Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, social, intellectual and emotional domains is taken into account. Individuals learn best when material is appropriate to their developmental level and is presented in an enjoyable and interesting way. Individual achievements and development varies in each instructional domain.
Awareness and understanding of developmental differences among children with and without emotional, physical, or intellectual disabilities can facilitate the creation of optimal learning contexts (American Psychological Association, 2005).
HOW CHILDREN THINK AND LEARN
How we as human beings develop cognitively has been thoroughly researched. Cognitive development is the process whereby a child’s understanding of the world changes as a function of age and experience.
Piaget’s contributions to our understanding of the learning process are as important as his contributions to our understanding of stages of development.
DIFFERENT STAGES OF LEARNING DEVELOPMENT ACCORDING TO JEAN PIAGET:
* SENSORIMOTOR STAGE
Lasting from birth to approximately 24 months, child learns primarily through sensory experiences and movement. The child learns to experience environment. The child touches things, hold, listens, tastes, feels, and shakes everything in sight. For them, the sense of time is now and space is here. The child begins to explore with both senses and the ability to get there.
* PREOPERATIONAL STAGE
* 2 TO 5 years old.
The child develops the important skill of using symbols, but is not yet capable of mentally manipulating them in logical order. They use symbols like pictures and spoken words to represent objects and ideas. This is the time when a child learns by asking questions.
* CONCRETE OPERATIONAL STAGE
* 6 TO 11 or 12 years old.
At this age, children become capable of what Piaget refers to as mental operations and applying of...