Topic: PsychologyDevelopment

Last updated: February 21, 2019

The debate over nature vs nurture have been raging on for years with proponents from each side trying to be the most convincing. Proposed arguments for the former insists that majority of a child’s cognitive abilities are mostly biological (inherited) whilst, nurture theories of development emphasizes the importance of the environment and its impact on a child’s development as opposed to heredity.

However, one cannot discuss the cognitive development of children without studying the work of Jean Piaget. Piaget is widely considered to be the most influential figure in development psychology and his contributions to the discipline (psychology) as a whole, cannot be overemphasized. Piaget argued that children’s cognitive development progressed through four stages namely: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational (Slavin 2012). In addition, he also emphasized that each of these stages is marked by new intellectual abilities (Slavin 2012).

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In this journal I will discuss each of these stages in turn, citing specific examples to my personal life and my development as a child to the extent permissible by Piaget’s child development stages. The sensorimotor stage- according to Piaget, this is the initial stage of cognitive development and it usually from birth to the first two years of life. This major stage is further subdivided into six sub stages including the simple reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordination of secondary circular reactions, tertiary circular reactions, beginning of thoughts. In summary, the most important things that happen during this stage ranges from the child developing object permanence, performing goal directed activities, using their senses and applying limitations.


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