Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget was a developmental psychologist best known for his theory of cognitive development. Piaget's stages deal with the nature of knowledge (epistemology) and how humans come to gradually acquire it. See also: Erikson Stages
During this first stage, children learn entirely through the movements they make and the
sensations that result. They learn:
Once children acquire language, they are able to use symbols (such as words or pictures) to
represent objects. Their thinking is still very egocentric though -- they assume that everyone
else sees things from the same viewpoint as they do.
They are able to understand concepts like counting, classifying according to similarity, and past-present-future but generally they are still focused primarily on the present and on the concrete, rather than the abstract.
At this stage, children are able to see things from different points of view and to imagine
events that occur outside their own lives. Some organized, logical thought processes are now
evident and they are able to:
However, thinking still tends to be tied to concrete reality
|Around the onset of puberty, children are able to reason in much more abstract ways and to test hypotheses using systematic logic. There is a much greater focus on possibilities and on ideological issues.