Child development grew

In the mid twentieth century the interest in child development grew, more in-depth research took place and a large number of theories arose .Two theorists that had great impact on child development in this era were Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. Jean Piaget’s research is centered around life stages of cognitive developmental theory, also how children adapt to their environment with the use of schemas, accommodation and assimilation. Like Piaget, Freud also developed a process, which involved stages of development called psychosexual theory. Psychosexual theory centered on the sexual drive and consists of 5 stages of development in children. Freud also divided the mind into three personality parts the id, ego and super ego; these become integrated into the 5 stages of psychosexual development. (Berk, 2009)

Jean Piaget was born in 1896 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. Piaget was an intelligent child who took an interest in biology and the natural world at a young age. After Graduating Piaget went on to teach at Grange- Aux-Belles Street School for Boys, Where he worked along side the creator of the Binet Intelligence Test, Alfred Binet. Piaget discovered while marking the Binet Intelligence Test, young children were making wrong answers on certain questions that older children and adults did not. This lead to Piaget’s research into young child development. (Vialle & Verenikina, 2000)

Through Piaget’s research into early childhood development, he focused on how children process and change as they mature and adapt to the environment around them. He came up with the idea that every child has a schema which is a structure in the mind used to store knowledge and ideas of the world. As children develop and learn new information the schema grows, it does this through the process of accommodation and assimilation. Assimilation is when new information is added to the already existing schema. Accommodation is altering the schema, as the new information learnt does not fit into the pre existing schema. (Nevid, 2011).

A key concept that Piaget developed was Cognitive developmental theory, which focused on the process in which children develop in 4 different stages. New ways of learning and understanding occur as children explore their world. Piaget ‘s ideas are based that Children’s development is discontinuous, that children grow and develop at certain points in their lives. Children’s understanding is different from adults.

For example, Piaget believed that when an object is hidden from view of a baby the object does no longer exist to the baby. ( Berk, 2009). Four different stages that Piaget constructed that children developed in are: Sensorimotor stage, occurs between birth and 2 years,Children in this stage think and process information with their senses. Playing games or encouraging children to touch and smell is a good way to help develop these skills.

Preoperational stage, 2-7 years children’s patterns start to evolve into using symbols to represent the sensorimotor skills. Next is the Concrete stage 7-11 years children begin to become logical thinkers but still require examples to grasp the concept of ideas, thinking is not at adult level yet. Last stage of Piaget’s Cognitive development is the Formal Operational stage, which occurs from the age of 11 years, and above, Children start to become “adult like” and are able to solve problems and can easily conserve and think logically in their mind. (SparkNotes Editors, 2005). An easy way of understanding these stages is with the idea of how children see and understand playing a game of monopoly.

“At the sensorimotor stage (0-2) the child puts houses, hotels, and dice in mouth. Preoperational stage (2-7 years) child plays monopoly, but makes up own rules and cannot understand instructions. Concrete operational stage (7-11 years) child understands basic instructions and will play by the rules but is not capable of hypothetical transactions. Example: special pacts with other players. Last stage formal operations stage (1 years and up) the child no longer plays the game mechanically, complex and hypothetical transactions unique to each game are now possible”. ( Dennis & Mitterer, 2008, pg. 100).

Piaget’s theories had a big impact on child development and on the future development of children. His ideas were largely shaped around researching his own three children as they grew. However his research is not very relevant in learning today in New Zealand or anywhere else in the world. There has been a lot of criticism on Piaget’s theories. The way Piaget constructed his research has been a big criticism. He only researched a small number of children, who were all of high social economic status and were educated.

Also three of the children researched were his own. This lead to criticism that the research was not valid enough, as he did not research children in other environments and it’s hard to generalize his findings to a larger population. Piaget may have under estimated children’s abilities. Researches have found that children hold skills at earlier ages than Piaget suggested. Piagets idea of children developing in stages as they mature also has had criticism as research shows that environmental factors and how the child is brought up can play a major role in the development process. (Sutherland, 1992)

A great deal of criticism has also fallen on Piagets Formal operations stage. Research has shown that nearly half the adult population do not reach this stage as not everyone appears to be capable of abstract reasoning. “Piaget’s formal operations …

Describe how Piaget’s approach to children’s intellectual development has been extended to explain their development of social understanding. In what ways does the approach of Donaldson and her followers differ from that of Piaget? The work of Piaget provided the …

Analyzing Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development, the article argued that the concept tackles the level of learning and acquisition of information among individuals. Here, it tackles different means in handling information according to specific age levels and furthers better means …

The second area of thought in which psychologists are interested in is the way that children engage in conversation through imitation. Piaget believed that when infants began to imitate behaviours their memory was starting to develop. Research was done by …

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