As a teacher I agree with the Piaget’s theory in which states that human intelligence is gained through actual experience and is considered a process over time. Furthermore, Piaget also stated that cognitive development is an advancing reorganization of mental processes as a result of life development and experiences in the individual environment. Therefore, Jean Piaget (1980) proposed the idea of the four stages of childhood cognitive development. These four stages of childhood cognitive development are called sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational.
He believe that children are constantly experimenting with activities such as shaking or throwing things, putting things in their mouths, and learning about the world. Through these experiences children go through his four stages of cognitive development in which are determined by age group. The benefits of Piaget’s cognitive development includes a comprehensive overview of how the brain and thinking develops as a typical child ages.
The first stage is called the sensorimotor stage which extends from birth to age two. In this stage, infants build an understanding of the world by integrating with experiences and developing both physically and cognitively skills. According to Wood (2012) “When baby is born, he or she starts developing both physically and cognitively ” It define how physical skills develop, such as, crawling, grasping, and pulling as well as general growth including developing of their cognitively skills and starting reacting to different motivations such as noise, movement, and emotions.
Secondly, preoperational stage begins between two years to seven years old, it consist of language, memory and imagination (Wood, 2012). This stage, a child begins to represent the world with words, image and drawing, for mentally, adding and subtracting numbers. Base on Piaget, Preoperational stage, children are able to use symbolic function. .
Other than that, the concrete stage the age is between seven and eleven (Wood, 2012). This stage, logical reasoning replaces natural intellectual and children can start perform simple operations. In other words the children in this stage can take in other point of views, and more than one perspective. The limitation for this stage they do not yet consider all of the logically possible outcomes and do not understand highly abstract concepts” (Siegler, Alibali, 2005).
The last and final stage is formal operational stage, where children are between eleven to fifteen years of age. According to Wood (2012) “This stage are use symbol related to abstract concepts variable are thought of in systematic ways, hypothesis are formulated and knowledge about abstract relationships and concepts are present”. Piaget believes that they begin to think in abstract and logical ways, develop images of ideal circumstances and use logical reasoning to solve problems.
To conclude, the cognitive development theory of Jean Piaget explains the main four stages of the child’s development. In each stage the child have different level of cognitive development. Piaget also further elaborated this theory that we not only able to organize our observations and experiences, but we also adapt our thinking by taking new ideas or thinking more critically and creatively in order to improve our understanding something. Furthermore, in determining these different stages are able to understand and characterize now the patterns of intellectual skills of infants, children and adolescents and eventually help us to be able to effectively communicate to them and see to it that their learning environment is right to their age. Clearly, Piaget’s study offered us direct recognition of the level of comprehension a leaner is capable. He believe that at different ages, specifically as they got older, children were able to learn more and understand more complex concepts.