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Piaget's Stage Theory

 

Explanations > Learning Theory > Stage Theory > Piaget's Stage Theory

 

Jean Piaget was one of the 20th century's most influential figures in child development and learning, and identified the following stages of development.

 

Age Period Characteristics
0-2 Sensori-motor The infant learns to differentiate between itself and other objects within its environment, learning the difference between 'me' and 'not me'.
2-4 Pre-operational thought The child is still very egocentric, but now classifies objects in simple ways - particularly by individual important features.
4-7 Intuitive The child now classifies things more generally, but is not aware of the classes that he or she uses.
7-11 Concrete operations Here, the child can use logical operations, such as reversal, deliberate classification and serialization.
11-15 Formal operations Now things become more conceptual as the child is able to think in terms of abstract ideas.

 

Piaget developed this theory after noticing that his 7-month-old daughter, Jacqueline, did not look further for a rubber duck that 'disappeared' behind a fold in the sheets. He also noticed that she started looking for hidden objects around 9 months. This triggered a series of experiments to discover how children learn and when they make significant breakthroughs.

So what?

When working with young children, be very careful when dealing with classifications and concepts. Find where they are first and then play to how they understand.

See also

Piaget, J. (1929). The Child's Conception of the World, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London

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