Stage Based Approaches To Development: Argumentative Analysis

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Evaluate the view that stage-based approaches to development are unable to account for individual differences in development

In a quest to explain development, stage based approaches are often used. Stage based approaches look at the development of children in particular being divided into concrete stages, in which the fundamental development takes place (Bukatko & Daehler, 2001). One of the most relevant stage based approach is that of Piaget. Piaget believed that cognitive development could be divided into 4 stages, separated by age that occurred in a linear sequence, where one needs to complete one stage in order to move on to the next. The stages attempt to show how children’s ways of thinking changes as one grows older. (Comer, Gould &Furnham, 2013). Due to its specific stages, development is generalised, attempting to reflect the general development of a child(Ginsburg & Opper, 1969). Stage based theories; however do not include or evaluate factors that make children develop differently. In turn, stage based theories cannot account for individual differences, which can be shown by
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While Piaget does acknowledge that children may reach a stage slower or faster depending on the specific environment they develop or how they interact with different environments, these are not elaborated on or accounted for in his model (Bukatko & Daehler, 2001). Subsequently individual differences due to the environment cannot be explained in his theory. A crucial study (Dunn, Brown, Slomkowski, Tesla & Youndblade, 1991) examined children at the age of 33 months and their relationship with their family. 7 months later they were tested among other things on their ability to take different perspectives by having to identify the feelings of a puppet. Children that had conversations with their families about feeling could relate to and explain the puppets feeling

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