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What is Cognitive Development..??

Cognitive skills are individuals ability to think, give opinion, comprehend, memorize events that occur in the surroundings. It involves mental activities like memory, categorizing, planning, reasoning, problem solving, creating, imagining etc. Cognitive skills are very crucial for the individuals life.

It gives emphasis on developing a childs mind. It focuses on the changes in thinking that takes place from one stage to the next.

Cognitive Development TheoryJean Piaget

Our thinking process change radically, from birth until maturity. Piaget has identified four interacting factors that could influence the individuals thinking processes. (a) Maturation. ~ Thinking process that is influenced by genetic factors.

(b) Individuals interaction with surroundings. ~ Individuals ability to act on the environment and learn from it. They will explore, test, observe and organize information. (c) Social experiences. ~ Cognitive development is also influenced by interacting with people around us ( parents, siblings, peers, teachers etc. ) and learn from them. (d) Equilibration. ~ Equilibrium is a cognitive balance between individuals understanding of the world and their new experiences.

Stage Sensorimotor (Birth-2 years)

Characterized by ~ Differentiates self from objects ~ Recognizes self as agent of action and begins to act intentionally: e.g. pulls a string to set mobile in motion or shakes a rattle to make a noise ~ Achieves object permanence: realises that things continue to exist even when no longer present to the sense (pace Bishop Berkeley) ~ Learns to use language and to represent objects by images and words ~ Thinking is still egocentric: has difficulty taking the viewpoint of others ~ Classifies objects by a single feature: e.g. groups together all the red blocks regardless of shape or all the square blocks regardless of colour

Preoperational (2-7 years)

Stage Concrete operational (7-11 years)

Characterized by ~ Can think logically about objects and events ~ Achieves conservation of number (age 6), mass (age 7), and weight (age 9) ~ Classifies objects according to several features and can order them in series along a single dimension such as size.

Formal operational (11 years and up)

~ Can think logically about abstract propositions and test hypotheses systemtically ~ Becomes concerned with the hypothetical, the future, and ideological problems

Cognitive Development TheoryLev Vygotsky

Focused on the social and cultural influence in developing childrens mind. According to Vygotsky, social interaction and language skills are the main factors in developing childrens cognitive skills. Childrens thinking develop from social interactions. Children, according to Vygotsky, learn by doing, by becoming involved in meaningful activities with a more

He states that children cannot build knowledge of a culture on their own. Such ideas are emulated through social interactions with individuals around them like their parents, teachers, siblings or peers. Adults- particularly parents, caregivers, teachers and peers play an important role in the process of interaction. These individuals will give direction, provide feedback and guide the childrens communication.

Zone of Proximal Development

When children are able to benefit from the experience of interacting with a more knowledgeable person, they are in the zone of proximal development. Zone of proximal development consists of a range of tasks that an individual cannot yet do alone but can accomplish when assisted by a more skilled partner.

Vygotsky has divided child development into upper and lower limits. ~ Upper Limit * The level of skills that can be achieved by the children with the assistance of an able instructor. ~ Zone of Proximal Development * The cognitive skills needed by the children in order to achieve the skills in the Upper limit. ~ Lower Limit * Skills or task that can be accomplished by the children working alone.


Relied upon clinical method, using probing questions to uncover what children understood. Was interested in errors children make and the possibility that these were not random. Searched for a systematic pattern in the production of childrens errors. Worked towards logically, internally consistent explanation of childrens errors. Studied how knowledge is

Concerned with historical and social aspects of human behaviour that make human nature unique. Social and cultural factors are important in the development of intelligence. Speech carries culture in that it stores the history of social experience and is a tool for thought. People are different from animals because they use tools to create artifacts that change the conditions of life.



Studied thought and language in

There is a close link between the

pre -schoolers and early school -age children

acquisition of language and development of thinking.

Believed that intelligence arises

progressively in the babys repetitive activities

Gave prominence to the importance of social interaction in development as it influences language and thought.

Described how concepts of space,

time, causes, and physical objects arise in development

Investigated the beginnings of fantasy and symbolism in infancy Outlined a theory that states that the precursors of thinking and language lie in the elementary actions, perceptions, and imitations of babies Influenced by evolutionary theory:

Does not deal with fixed stages of development but describes leading

activities typical of certain age

periods around which intellectual development is organized

child has to adapt to environment by

Implications Of Vygotsky Theory To The Teaching And Learning Process

Encourage help from skilled peers. Children can get the support and help from peers who have already understood the skills. Monitor and encourage childrens use of private speech. Guide the children to apply their ideas in self-talking to the appropriate situation that needs a solution. Give a meaningful instruction. Relate the lesson to the daily experiences. Reduce memorizing. Guide the children to apply knowledge in real situation.

Language consists of words that is used by a community with varying rules of grammar, syntax, sentence structure and vocabulary.

Stages In Language Development

Language development will be discussed through the stages of children development as stated below: i) Infancy ii) Childhood iii) Adolescene

Babies actively produce sounds starting from birth. To attract attention from parents, caregiver and others in the environment. Babies sounds and gestures and follows certain patterns and sequence during the first year:





Crying : babies cry since birth. It is a signal distress and other things such as hunger or pain. Cooing : produce sound of oo like coo and goo. Babies first coo at about 1 to 2 months. Babbling : produce the strings of consonant vowel combination like ba, ba, ba, ba. Gestures : use gestures such as pointing and nodding from the age 8 to 12 months.

Babies usually start to speak the first word between 10 to 15 months. A babys first words include the word of important people (papa, mama), vehicles, toys, foods, body parts, clothes and greeting items. Sometimes, a child express various intentions with a single word. For example : ball might mean, thats a ball or I want that ball.

They move quickly to 3 4 words combination. During preschool years children gradually become sensitive to the sounds of spoken words. They notice ryhmes, song, poem and can clap their hands along with the song. They also begin to understand complex sentences.

They are able to use questioning properly. They begin scribbling when they are 3 years of age. Learn to distinguish the characteristics of letter. At this stage, they are find motor skills improve and develop but they can still can not write neatly.

Children develop their vocabulary and grammar. Children at this stage begin to develop reading skills. As they language and cognitive ability develop, they writing skill also increase. In primary scholl, they organize ideas in the form of writing ( construct sentences and short essay).

Increased sophistication in the use of words. Become much better than children at analyzing the function how a word is used in a sentence. They are able to manipulate language to understand metaphor, satire, poems and so on. They become better at understanding the use of irony, critical and abstract writing in poems, reports and stories.

They are much better in writers. They have the ability to write reports, reflections and so on. They often speak a dialect with their peers by using their own slang and jargon. This is the one of the characteristics of social developments in teenagers, to show that they have their own identity and belong to a certain group.

Begin language development with concrete experiences. ex: when the children are asked to do activities, make them describe what they have done. During reading sessions, give emphasis on unfamiliar and difficult words. Explain the meaning with simple words. Use instructional strategies. Ex: in teaching second language, air the less proficient with their bilingual peer. Teacher use various teaching strategies (story telling, simulation, brainstorming) to encourage language skills. Provide the students with opportunities to actively use language. Ex: In group work, teacher structures the group work so that children must explain their answer to one another. After children practice their report in their groups, they have to present it to the whole class. The rest need to give feedback about the presentation.

Implications Of Language Development In The Teaching And Learning Process