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Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Egocentrism and the Three-Mountain Task

Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Egocentrism and the Three-Mountain Task

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Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Egocentrism and the Three-Mountain Task

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  1. Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development: Egocentrism and the Three-Mountain Task By: Martin Lopez

  2. Jean Piaget • Born August 9, 1986 in Neuchatel, Switzerland • At 10, published first article on sparrows • At 15, he decided to focus his work towards biological explanation of knowledge • At 18, received B.A. from University of Neuchatel • At 21, earned a doctorate in the natural sciences

  3. Jean Piaget • By 21, he had published 25 professional papers (mostly on mollusks) • At 23, he researched children psychology • By 30, Piaget was famous for his works in psychology • Has honorary degrees from Harvard, Columbia, University of Brussels, the Sorbonne, and Brazil • Jean Piaget is NOT a maturationist!!!

  4. Overview of Theory • Stage theory • Children pass through these four stages in an invariant sequence • Children use biological tendencies: assimilation, accommodations, adaptation, and organization • Development is an active construction process • It is through children’s activities is where they build their cognitive structures

  5. Nature vs. Nurture • Piaget believed that nature and nurture interact to yield cognitive development • Adaptation: The tendency to respond to the demands of the environment to meet one’s goals • Organization: The tendency to integrate particular observations into coherent knowledge

  6. Preoperational Stage • Takes place from ages 2 to 7 • Child’s mind takes on symbols (including images and words) • Development of egocentrism, centration, and inability to follow transformations • Development of language, child use words as symbols • Children fail to conserve different objects • Transductive reasoning, shifting from particular to particular, appears

  7. Concrete Operations Stage • Takes place from ages 7 to 11 • Characterized by the appropriate use of logic. • Important processes during this stage are: seriation, classification, reversibility, conservation, and elimination of egocentrism • Only solve problems that apply to actual (concrete) objects or events

  8. Egocentrism • It is the inability to distinguish one’s own perspective from that of others. • Encourages centration, tendency of the child to focus attention on one aspect of situation and ignore all others. • Found primarily in the preoperational stage (2-7 yrs).

  9. Three-Mountain Task

  10. Guiding Questions • Will children in the same stage of development have the same perspective as their peers? • Will there be a difference in stage development between older children and younger children? • Can a child identify an image from the perspective of another person or thing? • Can a child identify their own perspective of the image? • Does a child’s egocentrism continue throughout the different development stages or does should it end at a particular stage of development?

  11. Participants • 17 1st graders (6-7yrs) from Holy Family of Nazareth Elementary School-Irving, TX • 23 4th graders (9-11yrs) from Lavaland Elementary School- Albuquerque, NM

  12. Procedure • The children were sat down at one end of the table containing four chairs on each side of the table. There were three different sized squares on top the table. Then each child was given a piece of paper with four different images of the squares. Then I sat next to the child and asked them to circle the view that was in front of me, or my view of the squares. • I continued moving around the table counter-clockwise until all of the three images were selected by the child.

  13. Hypothesis • The preoperational child will not be able to identify all of the images from that of another person’s perspective, but they will be able to pick their own view. • The older children tested (9-10 yrs) will be able to identify all of the images and their own view

  14. NAME______________________________________ AGE_________________________________ View 1 View 2 View 3 View 4 (Child’s View)

  15. Data Collection Tool • The children’s egocentrism will be examined by using a one-point scale for each correct image identified. • The child will receive an automatic one point for not identifying the last image, (view 4). This is their own view. • One point is given for every correct image that is identified. • There is a total of four points possible for each child during the test. • A four-score is the highest of the totals meaning that the child has completely gone through the preoperational stage into the concrete operational stage of development and are no longer egocentric. • If a child reaches a three-score then the child is near the end of the preoperational stage, and able to think concretely, but is still egocentric. • If a child reaches a two, one, or zero score, they have yet to have concrete operational thoughts and are still in the preoperational stage of development and are still egocentric; they cannot perceive the perspective of others just quite yet.

  16. DATA 1st graders of Holy Family ElementarySchool 6- 4 points 0- 3 points 5- 2 points 4- 1 point 2- 0 points

  17. 4th graders of Lavaland Elementary School 10- 4 points 0- 3 points 13- 2 points 0- 1 point 0- 0 points

  18. Results1st Graders

  19. Results4th Graders

  20. ResultsAverage of both 1st and 4th Grades

  21. Conclusions • My hypothesis was FALSE!! • A majority of the 1st graders were able to pick all of the images, but were not able to pick their own view of the squares. • A majority of the 4th graders were not able to pick all of the images, but all of the 4th graders were able to pick their own view.

  22. Problems • Data collection tool was a little broad and was hard deciding what the stages were that the child should fall into. • At times the images on the testing sheet seemed too confusing for both 1st and 4th graders.