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Lecture 14

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McMaster University
Jennifer Ostovich

PIAGET’S STAGES OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT (CONT’D) Overview  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 schemes)  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 Rigid 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 o Egocentric  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
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