Eriksons Eight Stages vs. Piaget Four Stages

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ERIKSON’S EIGHT STAGES of MAN VS. JEAN PIAGET’S FOUR STAGE THEORY of COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT Catherine Cato Wayne State University Development psychology has undertaken many changes since the beginning of the 20th century. Most early theorists influenced the field of psychology significantly. Notable theorist whose impact determines child psychology and early childhood education are Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson. This paper explores the influence of these two theorists in their study of various development stages, the differences and similarities in their theories and significance of these stages. Piaget's Theory According to Piaget, children in the earliest stages of life, from birth to 2 years, exist in a sensory-motor stage, where they learn to move and operate their bodies as well as begin to understand simple symbols. In this early stage, children are curious about their environment and begin to learn how to interpret it in sensible ways. The next stage is called preoperational thought and lasts from the ages of 2 until 7. In this stage, children develop stable concepts, mental reasoning and imagination. What is distinct and important about Piaget's views is that he considered imagination and play to be crucial to enable every child to develop his own sense of self and to foster healthy learning habits. Erikson's Theory Erickson proposed nine stages of life, the earlier of which overlap with Piaget's. Erikson's first stage, infancy, lasts from birth until 18 months and involves a child learning to trust the world and the people in it. Early childhood -- lasting until about the third year of life -- requires individuals to learn their own bodies, skills and existence. During the play age, from 3 until 5, a child learns to create imaginative play situations and imagine new roles. In the school age, from 6 to 12, children gain confidence in their abilities

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