Piaget’s Stages Of Development
Have you ever wondered if you have a precocious baby? Have you wondered if maybe your child is ahead or behind in terms of development? Have you wondered what stage baby should be at at this point in his or her development? Psychologists have developed a model that tells you roughly where you would find your child at any given age. There are four stages of development, according to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. That might sound like a mouthful, but it’s really very simple once you get the hang of it. Just read closely.
The first stage is the sensorimotor stage. The sensorimotor stage is from birth until the age of two. During the sensorimotor stage, the child does not reason symbolically or think. It instead acquires knowledge by using its body: grabbing objects, pulling them, putting things in its mouth. A baby in this stage learns using the body.
The second stage is the preoperational stage. This is where a child can think and use symbols, but not do things that are purely mental. For example, a child in the preoperational stage will play pretend, have imaginary friends, have “tea parties” with empty cups, and so on, but cannot sit and reason out a plan of action. This stage lasts from the end of the second year until the age of seven. This is when the child wants to understand everything. The “why game”, where your baby begins asking “why” to everything, occurs here. The preoperational stage breaks down into two substages. First, the symbolic function substage, where the child can think symbolically but not logically. Second, the intuitive understand substage, where the child asks many questions and wants to understand everything.
The third stage is the operational stage, where the child begins to acquire logical thinking and begins to sound more like an adult. In this stage, lasting from the age of seven until the age of eleven, the child can begin to reason logically. For example, children younger than seven can grasp that a cat is a kind of animal, and a dog is a kind of animal. But if you show them a cat and a dog together, they cannot grasp that there are more animals present than dogs. Past the age of seven, children come to grips with logical reasoning. The third stage is called the concrete operational stage. This is the stage where children can think outside of their own perspective and see things from another person’s point of view.
The fourth stage is the formal operational stage. This is where hypothetico-deductive thinking occurs. This means that, after the age of eleven or twelve, children can understand advanced concepts such as hypothetical situations. This is the stage where a child can engage in pure intellection.