By Robert Siegler
Nature and Nurture
Does Cognitive Development Progress Through Distinct Stages?
Applications to Education
- Book: Frye, D., Baroody, A., Burchinal, M., Carver, S. M., Jordan, N. C., & McDowell, J. (2013). Teaching math to young children: A practice guide. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
- Book: Goswami, U. G. (2010). The Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
- Book: Kuhn, D., & Siegler, R. S. (Vol. Eds.). (2006). Volume 2: Cognition, perception, and language. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Series Eds.), Handbook of child psychology (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
- Book: Miller, P. H. (2011). Theories of developmental psychology (5th ed.). New York: Worth.
- Book: Siegler, R. S., & Alibali, M. W. (2004). Children's thinking (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
- Chutes and Ladders
- A numerical board game that seems to be useful for building numerical knowledge.
- Concrete operations stage
- Piagetian stage between ages 7 and 12 when children can think logically about concrete situations but not engage in systematic scientific reasoning.
- Conservation problems
- Problems pioneered by Piaget in which physical transformation of an object or set of objects changes a perceptually salient dimension but not the quantity that is being asked about.
- Continuous development
- Ways in which development occurs in a gradual incremental manner, rather than through sudden jumps.
- Depth perception
- The ability to actively perceive the distance from oneself of objects in the environment.
- Discontinuous development
- Discontinuous development
- Formal operations stage
- Piagetian stage starting at age 12 years and continuing for the rest of life, in which adolescents may gain the reasoning powers of educated adults.
- Information processing theories
- Theories that focus on describing the cognitive processes that underlie thinking at any one age and cognitive growth over time.
- The genes that children bring with them to life and that influence all aspects of their development.
- Numerical magnitudes
- The sizes of numbers.
- The environments, starting with the womb, that influence all aspects of children’s development.
- Object permanence task
- The Piagetian task in which infants below about 9 months of age fail to search for an object that is removed from their sight and, if not allowed to search immediately for the object, act as if they do not know that it continues to exist.
- Phonemic awareness
- Awareness of the component sounds within words.
- Piaget’s theory
- Theory that development occurs through a sequence of discontinuous stages: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages.
- Preoperational reasoning stage
- Period within Piagetian theory from age 2 to 7 years, in which children can represent objects through drawing and language but cannot solve logical reasoning problems, such as the conservation problems.
- Qualitative changes
- Large, fundamental change, as when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly; stage theories such as Piaget’s posit that each stage reflects qualitative change relative to previous stages.
- Quantitative changes
- Gradual, incremental change, as in the growth of a pine tree’s girth.
- Sensorimotor stage
- Period within Piagetian theory from birth to age 2 years, during which children come to represent the enduring reality of objects.
- Sociocultural theories
- Theory founded in large part by Lev Vygotsky that emphasizes how other people and the attitudes, values, and beliefs of the surrounding culture influence children’s development.