A Classroom Design According to Piaget
ECE 332 Child Development
June 29, 2013
When the brain is able to learn naturally we call this theory brain based learning we use our brain everyday to acquire and take in things that we learn and children are no exception. According to Jean Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory children use their brain to think, reason, and remember. Based upon his observations, he concluded that children were not less intelligent than adults, they simply think differently (Cherry, n.d.). Piaget described his theory using stages that children go through as they mentally mature. In his description of children he called them "little scientists," actively trying to make sense of the world rather than simply soaking up information passively (Cherry, n.d.). When designing a toddler classroom there are many things to consider. It is very important to create an environment that is geared toward the proper developmental stage in order for young children to get the most out their classroom experiences. Children in the preoperational stage (2 yrs. – 7 yrs.) need a wide variety of hands-on activities to promote development. Using Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive development to design a classroom will give toddlers a wide range of activities to gain a strong foundation for learning.
Jean Piaget a developmental psychologist became intrigued in the development of children and decided he wanted to study and learn about the development of children. He then came up with a theory known as the cognitive developmental theory children. His theory consists of several key concepts and stages of development. The concepts consist of schemas, assimilation, accommodation, equilibration and the four stages of development.
The first concept or component is the schemas which are the building blocks of knowledge. Schemas are units of knowledge that help us explain and understand the world around us. The next three components is the process that enables the transition from one stage to another and it consists of assimilation this means that we use an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation. The next component is accommodation and this happens when the existing schema or knowledge does not work, and has to be shifted to deal with a new object or situation. The third component is equilibration this is the force, which moves development along. This happens when children are able to balance between assimilation and accommodation. The last components are the four stages of development Piaget believed that all children go through the stages in the same order and that no stage can be missed but some people might not ever attain the later stages. Piaget also believed that there are individual differences in the rate that children progress through the stages. The stages include the sensorimotor stage the age in which children go through this stage is 0-2 years old the key feature in this stage is object performance. The second stage is the preoperational stage the age for this stage is 2-7 years old and the key feature is egocentrism. The next stage is concrete operational and children go through this stage during the age of 7-11 years old and the key feature during this stage is conservation. The last stage is called the formal operational stage and this age group consists of 11 years old and over and the key feature in this stage is abstract reasoning meaning a person is able to manipulate ideas in their head. Since the main focus for our classroom is the preoperational stage we will take a look at some of the characteristics of this specific stage.
The preoperational stage usually ranges in age from 2 to 7 and in this stage children can mentally represent events and objects, and begin to engage in symbolic play. At this stage children tend to be very egocentric meaning their thoughts are focused on themselves (McLeod, 2010). They cannot view a situation from another person’s...
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