cognitive development in children

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  • cognitive dev in children: how children learn to think - theory proposed by Piaget: all children mature through a series of distinct stages in intellectual development using processes of assimilation (application of existing mental patterns to new situations) and accomodation (modification of existing mental patterns to fit new demands)
    • stage 1: sensorimotor stage (0-2yr): babies cannot create internal representations such as mental images so they lack object permanence - an understanding that objects continue to exist when they are out of sight - in this stage sensory input and motor responses become coordinated
    • stage 2: preoperational stage (2-7 yr) : children cant transform (change the shape or form of a mental image) images or ideas in their minds - children begin to use language and think symbolically yet remain intuitive and egocentric in their thought
    • stage 3: concrete operational stage (7-11yr) - ability to reverse thoughts and mastery of conservation (the concept that the weight, mass and volume of matter remains unchanged even when the shape or appearance of objects changes
    • stage 4: formal operations stage (11 and above): thinking that includes abstract, theoretical and hypothetical ideas
    • But piaget's theory was criticised as it didnt give enough credit to the learning env and acc to learning theorists, children dont undergo stage like leaps in general mental ability, he underestimated infant cognition - he might have mistook their physical inabilities to mental inability
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