What Is Piaget's Theory? A. Piaget's Theory 1.1 What is the nature of Piaget's theory of cognitive processes? That children pass through predictable stages and patterns of cognitive development and at each stage they form a new way to operate and adapt to the world 1.2 What is a schema? Children’s knowledge is ordered into mental structures 1.3 What roles do assimilation and accommodation play in cognitive development? The process of adaptation is central to Piaget’s stages of development. Children adjust to new information about their environment in order to function more effectively. This process involves two fundamental cognitive concepts as children move from stage to stage. These two concepts are accommodation and assimilation. Assimilation – children incorporate new information with existing schemes in order to form a new cognitive structure. ( a preschool child calls a lion a doggie because the child only knows one type of four-legged animal.) Accommodation – children take existing schemes and adjust them to fit the experience. 1.4 What did Piaget mean by equilibration? Children go through conflicts of disequilbration to resolution (through process of accommodation and assimilation ) new ways of thinking emerge. 1.5 What are names and defining characteristics of Piaget's four stages of cognitive development? Sensorimotor stage (infant -2) pre-operational stage (2-7) concrete operational (7-11) formal operational (12-adult) 1.6 How does an infant learn about the world in the sensorimotor stage? egocentrism, infants behavior response to immediate surroundings. Perceive their world through sensory systems. 1.7 What happens in the preoperational stage? development of symbolic and imagination, around 5 ask why questions, reason intuitively and representational thought has emerged. Make errors in spoken language. Love to hear stories and songs. Independent and cooperative play becomes important. By 6 pretty good conversationalists. Learn new words everyday and language increases rapidly. Transductive reasoning – mentally connect specific experiences, whether or not there is a logical relationship. Ex. Bill was mean to sister. Sister got sick. Bill thinks he made sister sick. Child believes that thoughts will cause something to happen. Also called casual reasoning. 1.8 What are the characteristics of the concrete operational stage? solve simple problems in multi demon situations. Metacognition, understand world through traial and error. Understand the difference between appearance and reality. Clear sense of seriation, transivity, reversibility, and conservation. inductive reasoning (conclusions from specific examples to make a general conclusion) – all of the balls on the playground are round. Mental schema – reasons that all balls are round. Inaccurate conclusion because footballs aren’t round. 1.9 What did Piaget mean by operations? every children goes through a predictable set of stages and operations to reach cognitive development 1.10 What are the characteristics of conservation and classification? conservation – that an object’s appearance can change and be the same object as basic properties stay the same classification – put things in order according to types 1.11 What are the indicators of the formal operational stage? hypothetical thought, abstract reasoning and solve complex problems, integrate what have learned from past to solve problems 1.12 What is hypothetical-deductive reasoning? what might be ideas – 1.13 What has been the significance of Piaget's theory for adolescent education? He provides an alternative to behavior theorists belief that children are merely passive learners. Children actively move through operational stages. He suggests that there are orderly and predictable developmental accomplishments in children. Children can be tested at each stage to verify their level of cognitive understanding. A child’s mind must seek a state of equilibrium. At each stage a child forms new ways to operate and adapt to the world. By understanding this teachers can avoid presenting material in the classroom that is beyond child’s cognitive ability. 1.14 What were Piaget's main contributions to understanding cognitive development? 1.15 What are the major criticisms of Piaget's theory? Major criticisms is that the theory doesn’t take into account cultural background and education. 1.16 What are the distinctions between early formal operational thought and late formal operational thought? 1.17 What principles of Piaget's theory of cognitive development can be applied to education? By understanding this teachers can avoid presenting material in the classroom that is beyond child’s cognitive ability.