Child development

Topics: Psychosexual development, Jean Piaget, Phallic stage, Oral stage, Developmental psychology, Anal stage / Pages: 7 (1747 words) / Published: Sep 23rd, 2013
This essay will analyse the evidence both for and against the argument that development occurs in stages. There are many theories relating to child development. Many of which argue the existence of stages within the development process. One of the main theories is Piaget’s, who focused on the cognitive development of children. This essay will look at Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in children and examine any positive and negative aspects of this theory. It will also look at Freud’s theory of sexual development in children and investigate the positive and negative attributes of this theory. The final major theory that will be looked at is the information processing approach, with a brief look at positive and negative features of this particular theory.

The term development in itself can be defined as the progression of a living thing as it grows, matures and transforms throughout its lifetime (Smith, Cowie, Blades, 2003). Psychologists who study child development look at the way in which children develop. Many psychologists believe that development occurs in stages within children. Piaget particularly had a theory relating to the cognitive development of children. He believed there were four stages: the sensorimotor stage, which occurs in infancy, and is when the child uses their developing senses and motor skills to explore their environment (Kaplan, 1998). The second stage of development is the Preoperational stage, this occurs between the ages of two and seven. During this stage the child is expanding their language skills but still has a very egocentric view of the world, believing that everyone else sees certain circumstances the same way that they do (Smith, Cowie, Blades, 2003). The third stage is the Concrete Operational Stage, which occurs between the ages of seven and twelve. Throughout this particular stage, children become less egocentric and are able to see things from another person’s point of view (Kaplan, 1998). They are also able to



References: Smith, P. Cowie, H. Blades, M (2003) Understanding Children’s Development, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, UK Kaplan, P. (1998) The Human Odyssey: Life-Span Development, Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, USA. Eysenck, M. (2000) Psychology: A Student’s Handbook, Psychology Press, UK

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