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Conflicted Case

Essay by   •  April 20, 2013  •  Essay  •  317 Words (2 Pages)  •  588 Views

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Conflicted is a good word to describe my relationship with Piaget's stages. There is something, very useful, in having an outline, or a basic understanding of what you can expect from children at certain ages. While I was a child, I think I look back and over estimate exactly how much I do, a bit of a bias and distortion from what I know now. I probably wasn't as smart of a nine year old as I sometimes think that I was. So having someone who has looked into the mental understanding of children is invaluable, to projecting some kind of understanding of the children I'm going to be teaching.

Yet at the same time, I found the stages themselves to be restricting. The ages, as well as the defining points of the stages, are often far from being as clear cut as the examples that Piaget has described. It takes the individual out of child development, because even at best Piaget could only report upon a statistical amount, and give an average of his studies. And who is to say that what children know, and what we are able to comprehend that they know are the same thing.

When the lines between the different stages are this blurred, I almost hesitate to group a child in one of the stages. It is at best, perhaps an approximation of what skills a child will learn, in a somewhat linear order. The individual is powerful, and there is no reason why there may not be a rearrangement of learning for some kids. I would be hesitant to ever use these groupings, because there is something confining, and limiting perhaps our expectations of a child, if we say they can do these things, but not this other set of things. I don't think anyone could say that they haven't been astounded at what a child has learned when we aren't looking.

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