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Piaget's Theory

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According to Piaget's theory, there is a differentiation in thinking patterns of a 3-year-old preeschooler and a 9-year-old student. To understand the differentiation Piaget's theory must be understood. This theory states that children progress through four main stages in their development. These stages include the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage.

First we will focus on the three year old in the preoperational stage. During this stage, children learn through "make believe" and "play." Children in the preoperational stage should begin to use language and communicate more effectively than a child in the sensorimotor stage. However, children in this age range still struggle with logical thinking and the concept of constancy. During this stage, children have egocentric thinking, which means they are mostly incapable of understanding things from other view points. A child in this stage may cry and point to objects to get what they want and not understand why they do not have them immediately.

Second we will focus on the nine-year-old in the concrete operational stage. thinking patterns may be very "black and white." In other words, kids in this age range may have trouble with abstract or hypothetical thoughts. Empathy begins to develop as egocentric thinking begins to decline. During this stage, children begin to realize that not everyone has the same thoughts, feelings, and opinions that they do. It becomes easier for a child in this stage to see things from the viewpoints of others. A child in this stage may begin to question the world around them and take more time and care in dealing with others as to not hurt their feelings.

There are key differences between these stages. The preoperational stage is where children begin to use language, pretend play, not thinking logically, and being egocentric. The concrete operational stage is where children start thinking critically, still struggle with hypothetical ideas, are less egocentric, understanding that thoughts are unique to him/herself, may understand the viewpoints of others.



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