Cognitive Developmental Theory

Assessment 2 A: Theoretical perspective

  • Cognitive Developmental Theory
  • Response to the quote.

Piaget developed the cognitive developmental theory by theorizing that children have the ability to build knowledge and create meaning by exploring the environment actively in different stages. Between birth and 2 years is the sensorimotor stage where reflexive behaviour paves way for the development of intentional behaviour.In this stage, children make use of their motor skills to discover the surrounding. Between 2 to 7 years is the preoperational stage where children start thinking in terms of symbols about the things found in their immediate environment. The third stage of concrete operational occurs between when children are between 7 and 11 years. In this stage children start learning the use of logic, the anticipation of outcomes, object classification, and problem solving skills. The last stage is formal operations from 12 years and above (Allen & Marotz, 2010). Children at this stage develop complex thinking skills in relation to objects, experiences, abstract ideas, thoughts, and the ability of problem solving.

This theoretical perspective resonates with me because it is useful in understanding what happens at every stage in development. The theory holds that child development is a process. That is through an active exploration of the environment that children construct knowledge and start forming meaning. This perspective is important because it helps in guiding children in the right manner towards the acquisition of knowledge. It emphasizes the importance of providing a stimulating environment for children to explore to support their development. It is clear that a child in a stimulating environment will actively explore and construct knowledge and meanings and develop fully in every stage (Allen & Marotz, 2010). On the other hand, a child in the unstimulating environment will have challenges exploring the environment and may end up having challenges in full development at every stage.

Through Piaget’s perspective one can clearly understand why a child underperforms at a certain age and try to devise ways of helping them to improve their performance. Through Piaget’s theory, it is easy to determine which concepts should be taught to the child and at which level. According to the theory each level has concepts that a child can understand. This means that understanding each level and its characteristics, one is able to create an appropriate program for every child. Otherwise, a child will be exposed to concepts that one cannot handle in their stage simply because off their development level abilities. In addition, the theory helps one in understanding the behaviour of children at every level. This way if a child is behaving an abnormal manner such as using concrete objects to make calculations in the late teens then one is guided appropriately (Allen & Marotz, 2010). Through such practices in the home or at day cares, children are assisted to full develop at this stage to prepare them for the next stage. By the time they are going to the next stage they already have learnt to explore the world and starts developing conceptually.

Piaget’s theoretical perspective works in practice by helping children in every stage to develop the expected skills. Presenting the necessary environment in each stage enhances the cognitive development of every child. The most important thing is to expose children to stimulating an environment that will enable them to explore it and develop necessary skills in all the four stages. Therefore, understanding each development stage is helpful to parents and teachers as it provides information on how to guide a child through the stages.In the sensorimotor stage, children should be given time and opportunity to explore the environment safely without restrictions. This will help in promoting their ability to begin building concepts (Allen & Marotz, 2010). In this stage children can start being exposed to activities that involve counting to improve their conceptual development. They can be introduced to toys and counting using their fingers.

The second stage is characterized by increasing language skills, inadequate logic, symbolic thought, and egocentric perspective. In this stage, children are unable to understand most things. The transductive reasoning is characterized by making conclusions based on faulty logic. They are also unable to take another person’s point of view. To enable children to take various points of view in one account, they can be engaged in role playing, and playing house. Such activities help them to play different roles depending on what they have observed. Introduction of toys that change shape help in building the concept of conservation. In class children can also be introduced to group together shapes depending on their characteristics (Allen & Marotz, 2010). The introduction of books with pictorial illustrations will help them in to link numbers with objects helpful in enhancing their mathematical development. Additionally, such books are helpful in enhancing the development of reading skills.

In the third stage, concrete operations, children should be engaged in middle childhood activities. In this stage children develop problem solving skills and logic reasoning that develops in life. Here language development and acquisition of basic skills accelerate. To help them to develop fully at this stage, they should be given opportunities to manipulate objects and test out their ideas. In class, students should be given the opportunity to classify objects on a more complex level. However, the variables should be limited to four based on their ability. The deductive power also develops at this stage enabling the children to reason beyond perceptual limitations (Center for Learning Innovation, 2006). Giving students opportunities to present mathematical solutions in various ways such as words, graphs, tables, and symbols help in enhancing their cognitive development.

