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The Piagetain’s Model: Four Stages of Development Essay

Children begin to develop language as early as infancy. By the time they begin school their language vocabulary has grown tremendously. There are several developmental stages that a child goes through from birth to adulthood. The Piagetian model includes the sensori motor period, preoperational period, concrete operational period and then the formal operational period. Children begin to learn at a very early age. The first stage of cognitive development is sensorimotor period.

This stage begins at birth and lasts until about 2 years old (Otto, 2012). It involves the use of motor activity without the use of symbols (Wood, 2012). Piaget believes that in this stage children tend to systematically repeat inadvertent behavior (Seigler, Alibali, 2005). This stage is based on physical interaction and experience, therefore knowledge is limited (Wood, 2012). The preoperational stage begins between two years old up until seven years old it consist of language, memory and imagination (Wood, 2012).

Children in this stage usually engage in make believe and understand and express relationships between the pass and future in this stage cause and effect has not been learned and intelligence is ego centric and intuitive and not logical (Wood, 2012). Piaget believes that in this stage children” focus their attention to narrowly ignoring important information” also they” cannot accurately represent transformation and are able to only represent static situations” (Seigler, Alibali, 2005).

In the concrete stage the ages are between seven and eleven (Wood, 2012). Logic and systematic manipulations of symbols are expressed in this stage (Wood, 2012). In this stage thinking is less egocentric, increase awareness of external events and involves concrete references (Wood, 2012). In other words the children in this stage can take in other points of views, and more than one perspective. The limitations for this stage “they do not yet consider all of the logically possible outcomes and do not understand highly abstract concepts” (Siegler, Alibali, 2005).

The formal operational stage is the period of adolescents (11 or 12) to adulthood. In this stage symbols are used related to abstract concepts variable are thought of in systematic ways, hypothesis are formulated and knowledge about abstract relationships and concepts are present (Wood, 2012).

In this stage it is believe that children are able to solve problems that would be impossible for children in other stages (Siegler, Alibali, 2005). Although Piaget believes very strongly about his model there are others who don’t. In Piaget’s conclusion he suggests that preschoolers do not grasp the concept of numbers (Siegler Alibali, 2005).

While on the other hand Gelman perceive that even though this may be true about preschoolers not being able to grasp the concepts abut number they do know a great deal about numbers (Siegler, Alibali, 2005). Some examples that Gelmen give are” they count accurately, they know the effects that adding and subtracting has on small objects and they know which numbers are bigger and which ones are smaller” (Siegler, Alibali, 2005).

In my conclusion, children development comes in different stages. Every child has their own pace that they grow at. There are four developmental stages that each of these children go through which are senorimotor period, preoperational period, concrete period and formal period. From birth up until adulthood children grow through each one of these stages. Some children may develop slower than others because of difficulties in learning as other progress successfully.


Otto, B. (2010). Language development in early childhood (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Siegler, R.S., and Alibali, M.W. (2005). Children’s thinking 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Wood, K. C. (2012). Piaget’s stages of cognitive development. Retrieved January 14, 2013 from www.project.eoe.uga.edu

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