Stages of mental development

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Most theories of development recognizes that a person develops of stages, that is, in order to reach maturity, it should consistently go through several stages. For descriptions of children's mental development, there are several schemes.

Some researchers believe that mental development — It is a continuous and sustained sequence stages, each of which was prepared earlier. Others argue that the evolution of a child — is a series of reorganizations, including the addition or suppression of any of the functions at certain points. We'll focus on the theory of Piaget.

There are three major stages of intellectual development of the child.

Sensorimotor stage (from birth to 2 years)

At this stage, the child masters the motor and sensory abilities. In other words, he listens, looks at, strikes, crumples, bend, push, sprinkles. So based on genetic mechanisms and the first motor skills little by little the binding together of different actions. This creates a new means to achieve certain goals.

Sensorimotor stage involves six steps:

— Innate reflexes (the first month of life) — sucking, grasping. They are caused by external stimuli and become more efficient as a result of repetition.

— Motor skills (from 1 to 4 months) — sucking movements with a feeding bottle, grasp the bottle by hand, etc. These skills are formed as conditioned reflexes.

— Circular reactions (from 4 to 8 months) — grasping rope which hung a rattle that she made a sound, etc. This skill is formed by the development of systems of coordination between perceptual and motor schemas.

— Coordination of means and goals (from 8 to 12 months). The child's actions are becoming more intentional, it is aimed at achieving the goal (for example, the experimenter moves the arm to reach out for hidden her doll).

— The opening of new facilities (12 to 18 months) occurs in a child by accident, but causes the formation of the child's connection between action and result. For example, pulling to his mat, baby can get a toy lying on it.

— The invention of new tools (from 18 to 24 months) — baby learns to look for original solutions to problems as a result of the existing schemes in his actions and suddenly emerging ideas.

The stage of concrete operations (from 2 to 11 years)

There is a further internalization of action and their transformation into operation, allowing the child to compare, classify, measure, put in a row, etc. So, dealing with concrete things, baby discovers that what he finished build, can be destroyed and then re-re-re-create, or in any other form. In other words, the child learns that there is a certain type of action, which are reversible and can be integrated into the overall structure, and this allows it to operate in such categories as the number, size, number, capacity, weight, volume, etc.

The stage of concrete operations is also divided into several stages.

— Predoperatsionalny level (2 to 5 years) is the first stage of the internalization of action. It is characterized by development symbolic thinking, which allows the child to think of objects or stimuli by mental images and mark them with names or symbols instead of direct actions

However, the operations that are at this time trying to make a baby is still too limited to a narrow range of thinking and his egocentric character. At this age, the child does not seem able to simultaneously take into account various aspects of the situation.

— The first level of specific operations (5-6 to 7-8 years) is achieved when the child becomes capable of understanding that the two tag object, such as the shape and quantity of substances which are not dependent on each other (that is long and thin sausage not affects the amount of clay, from which it is made). This notion of maintaining certain features of the object is distributed to the material of which that is done, its length, then at the next stage of development — also on its weight and volume. In this period of time baby and acquires the ability to layout objects in a row (for example, in descending order of size) and their classification (blue learns to relate objects to the blue, the birds, the birds, etc.).

— At the second level of concrete operations (from 8 to 11 years old) child in addition to providing for the conservation of mass and volume of L is also a sense of time and speed, as well as the measurements with the standard. At the end of this period, baby, In addition, deeper understanding and relationship between the features of the objects, and this allows him to arrange objects in space, solve problems, prospects or simple physical tasks and points the way for him to think logically inherent in adolescents and adults.

The stage of formal operations (11 — 12 and 14-15 years old)

At this stage, the mental operations can be performed without any specific support. In fact, it is a question of abstract thinking, functioning with hypotheses and deductions.

Based on the book J. Godfrey, "What is Psychology"

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