In the fourth stage, students should be exposed to the exploration of hypothetical situations. Engaging them in group activities to discus and brainstorm on social issues enhances the development of creative skills, and problem solving skills. Use of several instructional strategies in this stage such as visual aids, discussion of cultural, political, and social issues, and teaching of broader concepts helps children in this stage to developcomplex thinking skills that help in problem solving. In conclusion, understanding Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development help in applying the theory in practice. It ensures that children are presented with necessary material and content that enhances the development of various skills in every stage (Allen & Marotz, 2010). Application of the theory finally enhances the process of cognitive development for every child.

I disagree with the quote that “’Many of the developmental norms and theoretical perspectives established apply primarily to white, middle-class children which makes their use irrelevant for most Australian Early Childhood Education contexts”. According to based on Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, children need a stimulating environment to develop cognitively through the four stages. However, a stimulating environment does not mean availing expensive commercial materials such as expensive toys, algebra titles, pattern blocks, geoboards, spinners, tangrams, algebra cubes, and Cuisenaire rods. Teachers and parents can use affordable and available materials to support the development of their children. For the toys, they can be made at home from wood, use of papers, use of cloths to make toys and use of clay (Center for Learning Innovation, 2006). People are free to use convenient materials to create a stimulating environment for children to explore. This means that white children, middle-class children, and children in the lowest class can be helped in the cognitive development.

Supporting the quote means that instructors and parents are only limited to expensive commercial materials for instruction. However, as explained this is a wrong notion. For example, in the sensorimotor stage, a child develops the ability to recognize the relationship between cause and effect. In this providing a stimulating environment can involve buying toys such as a rattle or a rubber duct that when shook or squeezed makes noise and upon several attempts child learns that they are the ones who make the noise. However, for the children below the poverty level, such toys can be improvised for the same effect. Playing the game of peek-a-boo is also effective for this stage (Center for Learning Innovation, 2006). All that teachers and parents with limited resources need is creativity. No matter how poor a community is, there are always ready materials that can be used to make such effects. For instance, a bottle with small stones and well closed can take the place of a rattle.

In the preoperational stage, helping children to face other people’s perspective can be encouraged by engaging then in role playing. While white children can afford clothes for their role models, children in the lower class can play house. This involves playing various roles they observe from their own homes. Playing with sand, water, or clay helps in the concept of conservation. One doesn’t need to buy toys that change shape. In building words, one can use papers to cut words. For the concrete operations, children can be involved in coking with parents to instructors. Even simple meals presented with wet and dry ingredients are helpful in developing logic (Allen & Marotz, 2010). It gives children an opportunity to manipulate objects. For the formal operations, simple things such as encouraging group work in discussing hypothetical topics, and using teaching materials such as charts or pictures are effective in enhancing cognitive development.

In conclusion, developmental norms and theoretical perspectives do not apply to white and middle-class children only. Piaget’s cognitive theory need parents use any convenient material to stimulate the environment allowing children in all stages to explore it and construct knowledge and form meanings. In this case, use of the theoretical perspectives is relevant for the Australian Early Childhood Education contexts. Therefore, all institutions should use creativity in implementing the theoretical perspectives to enhance child development.

Component B (I)

According to Foreman (2011) inclusion involves recognizing that every child can learn and requires an effective education which caters to his or her needs irrespective of their ability or disability level. Of the five inclusion principles identified by Foreman, the principles of all children can learn, social justice and human rights, all children can learn, and normalization is personally important in providing services to children with disabilities. The principle of social justice and human rights ensures that students with disabilities are able to make their own decisions and are considered as people. Adapting organization of a class, teaching methods, and approaches to cater for the students promote the principle. I believe that all children irrespective of the ability level have a right to an effective education free from discrimination. Therefore, the principle captures my highly valued principles of providing effective services to children with disabilities. The social justice principle supports the reduction of inequalities for students with a disability (Foreman, 2011). Eliminating injustice in educational settings and observing human rights for the students helps in celebrating human difference. This principle helps in enhancing the self-esteem of the students.

