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Piaget 's Theory On Child Development

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Children are not simply small adults who are still growing; they learn differently and experience the world in a variation of ways that opposes adult reasoning. Piaget’s theory on child development asserts that there are four stages of cognitive development: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational. Piaget also suggested that human thinking is arranged into schemes, “organized mental patterns that represent behaviors and actions” (Feldman, 2015, p. 17). These schemes are the building blocks of knowledge and experience growth through two basic principles: assimilation and accommodation (Feldman, 2015). Assimilation refers to the process in which people understand new ideas in relation to their own way of thinking and adapt, where as accommodation refers to changes in the way of thinking caused by new stimuli. Natural observation of children can lend an insight into Piaget’s stages of development, which is the method chosen for this study. For this observation two children were selected, one male and one female. Subject A is a Caucasian male, approximately 3 years of age, who has middle-class parents, and a stay at home mom; Subject B child is a Caucasian female, also approximately 3 years of age, has middle-class parents, and a mother who works part-time. According to Piaget’s theory, these two subjects are in the preoperational stage. The preoperational stage is a time of complex thinking and reasoning, during this time,
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