Jean Piaget's Theory Of Intellectual Development

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Cognitive development was theorized by Jean Piaget, “who forged the single-most comprehensive and compelling theory of intellectual development” (Crain, 2011, p. 118). This theory is separated into four periods: sensorimotor intelligence, preoperational thought, concrete operations, and formal operations; these periods span from birth to adulthood. The first period, sensorimotor intelligence, spans from birth to 2 years of age and was then split into six stages: the use of reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, the coordination of secondary schemes, tertiary circular reactions, and the beginnings of thought. According to Piaget, Liam would be considered a part of the sensorimotor intelligence period. It is in this …show more content…
Liam’s interactions with the musical instruments he has encountered so far in his life could be used as examples of the secondary circular reactions stage. Specifically, I observed Liam interact with a piano. Sheila sat with Liam on her lap facing the keys of the piano, Liam stretched out his hands and began reaching for the keys. At first he was not pressing the keys hard enough to make any noise, but in a fit of excitement he began to throw his tiny fists at the keys with enough force to play some of the notes. Hearing the music come from the piano was all Liam needed to hear in order to decide that he wanted to continue throwing his hands at the keys. He was enjoying making the noises so much and he soon began throwing his hands to the left and the right, instead of straight out in front of him, and began playing notes that were higher and lower. Liam smiled broadly and shrieked with excitement and laughter while he played the piano. This example clearly demonstrates the secondary circular reactions, or what Piaget sometimes referred to as “making interesting sights last.” The reason infants want to make these experiences last is because they are novel and they also allow the infants to express their own power over making an event occur …show more content…
Those under 7 months of age “treat objects that disappear as ‘out of sight, out of mind’” (Davies, 2011, p. 153). This means that if an object is hidden from an infant, the infant will not look for the object. At stage 3, “babies increasingly explore and interact with the other world, [gaining] a better sense of the permanence of external things” (Crain, 2011, p. 126). It is at this point when infants are able to look for objects that have fallen or are partially hidden. It is when infants are around 8 months old, at stage 4, is when they begin searching for hidden objects. Once again, Liam is currently at the end of the third stage. He certainly has the ability to look for fallen or partially hidden objects, which can be seen as he often drops things, especially his pacifier, he then reaches for it and will typically get it back; whether it is by picking it back up himself or by getting whoever is closest to do it for him, only to repeat the process over again a few minutes, or seconds, later. Sheila will also play different versions of peek-a-boo with Liam. One that I observed, was a version where she covers just the heads of herself or the dog, Paris, with a light blanket in front of him. He will pause for a moment but will always, reach out to pull off the blanket to reveal the face of his mother or Paris. I

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