Aurora Early Childcare Education programs on a theorist giving us the opportunity to learn more about their principles and gain a deeper understanding of why they matter. This month’s theorist is Jean Piaget, a child development psychologist who believed children have four stages of development.
Piaget created the theory that suggested children’s cognitive development naturally happens intellectually throughout their childhood. He believed that children have active roles in the learning process and act similar to scientists in the way they perform experiments, observations, and interact with the environment around them.
According to Piaget, children have four stages of development which he classified as Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational, and Formal Operational. In each of these stages, children continually add new knowledge, build upon existing knowledge, and adapt previously held ideas to accept new information.
The sensorimotor stage is the earliest stage of cognitive development taking place from birth to two years of age. During this stage, children absorb knowledge by manipulating objects and through sensory experiences with their basic reflexes, senses and motor responses. Each of the five senses combined with physical capabilities allows young children to construct awareness and interact with themselves and their surroundings.
The next stage is the preoperational stage which occurs during the ages of two to seven years. In this phase, children are more immersed in a playful environment through which they learn to deal with logic and the different perspectives of people. As their creativity expands, children also expand on their abilities to make connections with things and people and what they have the potential to be in their own imaginations.
Concrete Operational Stage
After that, during the ages of seven to eleven, children are in the concrete operational stage. Whilst this phase is taking place, children are reasonably alert and literal in their thinking processes, and are much more familiar with using their logic. Children who previously seemed more self-absorbed will now start to notice other points of view and develop a broader understanding of different situations.
Formal Operational Stage
Finally, when children are twelve years and older, they are officially in the formal operational stage. Piaget’s theory claims that children are increasingly applying and developing their logic in a more theoretical manner, and are able to comprehend abstract ideas as well as assemble stronger reasonings for various matters.
Aurora each of the stages in Piaget’s theory and embeds them into our practices and philosophy as following these stages positively enhances the way children progress intellectually in a more natural and organic way as opposed to an educationally enforced methodology. Our educators recognise what stage our children are in and support them accordingly to further their development and challenge their skills. Doing so will benefit our children in forming intellectual ideas, spark interests, and encourage positive action within their environments based on their thoughts and emotions.