Cognitive Development Theory in Early Childhood Education

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

This paper explores the dynamics of Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory in early childhood education by explaining its concepts, connections between the principles and development and learning of children, how the concepts therein can be used to teach, and the strengths and limitations of the theory. Concepts of Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory The theory comprises of three major principles that are related to the development and learning of children in their early phases, they include; schemas, adaptation processes, and stages of cognitive development. First, according to Piaget, a schema is the foundation of the cognitive framework, which enables children to create a mental representation of the world surrounding them (Berk, 2012). It is a way of modeling the available information. Equally, schemas can be considered to be elements of knowledge where every unit relates to a different feature of the world, such as events, things, and theoretical concepts.

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According to Piaget, every child undergoes the four phases in the outlined order. Therefore, the development of a child is primarily based on biological maturation and the consequent relation with the world. However, he argues that there are some people may never accomplish later stages because of individual variance. Connections between These Concepts and the Development and Learning of Children Even though Piaget focused more on descriptive psychology designed to explore the cognitive development, he was central in creating the foundation of the constructivist theory of learning. He argued that the concept of acquiring new ideas emerged from within, where a child creates his or her set of knowledge of the environment through past experiences and consequent imaginations. A teacher has a duty of emphasizing a child’s intellectual learning.

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Current research on this area has been pivotal in helping instructors to understand the best mental or and cognitive processes that enhance children’s brain functionality. How the Concepts Inform the Development Educational Pedagogy Piaget’s work has been impactful in the improvement of educational policies and teaching practices. Young children learn best using discovery learning. During early childhood, children gain information by actively exploring and participating in an activity. Early childhood education is supposed to be student-centered and facilitated by active discovery learning. The instructor is required to provide appropriate guidelines at every stage. Hence, teachers are required to emphasize the process of learning, instead of focusing on the outcome (Woolfolk & Margetts, 2014). Second, they should explore teamwork and individualized activities so that to encourage the children to gain new skills from others.

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