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Piaget's theory of cognitive development

Piaget observed that children go through four different stages of cognitive development in a fixed order that is common in all children. He also noticed that these stages differ in the quantity of information acquired at each stage and the quality of knowledge and understanding at the different stages. He similarly declared that the movement from one stage to another depended on the level of maturity and life exposure. The Piaget's four stages of cognitive development are:  sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational (essortment, 2002).

Sensorimotor stage

This stage is from birth to two years. The child can differentiate itself from objects but cannot represent the environment using images, language or symbols. It has no awareness of objects and people that are not present at immediate time-object permanence. For example if you hide an object from an infant, it will conclude that it is gone forever.

Preoperational stage

This stage is from the age of two to seven years. Children develop a language that represents the world and allows them to describe people events and feelings. They view the world from their own perspective assuming everybody to be reasoning the same-egocentric thoughts. They also lack the principle of conservation. They will use symbols pretending to be doing something like driving a car using toys.

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Concrete Operational stage

This stage lasts between the age of 7 and 12years. Children develop the ability to think logically and overcome the egocentric thoughts. They learn the idea of reversibility. They master the principle of conservation. They can equally conceptualize events and have a better understanding of time and space.

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Formal operational stage

This stage starts from 12 years to adulthood. It is signified by abstract, formal, and logical thinking. They also develop an ability to solve problems (Learning, 2010)

I don't agree with this theory. This is because; different children develop differently at each stage depending on their environment, diet and sometimes inherited genes which affect growth. Hence, although the stages are relevantly defined, what happens at those stages cannot be fixed and universal for all children.

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