acquired representational schemes. Less flexible play/ideas à sociodramatic play (helps the kids to actually be more flexible since other kids are making suggestions, and they are playing without originating the idea. thinking is rigid; limited to one aspect of a situation at a time. egocentrism: failure to distinguish other?s symbolic viewpoints from one?s own. Do not take others viewpoints into account. Ex: three mountain problem. animism: inanimate objects have lifelike qualities: thoughts, wishes, feelings, and intentions. conservation: certain physical characteristics of objects remain the same, even when their outward appearance changes. Ex(s): conservation task: mass and weight (clay ball); number (pennies); liquid (cup vs. bowl); these tests are failed while kids are in the preoperational stage. Why would they fail these acts? they focus on one aspect of a situation, neglecting other important features ( looking at length of pennies, instead of amount.) Related to group inclusion acts too! (flower example) 3. Concrete Operational Stage 7 11 years old thought becomes far more logical solving the conservation and classification acts. sereiation à order items quantitatively spatial reasoning à mental rotations children will think in an organized, logical fashion only when dealing with concrete information they can perceive directly . mental operations work poorly with abstact ideas. 4. Formal Operational Stage after 11+ years develop the capacity for abstract, systematic, and scientific thinking. Hypothetico deductive reasoning à kids can systematically isolate and combine variables to see which of these inferences are confirmed in the real world. they start from a hypothesis from which they deduce logical, testable inferences. Child Development 03.05.09
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