intellectual deveopment


Stages of intellectual (cognitive) development?

sensorimotor - 0-2 years

preoperational - 2-7 years 

concrete operational- 7-11 years

formal operational 12 years-adult

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What is a Schema?

Piaget emphasized the importance of schemas in cognitive development and described how they were developed or acquired. A schema can be defined as a set of linked mental representations of the world, which we use both to understand and to respond to situations.

You can remember this by thinking of a filing cabinet (this is your brain). Everything you learn goes into the filing cabinet and next time you learn something it will go in it. When you next see the situatuion or item, you will already have the information stored so will recognise it straight away.

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Explain some criticisms of Jean Piagets model.

Some say the stages may be inaccurate or just plain wrong. Weiten (1992) points out that Piaget may have underestimated the development of young children. He cites Bower, (1982) and Harris, (1983) who have conducted research that found that some children develop object-permanence earlier than Piaget thought. Others point out that preoperational children may be less egocentric than Piaget believed. 

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Explain Chomsky's language theory.

Noam Chomsky believes that children are born with an inherited ability to learn any human language. He claims that certain linguistic structures which children use so accurately must be already imprinted on the child’s mind. Chomsky believes that every child has a ‘language acquisition device’ or LAD which encodes the major principles of a language and its grammatical structures into the child’s brain. Children have then only to learn new vocabulary and apply the syntactic structures from the LAD to form sentences. 

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