Piaget's 4 stages of child development
JEAN PIAGET (1896 - 1980) a Swiss psychologist, won fame in early childhood education, for his studies of the thought processes of children. He and his associates published more than 30 volumes on this subject. Born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, he grew to be a brilliant scholar in science. He worked in psychological clinics and laboratories and whilst helping with the standardisation of intelligence test procedures, he made his first discoveries of children's thinking development.
Jean P. started to believe that children are not just little adults in the way they think, and that there might be stages in the development of the intellect. He spent 50 years studying children, and has had enormous influence on the way people now regard how children think. His research in child psychology is based on his belief that children pass through 4 periods of mental development.
4 Stages of Child Development
|SENORIMOTOR INTELLIGENCE||PRE-OPERATIONAL THOUGHT|
|First 2 yrs of life||Ages 2 to 7|
|Primarily motor behavior||Verbal & Conceptual Abilities expand|
|Intellectual processes developed through physical interaction with the environment||Child capable of intuitive thought-illogical & egocentric|
|Objects exist only if they can be seen, touched or heard||Dominated by animism & moral realism
|CONCRETE OPERATIONS||FORMAL OPERATIONS|
|Age 7||Ages 11 to 15|
|Abilities to think in a logical way and to solve concrete problems||Understand highly abstract concepts such as justice, love and prejudice|
|Thought processes such as ordering, classification, seriation, and mathematics are possible||Thoughts no longer tied to actual objects and experience|
|Ability to think abstractly has not yet begun to appear||Can think about ideas and use logic|
Jean P. theorized several principles for the construction of cognitive structures. During all stages of child development, the child is experiencing his or her environment, using whatever mental maps have been constructed to that point. If the experience is a repeated one, it fits easily or is assimilated into the structure, so that mental equilibrium is maintained. If the experience is different or new, equilibrium is lost, and a change in the structure occurs in order to accommodate the new aspects of the experience. Gradually, more and more adequate cognitive structures are built up.
CHRONOLOGICAL LIFE OF JEAN PIAGET (1896 - 1980)
Published his first scientific articl (before the age of 10)
Received his PhD in natural sciences at Neuchatel University
Worked in psychological clinics and lab in Zurich and Paris
Helped in the standardisation of intelligence test procedures at Alfred Binet's lab
Director of the International Bureau for Education
Director of the Institute for Educational Sciences at the University of Geneva
1938 - 1951
Professor of Psychology and Sociology at the University of Lausanne
Professor of Sociology at the University of Geneva
Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Geneva
Professor of Developmental Psychology at the Sorbonne
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