PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT (CONT’D)
Preoperational stage (2-7 years)
Concrete Operations Stage (7-11 years)
o Pretty much all the stuff that kids in the PreOp stage can’t do, the ConcOp can.
What are operations?
o An overall logic system; what are the rules of the world and what type of rules can I come up
with? Kids in the preoperational stage lack these worldly schemes so they make all the
mistakes that concrete operations stage kids don’t make.
Contrast 2 stages for best picture of developing abilities
o Which tasks can ConcOp kids ?????
Strengths of PreOp thought: “Symbolic Function”
Substage 1 (2-4 years) involves first use of mental schemes
o Internal problem solving
o Language use
o Symbolic/pretend play (LINK)
Riding a “horse” using a broom
Represents this new mode of thinking (something you can’t do before having mental
Open ended products are better than “brain-stimulating” products for child development
Parents want to support and aid the kids BUT you don’t want to direct it (let them decide)
A lot of literacy studies in all literature show that kids that participated in a lot of pretend
play were also good at impulse control (good predictor of how well you do in school)
Why is symbolic thought so important?
o Speed, scope, social interaction
o Its efficient
o Lot more thinking involved
o With sensory motor thinking, you can only interact (intellectually) with objects that are near you.
With symbolic thinking, its not something that involves direct manipulation
o Social interaction is very important; it will enrich learning (of other people/opinions etc.)
o Piaget didn’t spend a lot of time on sensory though in PreOp thought; it’s a motor development
more than (???)
Weaknesses of PreOp thought: “Intuitive Thinking”
Substage 2 (age 4-7) thinking is
o Insensitive to inconsistencies
o Focused on superficial aspects of problems
Can’t easily/properly solve a problem with multiple questions/problems
They just focus on the one thing that captures their attention
Incapable of representing/understanding others minds; cant shift perspectives and
understand that another person can think/are thinking something different to them
In essence, PreOp thinking is