Cognitive Development

Category: Education

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PowerPoint Presentation:

What is cognitive development? Progressive changes in how we think, know, remember, & communicate

Jean Piaget’s Theories of Cognitive Development:

Jean Piaget’s Theories of Cognitive Development Just as Copernicus revolutionized our understanding of the solar system, Piaget revolutionized our understanding of children’s minds. - William Damon (1995)

PowerPoint Presentation:

“Assessing the impact of Piaget on developmental psychology is like assessing the impact of Shakespeare in English literature.” - Dev. Psychologist, Harry Beilin (1992)

Who was Jean Piaget?:

Who was Jean Piaget? Swiss developmental psychologist 1896-1980 Placed great importance on the education of children: “…only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse…” Core idea : Children are active thinkers who constantly try to construct an understanding of their world To do this, they build schemas

Review of Schemas:

Review of Schemas Concepts or mental frameworks that permit the classification & organization of new info. Molds that we fill in with experience A set of expectations that influence our perception of something

An early Schema::

An early Schema: “Objects I can bite”


Assimilation Incorporating new experiences into an existing schema. Adding to a schema E.g. New objects I can bite: other toys, bottle, etc.


Accommodation Creating new schemas as a result of new experiences that don’t match existing schemas E.g. Dog food, dandelions, rocks New schema = Yucky stuff!

Developing Schemas for Dogs & Cats:

Developing Schemas for Dogs & Cats

Sensorimotor Stage:

Sensorimotor Stage Duration: Birth to 2 yrs. old

Primary activities/ characteristics:

Primary activities/ characteristics

1. Exploration (using the senses & motor actions to interact with the world):

1. Exploration (using the senses & motor actions to interact with the world)

2. Fascination with novelty (everything’s new!):

2. Fascination with novelty (everything’s new!)

3. Repeated, pleasurable behaviors:

3. Repeated, pleasurable behaviors Baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper

4. Development of Object Permanence :

4. Development of Object Permanence Before Objects continue to exist when out of sight Objects represented mentally After

5. Imitation of others:

5. Imitation of others Baby imitating parents on phone

6. Development of self-awareness:

6. Development of self-awareness


“Operations” Actions based on logical thinking

Preoperational Stage:

Preoperational Stage Duration: 2-7 yrs. old

Primary activities/ characteristics:

Primary activities/ characteristics

PowerPoint Presentation:

Increased use of symbols

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Same time as the “Complex language” stage Preoperational = “Pre-logical” Key characteristic is one-dimensional thinking

Examples of One-Dimensional Thinking:

Examples of One-Dimensional Thinking

1. Egocentrism:

1. Egocentrism They are the center of everything Can only see the world from their own point of view

Egocentrism Examples:

Egocentrism Examples Question Typical Answer Why does it get dark out at night? “So I can go to sleep.” What are TV sets for? “To watch my favorite shows and cartoons.” The Mountain Test

from You Never Know, Dave Matthews Band:

from You Never Know, Dave Matthews Band …Funny, when you're small The moon follows the car There's no one but you see Hey, the moon is chasing me…

Parallel Play:

Parallel Play

Collective Monologue:

Collective Monologue Imagine two children are playing right next to each other, one playing with a coloring book and the other with a doll. They are talking to each other in sequence, but each child is completely oblivious to what the other is saying. Julie: "I love my dolly, her name is Tina" Carol: "I'm going to color the sun yellow" Julie: "She has long, curly hair like my auntie" Carol: "Maybe I'll color the trees yellow, too" Julie: "I wonder what Tina's eyes are made of?" Carol: "I lost my orange crayon." Julie: " I know her eyes are made of glass."

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2. Animism Giving life-like qualities to non-living things Assuming that environmental events are human inventions 3. Artificialism


Examples Type of Thought Question Typical Answer Animism Why do trees have leaves? To keep them warm. Where do boats go at night? They sleep like we do. Artificialism Why is the sky blue? Someone painted it.

4. Centration:

4. Centration Focusing only on one aspect of a situation at a time. E.g. Adding/subtracting is learned before multiplying/dividing

5. Lack of Conservation:

5. Lack of Conservation They don’t know that just because the appearance of something may change, the amount or size does not.

Lack of Conservation:

Lack of Conservation

PowerPoint Presentation:

Mr. K. and Lack of Conservation

6. Objective Responsibility:

6. Objective Responsibility Assigning blame based on the amount of damage done rather than on the motives of the actor.

Concrete Operational Stage:

Concrete Operational Stage Duration: 7 to 12 yrs. old

Primary activities/ characteristics:

Primary activities/ characteristics

PowerPoint Presentation:

Beginning of capacity for adult logic The “hands-on” period Can reason, but need concrete examples/direct experiences to understand Abstract questions too difficult

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Understanding of conservation Decentration Multiple classification

Respond to the question below with your group: :

Respond to the question below with your group: If everyone in the world suddenly became blind, how would the world be different?

Formal Operational Stage:

Formal Operational Stage Duration: 12 to adulthood

Primary activities/ characteristics:

Primary activities/ characteristics

PowerPoint Presentation:

Abstract reasoning Can deal with hypothetical situations Ability to see beyond the here & now Concerned with thoughts, ideas, & values We’re not that smart!!!

Unstructured Play Articles:

Unstructured Play Articles Articles 1 & 2 What are the various causes for a lack of unstructured play? Consequences/ Importance of unstructured play Article 3 Importance of boredom Advice for parents

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