EFRT 303

Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

1. Sensorimotor (0-2 Years)

2. Preoperational (2-7 Years)

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3. Concrete Operational (7-11 Years)

4. Formal Operational (11-adult)

Sensorimotor (0-2 Years)

1st: Children learn through their senses and their own motion or motor production

Object Permanance (6-9 Mos): understanding that objects have a separate, permanent existence “out of sight, out of mind”

Goal Directed Actions: Deliberate actions toward a goal [shape sorter toy]

actions a person carries out by thinking them through instead of literally performing the actions
Principle that some characteristics of an object remain the same despite changes in appearance
Preoperational (2-7 Years)

2:Stage before the child masters logical, mental operations, “here and now”

Semiotic Function: ability to use symbols (Symbolic representation)–>Gun play

Difficulty seeing other POVs

Egocentric: only my POV

Collective monologue: form of talk when children in a group talk but do not really interact


Teaching the Preoperational Child

1. Use concrete props

2. Make instructions short

3. Remember they are egocentric

4. Different meaning for the same word [interpretation of word "nap”]

5. Much practice with skills that are building blocks

6. Wide range of experiences [f[field trips, guest speakers]p>

Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 Years)

3:Mental tasks are tied to concrete objects and situations, “hands on thinking”

Decentering: focusing on more than one aspect at a time

Aspects of reasoning: identity, compensation, and reversibility

Classification: grouping of objects into categories

Seriation: arranging objects in sequential order according to one aspect

Guidelines for the Concrete-Operational Child

1. Use concrete props and visual aids

2. Give students a chance to manipulate and test objects

3. Presentations and readings are brief and well organized

4. Use familiar examples

5. Give opportunities to classify and group objects and ideas on increasingly complex levels

6. Present Problems that require analytical thinking

Formal Operational Stage (Junior and Senior High)

4: Student can accomplish mental tasks that involve abstract thinking and the coordination of a # of variables

Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning: identifying factors that might affect a problem, deduce and systematically evaluate specific solutions

Adolescent Egocentrism: assumption that everyone else shares one’s thoughts, feeling, and concerns

Imaginary Audience: self conscious behavior that everyone is watching you

Guidelines for Helping Students to Use Formal Operations

1. Continue to use concrete-operational teaching strategies and materials

2. Give students the opportunity to explore many hypothetical questions

3. Give students opportunities to solve problems and reason scientifically

4. Teach broad concepts, not just facts, using materials and ideas relevant to the students’ lives

Implications of Piaget’s Theory

1. Children must act on informations in some way

2. Students should act, manipulate, observe, talk/write about what they have experienced

3. The communication allows students to use, test, and even change their thinking abilities

Limitations of Piaget’s Theory

1. Children and adults aare often inconsistent with the invariant stages

2. Some people believe Piaget underestimated children’s abilities

3. Piaget didn’t allow much “space” for Information Processing and also didn’t give a great deal of “space” for the teacher’s role

4. Piaget didn’t allow for cultural differences

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

1. Social Sources of Individual Teaching

2. Cultural Tools and Cognitive Development

3. Role of Language and Private Speech

4. The Zone of Proximal Development

Social Sources of Individual Teaching

believed functions appear twice in a child’s life: social and individual level

Co-constructed process: people interact and negotiate (verbally) to create an understanding or to solve a problem. the final product is shaped by all participants

Cultural Tools and Cognitive Development

Cultural Tools: The real tools (computers, scales, etc) and symbol systems (numbers, language, graphs) that allow people in a society to communicate, think, solve problems and create knowledge

Mediation Tools: use of tools such as ABC chart or number line above chalkboard, a teacher modeling how to write from left to right

The Role of Language and Private Speech

Language: how we connect the past to the future, how cultures communicate within a society or between societies

Private Speech: Children’s self-talk, guides their thinking and action [s[shopping and saying your list out loud]p>

Zone of Proximal Development

“Magic Middle”

Zone: level just above the child’s capability level where s/he can accomplish things if s/he has assistance

Important to teach towards middle of students’ overall ability

Scaffolding: giving information, prompts, reminders and encouragement at the right time and in the right amount [s[stairs example, moving from the experienced child to more experienced child]p>


Teacher’s can assist in Proximal Development by:

adapting materials or problems

demonstrating skills

walking though steps of a problem

giving detailed feeback and allowing revisions

asking questions to refocus attention

Who else teaches the students as an experienced other?
Tour guides, Girl Scouts leader, Link Crew Leader, Guest Speakers, Church Memeber, Peers, Family members, Doctor, Principal, Tutor, Camp Counselor, Coach, Child care providers, Volunteers
Social Constructivist


more than just the teacher whom teaches the children

Individual Constructivist
Domains of Development
Physical, Personal, Social, Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Language (Perky Penny Someitmes Counts After Lunch)
adaptive changes we go through from life to death
changes in body function and structure over time
Personal “emotional”
Changes in personality that takes place as children grow [e[emotional]b>
Changes in how we relate to others
Gradual orderly changes by which mental preocesses become more complex and sophisticated
Appreciation of beauty [a[art and music]b>
writing, reading, speech, and listening
genetically programmed, naturally occuring changes over time (disease and malnutrition)
General Principles of Development

1. People develop at different rates

2. Development is relatively orderly

3. Development takes place gradually

Basic Tendencies in Thinking
Assimilation, Accomodation, and Equilibration
fitting new information into existing schemes
altering existing schemes or creating new ones in response to new information
Search for mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment (equilibrium)
“out of balance” state that occurs when a person realizes that his/her current ways of thikning are not working to understand a situation
Do you want your students to experience equilibration or disequilibrium and why?
Both; disequilibrium should happen first and then equilibration should happen second. A person must go through challeges to get to comprehension.
nerve cell of the central nervous system
single nerve cell that extends from a neuron and transmits impulse from that neuron to the dendrites of other neurons
nerve fibers that extend from a neuron and receive the impulses transmitted from the other neurons (via their axons)
point at which the axon of one neuron meets the dentdrites of another neuron
outer layer of the brain, about 1/8 of an inch thick, involved in the voluntary, congitive aspects of the mind
Transient Exuberance
great increase in the number of dendrites and synapses that occurs in an infant’s brain over the first two years of life
process in which axons are coated with myeline, a fatty substance that speeds communication between neurons
brain chemical that carries information across the synaptic gap between one neuron and another
Dominant and Assistor Hand Activities
vacuuming, cooking, bow and arrow, sweeping with dust pan, washing dishes, simple sweeping, toothbrush and toothpaste, zip or button clothing
Grasping Techniques of opening and closing of the hand
Stress ball, playing catch, puppet, playdough, tweezers, stapler, shampoo bottle, sponge, squeeze toy

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