With the principle of all children can learn, all children irrespective of their ability or disability level are considered as capable of learning. The principle therefore encourages providing services to the children with disability. The principle demands that all children should able to access a proper education program. This principle is important because it fights against discrimination of children based on their ability level. Providing equal opportunities give children with a disability an opportunity to make a personal informed decision. I believe in the capability of every child to learn. With proper methods and approaches, and attending to individual differences, it is possible to educate every child irrespective of their ability level. With this principle, one is assured of the capability of every student and by understanding the differences, learning for the group becomes easy. Apart from giving service providers hope, the principle also gives parents and disabled children hope (Foreman, 2011). This provides motivation that promotes the learning process.

Normalization principle is important because it enables all children to choose the school they wish to attend. Most importantly is that the principle focuses on teaching that caters to individual differences in making learning possible. Practices such as creating a sense of pride in every student, including all students in learning, and open discussions promote the principle. This principle recognizes the need to attend to all students irrespective of the ability level. In providing services to children with disabilities, i believe that understanding their individual differences is key. This is in line with the normalization principle. Every child with a disability has their unique differences. They cannot all be expected to perform the same. This calls for understanding the unique differences to support every child. Having children with a disability placed in class is not enough. Developing an effective teaching approach is. Providing effective service programs for the children with disability improves their life quality not only in school but also home, and in the community (Foreman, 2011).

B (II)

To cater for the needs of a child and their family, a general education classroom model would be effective. I will give the child special education in collaboration with a regular teacher within a general education classroom. The services are direct, indirect, or consultative services through a schedule. I will give the family regular training on how to support the child through the development effectively in scheduled. Under the model the child gets support from other personnel in the school (Foreman, 2011). School staffs, special education department, parents, and students are all prepared to collaborate in embracing diversity. Such settings also have necessary infrastructures such as physical accommodations, therapy services, playing ground, assistive devices, and learning materials.

In addition, i and regular the regular teachers will team up in the implementation of the program associated with success. The model promotes inclusion which promotes self-esteem for the child. The benefits of the model include the child becoming part of the local community. The friends they create in school are likely to be from the neighborhood. The regular friends eventually become the behaviour models, and help in problem solving and development of other cognitive skills. The model facilitates the development of proper attitudes towards people with different disabilities. Having information about disabilities and interacting with people with a disability helps in changing the attitudes. All this serves as resources that help in catering to the needs of the child. Both disabled and non-disabled benefit from this model by learning how to interact.

This model reflects the identified principles of inclusion. For social justice and human rights principle. The model gives the child a learning opportunity for other students. It brings the notion of treating the child as a person not as a disabled person. In teaching such a class, the teacher and the special teacher device teaching methods that cater for diversity to cater for individual learning abilities. For ‘all children can learn’ principle, the child is recognised as capable when it comes to learning and this is why they receive the services in a general classroom setting. The model identifies the child as trainable. It accepts that all children can learn and therefore are entitled to a proper education program. Therefore, attending ti the child under the model, is in accordance with Foreman’s principle of inclusion Foreman, 2011). Otherwise separating children with disabilities from others because of the notion that is incapable of learning is wrong and against human rights and against Foreman’s inclusion principles.

For the normalization principle, the model supports catering of individual differences and this is why the child is receiving special attention from a professional directly or indirectly. This attention caters to the individual differences of a child in the general a classroom setting. The normalization principle holds that every child should be able to choose a school to attend meaning that the schools should provide an environment that can support every individual irrespective of the ability or disability level. In conclusion, the fact that the model reflects Foreman’s inclusion principles makes it appropriate to cater for the needs of a child. An effective implementation of the model will improve the quality of life of the child irrespective of their ability level (Foreman, 2011).


Allen, K.E. & Marotz, L.R. (2010). Child development theories and data gathering. In

Developmental profiles: pre-birth through twelve, (pp. 1-22). Belmont, Ca: Wadsworth Cengage learning.

Center for Learning Innovation (2006). A basic introduction to child development theories. State of New South Wales, Department of Education and Training, pp.1-16.

Foreman, P. (2014). Inclusion in action. 4Ed. South Melbourne, Victoria Cengage Learning.