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Not much was done in the field of children cognitive development till Jean Piaget came up ith the idea and theory on this subject. He suggested that the intellectual development of the child takes place through different stages and it is vital to understand them. It is only then that we can monitor and bring about improvements. The understanding of these thought processes will also help us know how individuals interact with others around them and with society.
The stages can be described as under
a) The sensorimotor stage – Right from birth to the age of two, the knowledge of the infant is restricted to the sensory perceptions as well as motor activities only. Hence behaviour of the child is according to the sensory stimuli it receives during this period.
b) The preoperational stage – This encompasses the period between 2 – 6 years of age in the child wherein the child begins to understand and use language. However, the child is unable to manipulate information or contest views of others during this stage.
c) The concrete operational stage – This is the 7 – 11 age period when children can begin to think logically, understand their own mental operations and also about concrete events but cannot fathom abstract concepts.
d) The formal operational stage – The period between 12 and up to adulthood is when the child is able to grasp abstract concepts.
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