Memory and Cognitive development has been an interesting area of study that has attracted attention of pure psychologist and education psychologists. This intense interest is I a view that our society today seek to understand human being from a behavioral perspective. But since understanding behavior development precedes studying behavior its self, then much attention is diverted towards understanding the development of human beings main domains such as social, physical and cognitive.
However, it should be noted that cognitive domain have attracted much of our today’s society attention in the sense that we are in a knowledge based society, knowledge based economy competing on the basis of quality and quantity of knowledge one has over the other. In this connection, the central focus remains to be memory and cognitive development as a function of society construction and productivity. In this regard, this paper shall look at the process, stage and theory of memory and cognitive development of individuals. Introduction
Cognitive development in persons is a process by which an individual gains understanding of the world by his or her interactions with learned and genetic factors (Huitt, 2007). The development of cognitive faculty of human beings encompasses critical areas as intelligence, language development, memory and reasoning. Thus cognitive development processes correlates to memory development. The central scientific contribution in regard to cognitive development is the theory of Jean Piaget that attempts to explain the psychological phenomenon of mental processes, development and changes throughout the lifespan of an individual.
This theory is a move to avert the notion that individuals at young stages of life are unable to think or process, store and retrieve information about their surrounding environment. As a result, Jean Piaget theory of persons cognitive development construction based children on normal processes of growth and development that imply they also develop normally intellectually informs us that even infants process information from cues, store and they can retrieve to use them by responding to various stimuli.
Human cognitive and memory development is on the basis of: how people think and theory that explains how human learn to think from infancy till when they grow old (Huitt, 2007). The foundation of this explanation of development of our human mind that also borrow from Jean’s memory and cognitive development theory is that children think in the same way and process as adults but have limited knowledge compared to adults based on less schemas they have.
The second part of memory and cognitive development explanation that is worth to be explored is how humans develop cognitive capacity to process information as explained in the stages of cognitive development as individuals grow up. Process of Memory and Cognitive Development Intellectual development come by as a process through which an individual actively explore the world, as a result, this individual construct a mental representation of reality based on what one discovers in that active exploration.
Through exploration of the environment, children are usually curious and inquisitive about their own abilities and holistic details of the world around them. As a result, a child develops some kind of knowledge basing on their inquisitive and curiosity nature. This newly attained details about knowledge gained are stored in mind in proposed two structures: schemas and operations (Huitt, 2007). According to Piajet, schemas (Piaget, 1990) are mental structures that contain information which an individual have relating to the world aspects.
In regard to this information, children have action, object and people; schemas. Despite acquisition of schemas by children as a vital component of memory and cognitive development process, it is asserted that children are born with innate schemas that facilitate individual’s interaction with others in society like schemas of anger and hunger. For instance, hunger would ignite mother child interaction due to drive for food to satisfy the child’s anger.
The first and early schemas to develop in children’s mind are usually mum’s schema, since she is primary care giver to the new born. This help the memory of an infant to develop by processing and storing social reality “mother” and can be retrieved whenever necessary to use the concept. It is worth to note that schemas are constructed through the process of equilibrium (Berk, 2006; Huitt, 2007). This implies that any form of experience that an individual encounters in environment is accreted, assimilated, accommodated to existing schemas or restructured as a new schema.
Thus, expands children’s knowledge leading to knowledge acquisition and definitely cognitive and memory development. In regard to operations, Slee (2002) affirms that knowledge is acquired through individuals structuring their thinking about rules which the world operates. Piaget reinforced this principle by pointing out that, human beings in particular children, think differently at different stages of development because the operation which they are capable of change with age advancement.
Therefore, individuals operations develops the brain and memory capacity as one matures, which in turn increases the memory processing activities such as coding, storing, and retrieving of both short term and long term memory. This not only, contribute to cognitive and memory development, but also increases the individual’s knowledge data bank (Huitt, 2007). Moreover, the process of operations and schemas facilitates development of cognitive structures from simple to complex; hence structures are organized in manner hierarchical from general to specific.