Child Development/Jean Piaget FOUN 3100 August 25, 2003
Development Why and What?
Child Development in the 16th Century • Puritans • Children are born evil and have a natural tendency toward evil • Children are born without knowledge – they are not aware of their evilness and how to lead a good life • Teachers/parents must steer children away from natural tendencies so they could go to Heaven • “The New England Primer” – rote memorization
Child Development in the 17th Century • Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Émile) • Children morally good • Stayed that way unless corrupted by society • Discovery learning – teachers/parents should create environment for children to explore
Child Development in the 21st Century • What is the basis of the modern day ideas of child development? • Puritans or Rousseau?
Why is studying development important? • The more you know, the more capable you are to teach • Our society values childhood • Individual level • Shared characteristics (psychologists)
What is development? • The pattern of biological, cognitive, and socioemotional changes that begins at conception and continues through the life span.
Development: The Whole Child Biological Socioemotional Cognitive
Periods of Development • Infancy: birth to 18 months • Early childhood: 18 months to 6-years-old • Middle and late childhood:6 to 11-years-old • Adolescence: 10 to 18-years-old • Early adulthood: late teens to early 30s
Cognitive Processes Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
Piaget’s Theory • Piaget was interested in: • how we develop our understanding of the things around us • How kids come to know day-to-day things adults take for granted
Three Characteristics of Piaget’s Theory • Biological model • Structured theory • Stages
Biological Model • Piaget’s education – Biology • Explained development using biological terms • Example: over time our knowledge gets more advanced and more differentiated as cells do during prenatal growth
Structured Theory • Interested in how things are organized • Determined that children do not think in the same way as adults • Schemas • Change as we get older • Assimilation • Accommodation • Equilibration
Characteristics of Piaget’s Stages • Reflect an underlying mental structure • Describe a person in a state of equilibrium • Must follow the order developed by Piaget • Cannot skip stages • Composed partly of preparation and party of achievement • Found in all cultures - Universal
Piaget’s Stages of Development • Sensorimotor Stage: birth to 2 • Infants use senses to understand their world • Object permanence
Piaget’s Stages of Development • Preoperational Stage: 2 to 7 • Increased use of language • Egocentrism • Animism • Centration • Lack of conservation • Lack reversibility (operations)
Piaget’s Stages of Development • Concrete Operational Stage: 7 to 11 • Operations • Logical reasoning only in concrete situations • Classification • Seriation
Piaget’s Stages of Development • Formal Operational Stage: 11 – 15 • More logical thought • Abstract thought • Idealistic thought • Hypothetical-deductive reasoning
Strengths of Piaget’s Theory • One of the first formal, comprehensive theories on child development • Children as active, constructive thinkers • Methodology – interested in why kids got wrong answers • Observation methods • Cognitive growth: partial accomplishments vs. complete appearance at once
Weaknesses of Piaget’s Theory • Estimates of time related to children’s competencies • Development does not always occur in a stage-like fashion • Children can be trained to be at the next stage