Four Cognitive Stages for Child Development

Four Cognitive Stages for Child Development
Four Cognitive Stages for Child Development

There are four cognitive stages for child development, based on Jean Piaget's theory about the way children develop. The four stages, categorized as sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete, and formal operations, can be extremely helpful to teachers and parents as they strive to understand how their child thinks, learns and perceives the world. The four cognitive stages for child development span infancy through adolescence, and chart the development of a child's knowledge and understanding of their environment.

Four Cognitive Stages for Child Development: Infancy Through Adolescence
The first of four cognitive stages for child development can be seen in infancy. At this first stage understanding and learning is limited to movement and the senses. Any rational thought is impossible, as it any kind of grasp of time. Infants are naturally egocentric, and unable to see things from another person's viewpoint. From ages 2 to 7, magical thinking and fantasy predominates a child's thoughts, and they are acquiring motor skills. They tend to think about objects as if they were human or had human traits. For instance, if a child's stuffed animal is left in the car overnight, he might worry that the stuffed animal is lonely or sad. This is the child's reality, and the associated emotions are quite strong and should not be downplayed during this stage. The child is incapable of logical thinking. From age 7 to age 12, children begin to think logically, but in a very concrete way, not at all abstractly. They lose their egocentricity, and are able to see things from another's perspective. From the age of 12 into adolescence and adulthood, the person develops abstract reasoning skills and can think logically and rationally, without visual or tactile aids. At this point, cognitive development is normally complete but can continue under the right training.

Four Cognitive Stages for Child Development: Falling Behind
Sometimes, children fall behind somewhere in these four cognitive stages for child development. The reasons vary. It may be a mental handicap or illness that holds them back, or it may be weak cognitive skills. The cognitive skills are responsible for a person's ability to process information they hear and see, and are also responsible for attention and memory. A child whose cognitive skills are weak may have trouble progressing through the four cognitive stages for child development. If you suspect that your child may be struggling with weak cognitive skills, don't let them fall any further behind — call a brain training center today and get help. LearningRx brain training is the leader in one-on-one cognitive enhancement programs for children. If you would like to learn more about LearningRx brain training, please visit our website or click here to find a center near you.

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