Compare And Contrast Piaget's Stages Of Cognitive Development

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1. In your own words, describe Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, describing the major characteristics of each stage.

According to Jean Piaget, a child psychologist, children progress through a series of four main stages of cognitive development. Each stage is marked by changes in how the children perceive the world in terms of their thoughts, knowledge and judgment. These stages include:
a) The sensorimotor stage: This is the first stage which consists of new born infants to two-year-old children. During this stage, infants start to build an understanding of themselves as well as that of objects through interaction with the environment. They make use of the existing skills such as grasping and looking to understand the environment. They also learn to distinguish between themselves and the objects. Their learning process is through trial and error. At seven to nine months, the infants begin to understand the existence of objects even when they can no longer see it. This acts as a sign of
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This process is somehow subjective in that it tends to change experiences and information in order to match our pre existing beliefs. In the above example, the child labeling the toy “a car” is a good example of assimilating the toy into the child’s toy schema.
This involves altering or modifying our existing schemas whenever there is new information or experiences. A new schema can be created in the process.
According to Piaget, equilibration is a mechanism that is achieved whenever children try to balance between assimilation and accommodation. It is quite important for children as they progress through the stages of cognitive development to maintain a balance between using previous knowledge and changing their behavior to accommodate new knowledge. Thus, equilibration helps in explaining the development of children from one stage to the next.

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