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Main articles: Jean Piaget and Theory of cognitive development Piaget was a Swiss theorist who posited that children learn actively through the play process. He suggested that the adult's role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials for the child to interact and construct. He would use Socratic questioning to get the children to reflect on what they were doing.[citation needed] He would try to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. He also developed stages of development. His approach can be seen in how the curriculum is sequenced in schools, and in the pedagogy of preschool centers across the United States.[citation needed] Piaget stages

Sensorimotor: (birth to about age 2)
During this early stage, the child learns about himself and his environment through motor and reflex actions. Thought derives from sensation and movement. The child learns that he is separate from his environment and that aspects of his environment—his parents or favorite toy—continue to exist even though they may be outside the reach of his senses; this is called object permanence.[citation needed] Teaching for a child in this stage should be geared to the sensorimotor system. You can modify behavior by using the senses: a frown, a stern or soothing voice—all serve as appropriate techniques.[citation needed] Preoperational: (begins about the time the child starts to talk to about age 7) Applying his new knowledge of language, the child begins to use symbols to represent objects. Early in this stage he or she also personifies objects.[citation needed] They are now better able to think about things and events that aren't immediately present. Oriented to the present, children have difficulty conceptualizing time.[citation needed] Their thinking is influenced by fantasy—the way they'd like things to be. Children's at this age show egocentrism-they assume that others see situations from his or her viewpoint.[citation needed] They take in...
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