Period 2 – Piaget and the Development of Reasoning

Piaget was a brilliant Sociologist who developed stages of development that everyone follows b studying his own children. He found out, that while some kids advance faster than others, all of them hit each and every stage. The four stages themselves where Sensorimotor (Birth – 2 Yrs.), preoperational (2 – 7 yrs.), Concrete-operational (7 yrs. – puberty), and Formal operational (puberty – adulthood). Their attributes are as follows;


When babies are born, they start out sensorimotor, and usually stay this until at least 2 years of age. They just start to learn to co-ordinate  sensations with physical movement. They will chew on hands and legs while listening for sounds, and they will investigate the world through their new-found  senses. Through this they will learn Object permanence, and realize that objects exist while even out of sight.


After the Sensorimotor stage comes the preoperational stage. This usually runs from about 2 years age until the child is around 7 years old. In this stage, the child is done exploring it’s own senses, but is not yet egocentric, and can only see from one point of view. They do not yet understand the concept of conservation and they struggle to learn these things.


This stage runs from 7 years of age, until the child hits puberty. While in this stage, the child’s thought is grounded in experience and will therefore need hands-on experiences in order to learn. It can now understand conservation even if it doesn’t know its real title and has gained ego-centrism, so it can now see from others point of view.


This stage runs from puberty until adulthood. This is it, while in this stage the child gains all of the abilities it will need in order to go out into the big bad world. The child learns to think abstractly while in this stage and can compare ideas on hypothetical situations. The child can now understand algebra and ‘the value of x’ and can form complex opinions based on prior knowledge.


1. Learning to coordinate sensation with physical movement.
2. Object permanence
1.One-dimensional thinking
2.Limited understanding
2. Egocentrism
3.Concrete thought
Formal Operational
1.Abstract thinking
2. Can do algebra
3. Opinionated
1. There are several cookies in a cookie jar, but your not allowed to have any, what do you do?
   A. Chew on your own foot, its as good a snack as any.
   B. Wish you had the hand eye coordination to reach the cookies.
   C. Take the cookies, who cares about your parents point of view?
   D. Look at things from your parents point of view and then make an educated decision on whether or not to take the cookies
2. Your parents have left town for the weekend, how do you spend your weekend?
   A. roll around and cry occasionally
   B. Play with your toys or read the occasional picture book.
   C. Play videogames all weekend and eat junk, maybe do your howework if it suits you.
   D. Look at all factors this weekend may entail, then decide how to appropriatly spend it.
3. You go on a camping trip to the great outdoors, how do you spend it?
   B. Stick close to your mother, this confusing array of noises and colors is scary.
   C. Run around and enjoy the new setting, but stay close, it’s still a little scary.
   D. Do what you will, taking the appropriate amount of precaution.
4. Plane ride, you and your family go on vacation, what’s up with you?
   A. Either cry the entire time or sleep.
   B. This is pretty frightening. Sleepy time.
   C. Pretty scary, but sooooo cool. You’re flying!
   D. sit back and relax. you have more a chance of winning the lotto then dying on this plane.
5. Finally, you’ve arrived on the beach. How would you like to spend your vacation?
   A. Rolling around on your beach blanket.
   B. The water is cool but the new setting has thrown you off.
   C. Water!  Sand! Screaming children! what more could a child ask for?
   D. Spend some time in the water or in sunbathing. This is a vacation after all.
A = Sensorimotor
B = Preoperational
C = Concrete-Operational
D = Formal Operational

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