Child and Adolescents Development Theories
The first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development was Jean Piaget in the 1920’s. “Piaget believed that human beings organize new information in two ways: through assimilation and through accommodation” (Rathus 241). He showed that children think in dramatically different ways than adults. There are three basic components to Piaget’s Cognitive Theory are schemas, the processes of adaption, and four stages of development. Piaget described schemas as the building blocks of intelligent behavior. The processes of adaption to the world is categorized as assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration. When “using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation” is an assimilation (McLeod). Accommodation “happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with anew object or situation” (McLeod). “The force, which moves development along” is equilibration (McLeod). Piaget believed leaps and bounds are the way that cognitive development progresses (McLeod). Piaget said that children “go through four universal stages of cognitive development” (McLeod). “The sensorimotor stage, ranges from birth to about age 2”, having infants focus of learning on trial and error (Sensorimotor). Initially, children “rely on reflexes, eventually modifying them to adapt to their world” (Sensorimotor). Objects and events can be mentally represented by children around age two to seven while they go through the preoperational stage (Preoperational). During the preoperational stage children can engage in symbolic play and animism. “Their thoughts and communications are typically egocentric” (Preoperational). The major turning point in the child’s cognitive development is considered the concrete stage when the children are typically age’s seven to eleven (Concrete). Piaget believes that “the child is now mature enough to use logical thought or operations but can only apply logic...
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