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Cognitive Development - Piaget

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Mark Schmuckler

Cognitive Development-Piaget  What is cognitive development?  How do children change intellectually?  Piagetian approach is one of the major approach to understanding how children change intellectually o Definition of cognition  Refers to the act of knowing  Concerned with the mental processes by which knowledge is acquired, elaborated, stored and retrieved  Cognitive development is the study of charting the changes that occur in these mental skills from birth into old age o Structural-functional approach  Emphasizes the biological functions and environment influences that promote developmental changes in the organization and the structure of intelligence  Been associated with the work of Piaget o Information-processing approach  Focuses on the growth of specific cognitive processing mechanisms, such as perception, attention, memory etc.  Mind processes information similar to a computer  Piaget’s Theory  What interested Piaget was when children got the questions wrong  He began to believe the nature of the children’s wrong answer was systematic  Younger children answer in a systematically different way than older children (natures of the answers were different had different structure)  Represented stage-like differences in how children understood and thought about different types of cognitive information o Cognitive equilibrium  What is intelligence?  Basic life force that helps the child to adapt to the environment  Type of equilibrium towards which all cognitive structures tend  Produce balanced relationship between thought processes of the child and the environment  This balanced relationship called “cognitive equilibrium”  Children as constructivists  Constantly being challenged by things they don’t understand  Mental adjustments help child understand new experiences and restore idea of cognitive equilibrium (they restore the balance)  They are constructing knowledge for themselves  Not passive where environment is telling them what’s going on  This construction of reality is limited by the knowledge that is available to the child that that particular point in time  S
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