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Nancy, Psychotherapist
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What is differences in the social learning, cognitive,

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What is differences in the social learning, cognitive, theories


Piaget's theory is a model of child development and learning. It is based on the idea that the developing child builds cognitive structures - in other words, mental "maps," schemes, or networked concepts for understanding and responding to physical experiences within his or her environment.

Piaget's theory identifies four developmental stages and the processes by which children progress through them. The four stages are:

  1. Sensorimotor stage (birth - 2 years old)-The child, through physical interaction with his or her environment, builds a set of concepts about reality and how it works. This is the stage where a child does not know that physical objects remain in existence even when out of sight (object permanance).
  2. Preoperational stage (ages 2-7)-The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations.
  3. Concrete operations (ages 7-11)-As physical experience accumulates, the child starts to conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences. Abstract problem solving is also possible at this stage. For example, arithmetic equations can be solved with numbers, not just with objects.
  4. Formal operations (beginning at ages 11-15)-By this point, the child's cognitive structures are like those of an adult and include conceptual reasoning.

In other words - children develop cognition at different stages which all have the following characteristics:

  • They apply to thought rather than children
  • Although the timing may vary, the sequence of the stages does not.
  • Universal (not culturally specific)
  • Generalizable: the representational and logical operations available to the child should extend to all kinds of concepts and content knowledge
  • Stages are logically organized wholes
  • Hierarchical nature of stage sequences (each successive stage incorporates elements of previous stages, but is more differentiated and integrated)
  • Stages represent qualitative differences in modes of thinking, not merely quantitative differences.
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