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1249 Words Jan 25th, 2012 5 Pages
Describe and evaluate Piaget’s theory of cognitive development

Cognitive development is looking at the way children learn and process information. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a psychologist looking into the development of cognitive processes; his research is still highly influential today for studies carried out on cognitive development in children. Piaget believed intelligence is the balance which a person achieves between themselves and the environment and that this was achieved by the actions on the world of a young person who is developing. Piaget constructed several concepts to define the stages of child development; he was fascinated by the way that all children seemed to go through the same stages of discovering the world at
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The second stage which Piaget defines is the preoperational stage (2-7years). The first part of this stage is egocentrism. Piaget worked with Inhelder (1956), together they constructed a 3D model and asked the children in the group to tell them what they could see from another angle to what they were sitting at. The children aged 4-5 we unable to put themselves at another angle and therefore their answer was their own view. The next stage of this stage was the intuitive period in which the children were unable to understand certain physical characteristics of objects that stayed the same mass however changed in shape (the mass of bays of clay, the volume of liquids, the quantity of counters). The children are unable to simply change one dimension without believing the others change too. They have a lack of reversibility and are unable to understand that if a ball of clay is rolled out that it will be able to be rolled back into the original size it was. There are several limitations and criticisms to this stage investigated by Piaget. His results are replicable and could therefore be easily repeated. But in research carried out by psychologists such as McGarrigle and Donaldson they found that by conducting the “naughty teddy” study by changing the way the conservation task is presented . Their results showed that children had more understanding of what was occurring and they were able to carry out the observation task successfully. Other research carried out by

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