Cognitive Development Theory

As a prospective educator, it is important for me to understand the cognitive development theory and how it applies to individuals. Cognitive development is basically how the thought process begins. It Is the way that people learn and how mental processes become elaborate and develop. These processes Include remembering things, making decisions, and also solving problems. In order for a teacher to be effective, one must understand how children develop mentally so that each student can be accommodated In the classroom.

There are many theories guarding cognitive development, and there are several factors that remain constant throughout all of them. These factors form some of the basic premises on cognitive development, which include the ideas that all people go through specific steps or stages of learning or understanding, and that certain qualifications must be met before learning can occur. It Is the actual specifics of these basic premises that cognitive theorists have differing opinions about. (Slaving, 2009) Two theorists that display the basic premises of cognitive development are Jean Pigged and Level Bigotry.

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Both theorists have similarities and differences when it comes to their views on cognitive development. We will first begin with the views of the two on the nature or development of intelligence. Pigged believed that children are naturally born with the ability to both interact with and make sense of their environment. Children as well as adults use patterns to thinking called schemes to deal with different things In the world. The process of assimilation and accommodation Is used to maintain balance in our dally lives.

Pigged believed that “learning depends on the process of equilibration. When equilibrium is upset, children have the opportunity to grow and develop. ” (Slaving, 2009, peg. 32) Different experiences that we face and factors In our environment contribute to developmental change In us. Bigotry shared some similar ides with Pigged Including the belief that the environment plays a huge role in the development of intelligence. He also believed that “development depended on a sign system. The culture’s language or writing system, that children grew up with. “(Slaving. 2009. Gig) Both also believed that there is an invariant sequence of steps that is the same for everyone, and that placement is influenced by cognitive conflict. While the two share a few similarities on the development of intelligence, there are also differences as well. Pigged feels that development precedes learning. This simply means that something must take pace before learning can begin. Bigotry, on the other hand, feels that learning comes before development which is the exact opposite of Pigged. It simply means that you must learn something before development can occur.

Pigged and Bigotry also had both similarities and differences on the stages of development. We will first start tit the differences beginning with Pigged who believed that there are tour stages to cognitive development. They are the seniority, presentational, concrete operational, and formal operational. He felt that all children passed through these stages and that you could move faster than others, but not skip a stage. (Slav, 2009, peg. 33) The seniority stage occurs at birth through two years of age. It is the stage where Infants explore their environment using the five senses and motor skills.

This includes sucking, grasping, and touching. The presentational stage is trot two to even years old. Language develops at a fast pace in this stage. At this time the child’s thinking is also very self centered, and they lack the understanding of conservation. The concrete operational stage is from ages seven to eleven. At this time, thinking tends to shift from being self-centered to more logical. Problem solving is no longer restricted and the idea of reversibility also occurs. The last and final stage is the formal operational stage. This happens beginning with the age of eleven moving on into adulthood.

Systematic experimentation is used to solve problems OTOH symbolic and abstract thinking are now possible in this stage. Widgets felt that there was not stages, but different elements to cognitive development. The first element is private speech. “Private speech is a child’s self talk, which guides their thinking and actions, eventually internalized as silent inner speech” (Slaving, 2009, peg. 43) When children are struggling with a difficult situation you often see children talking to themselves to help cope with the situation. When we become adults we still talk to ourselves, but it is usually silent.

The next element of cognitive development is he zone of proximal development or ZIP. “This is the level of development immediately above the person’s present level. ” (Slaving, 2009, peg. 43) To better understand, this can be described as something that the child may not have learned yet, but are capable of being taught with the assistance of an adult. Educators often refer to this as a “teachable moment”. (Slaving, 2009, peg. 43) Now that we can see the differences between the two theorists, we can now explore the similarities between the two. Both theorists understand the importance of a child learning a culture’s sign yester.

They both feel that this has a significant impact on development. The two also agree that environmental factors such as sounds, signs, and objects are equally important. Lastly, the two theorists believe that there are some tasks that a child may not understand depending on age, but Widgets feels that if it is in the zone of proximal development then the child can be assisted with the help of an adult. Educators have been using both Piglet’s as well as Whisky’s theories in the classroom for years. An example of an activity that can be used in the classroom sing Piglet’s theory of learning takes place in a kindergarten class.

The teacher would ask the students to share what they do when it is raining outside. At this age we are in the presentational stage where children tend to be egocentric. Some say that they go outside and Jump in mud puddles while others may say that they stay inside and play with their toys. The children would share their experiences and they would all be correct because not everyone does the same thing. You can use Whisky’s theory of learning in at work in the classroom where third grade students re learning how to classify different types of dirt.

You can place the students in groups where they can discuss how you properly classify the dirt. This will allow the students to hear other students thoughts, and see what methods they use to classify. Using this type of cooperative learning allows the students to learn from each other. When comparing both classroom applications we see that both classrooms are working as groups learning from each other. Pigged theory is seen in both classrooms. In the kindergarten classroom, the classroom is seeing that there are efferent ways to deal with the rain.

The students are sharing their personal experiences and showing that there is no wrong answer. There are many ways of doing things . In the third grade classroom, the students are able to classify TN using touch and sight to see and feel the differences in each type. Both classrooms are interacting with the environment and learning from it. Whisky’s cooperative learning is also being played out in both classrooms. In the kindergarten classroom, the students are learning that there are different activities that can be done outside in the rain.

Similarly, in the third grade class the students are using cooperative learning to find different ways of classifying dirt. In both classrooms the students are using the think out loud process. The differences in the two classrooms also stand out. When applying Piglet’s theory in the kindergarten classroom, you see that the students are in the presentational stage. The students are egocentric and feel that what they say is the only right answer to the question. In the third grade class, the students are in the concrete operational stage.

They are able to easily look at and see he differences in the types of dirt that they are working with. When it comes to Whisky’s theory in the kindergarten classroom, the students are working within their zone of proximal development. The students may not understand that they can do more than one thing in the rain because they have done the same thing every time. The teacher is using this as a teachable moment to allow the students to teach each other the different things that can be done. In the third grade class, on the other hand, private speech is being used. The students are saying their thoughts out loud to classify the dirt.

When the students are using cooperative learning they are learning the different ways in which the other students use to classify the dirt. In conclusion, we can see how and why it is important to understand and know how to apply cognitive development theories in the classroom. Both Pigged and Bigotry played major roles in how we teach our children in today’s world. We can use information and skills from both theorists to shape our students into great learners. References Slaving, R. E. (2009). Educational Psychology: Theory and practice (9th Deed. ). Boston: Pearson Education.