This assignment will describe and evaluate two theories in developmental psychology. Developmental psychology is the scientific study of changes that occur in human beings over the course of their life span. Firstly looking at Piaget’s Theory, and then followed by Kohlberg, there will be an evaluation of the similarities and differences between the two. It will provide evidence of how Piaget’s and Kohlberg’s theories both suffer from the same criticisms as they both use dilemmas with a particular criteria of a child and culture. The theory only considers a child’s beliefs not its actual behaviour.
In her essay “Kiddy Thinks,” Alison Gopnik discusses the importance of the cognitive development of children in the first few years of their life. She also attempts to break the traditional view that children, in their early stages, think quite differently than adults. Gopnik uses a logical standard of evaluation to provide information on the different stages children go through when developing important cognitive skills. She supports her information with a variety of experiments as a researcher, and personal experiences as a parent. Unfortunately, she concludes her essay with political and social issues, which weakens her argument as it drifts away from her purpose.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Jean Piaget (1896-1980) studied how children’s thought processes develop and has been very influential in our understanding of children’s cognitive development. He believed that interaction with peers was the most critical factor in children’s cognitive development. ‘He described children as ‘"little scientists," actively constructing their own theories about the world, testing these theories, and adjusting to new information’ (quote taken from Kendra's Psychology Blog at about.com: Psychology). He suggested mental plans - schemas (schemata) function as guides for action, as structure for interpreting information, as frameworks for solving problems. (For full explanation on schemas, conservation, assimilation and accommodation and explanations of terminology see appendix 2).
Critically review the contribution and influence of psychological theories to early Childhood education and Care curriculum development and childcare practitioner working practices. Throughout this essay I am going to discuss the cognitive development theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. These two theorists were influential in forming a scientific approach to analysing the development process involved in cognition. Cognition is the procedure involved in thinking and mental activity, such as problem solving, memory and attention (Flanagan, 1999, p.72). Both theorists said that a child’s cognitive development took places in stages but the way in which these theorists described the way children go through these stages was completely different.
Outline and evaluate Piaget’s constructivist theory of cognitive development In order to put Piaget's model into context it is useful to consider what intellect is, and some of the factors that influence cognitive development of the child. Additionally I will briefly discuss the term ‘constructivist’. Child development is generally concerned with how the child learns and expresses themselves at various ages. Typically studies are carried out on children from birth to adolescence. Specifically, most psychologists are interested in the processes that occur at particular ages, and what the child's capabilities are at each stage of their childhood.
He was more interested in the theory of knowledge and took an interest in children and their reasoning. As a result he began to observe how children’s minds develop, hoping to discover the key to human knowledge. In his work, he identified the stages of mental growth in childhood development and theorized that all children progressed through stages of cognitive development. Piaget also discovered that children think and reason differently at various stages in their lives. Although he believed in four stages, only one is directly related to early childhood development and this is the sensorimotor stage.
Throughout history there have been people that produced works and findings that have aided the understanding of human behaviour, how we work, learn and interact. These theorists have created theories of works that we still use now a day to function in society and education. I have selected 3 theorists that I believe still influence education today. Piaget Before Piaget’s work, the common assumption in psychology was that children are merely less competent thinkers than adults. Piaget showed that young children think in strikingly different ways compared to adults.
It was an observation whilst working with Binet on intelligence tests that led Piaget to conclude that children think very differently than adults. It was this conclusion that sparked his interest in how knowledge develops throughout childhood. This essay outlines Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. It will discuss firstly the sensorimotor stage,the sub stages of it and the theory of object permanence, contrasted with Bower & Wishart (1972),. It will then discuss the second stage of cognitive development, which is the preoperational stage and theories of conservation contrasted with Gordon and Ramirez (1969) and egocentrism contrasted with Hughes (1975) supported by Donaldson (1978).
He was especially intrigued by how children represented thought or showed what they were thinking. Bruner argued against the prevailing notion that lack of readiness prevents young children from understanding difficult subject matter. He advocated a spiral curriculum in which children tackles challenging topics in age-appropriate ways even in the primary grades, revisiting these topics year after year and each time building and expanding on previous acquisitions. In a later book, Toward a Theory of Instruction (1966), Bruner suggested that children mentally represent events in three ways—first as physical actions (enactively), then as mental images (ironically), and eventually as language (symbolically). Through concrete manipulative and carefully designed activities, children can discover important ideas and principles on their own, first representing them enactively, then iconically, and finally symbolically.
The three criteria are intellectual functioning, adaptive behavior, and educational performance. Intellectual functioning is usually measured by a test called an IQ test. In adaptive behavior, what a child can do compared to other children of their age, and in educational performance a child’s language development and communication; cognition and general knowledge is measured as well as their written language, reading and mathematics (Intellectual Disabilities FAQ, n.d). In my opinion both of the websites are valuable because they provide the definition of intellectual disabilities as well strategies for teachers and parents. They also provide signs and symptoms that can occur in children with intellectual disabilities.