Jean Piaget and Models of DevelopmentJune 27, 2021
1. Sensory-motor Period (0-2 years):
During this period, the baby transitions from a period of no awareness to a relatively appropriate state capable of performing sensory-motor actions in its immediate environment. This is a practical order and requires simple perceptual and motor adaptations to environmental phenomena rather than their symbolic use. Towards the end of the sensory-motor period, there is a gradual transition towards symbolization. Adequacy of reflexes is needed from birth to the first month. Even in this period, what Piaget expresses is that the baby himself initiates reflexive action as an active being, not passive.
The second stage of the sensory-motor period is from the first month to the fourth month. During this period, primary circular responses occur. These are the baby’s body, these are circular actions with the body as the focus and without thought, repeated until harmony is established. These actions are pointless. Primary circular actions may include constant thumb sucking or playing with the blanket between the fingers.
The third period of the sensory-motor period covers the fourth and eighth months and is manifested by a constant increase in volitionality. The important point is the development of secondary circular responses. The reactions in this period primarily require the body to recognize the environment and use objects rather than focusing. For this reason, they are called secondary responses. The actions in this period are defined as circular because; are actions that are repeated one after the other. An example is a baby who is constantly waving his arms to move the toy hanging on his cot.
The fourth stage of the sensory-motor period covers the eighth and twelfth months. It requires coordination of secondary responses. Means and results are clearly distinguished. For the first time, he acts purposefully and starts solving simple problems. The previously disjointed schemas of action (general response to solve a particular problem), at this stage the self and the non-me begin to separate. Object permanence is gained. If the baby watches an object out of sight, he begins to realize that the object still has an objective existence, even apart from his own actions.
Object permanence cannot be fully resolved in the fourth stage. In this period, if the movements of the object are a bit complicated, it will have difficulty. Between twelve and eighteen months, which is the fifth stage of the sensory-motor period, the baby becomes aware of this fact. Even if an object is spatially displaced, it can still maintain its continuity. In this way, the immutability of the object is better determined. Continuity is now different from the infant’s previous success in finding the object in one particular place. Another aspect of the fifth stage is the development of the third circular responses. These reactions are characteristic of the third circular response in recognizing new objects and events, in other words, wondering about novelty. Through active trial and error, the baby finds new ways to reach the goal. However, these behaviors are more stereotypical in the fourth stage. The infant is concerned with the new change, how this change will affect the object or its ability to acquire it.
The sixth stage is the stage up to the age of two. This period is defined by the transition from explicit action to implicit abstract description. The child can use abstract symbols to describe objects that are not in his immediate environment. The limitation of available experience for purposeful activity is reduced.
The child has the ability to describe the model that does not exist at the moment through several symbolic figures. In this period, with the emergence of abstract description and invention, the child can express actions or situations with symbols before actually transforming a certain behavior into action. At this final stage of the sensory-motor stage, the concept of object permanence becomes more evident. Now the child will look for the spatially displaced object not where it was last hidden, but where it last disappeared.
2. Pre-Procedural Period (2-7 years):
The preconceptual stage defines the period from two to four years old and is one of the two sub-periods of the preoperational period. At this stage, the child develops language skills and symbol formation skills. Begins to distinguish markers (objective situation, words and images that replace objects) from meanings (imperceptible situations-events implied by these words and images). During this period, the baby becomes aware of the following truth. Even if an object is spatially displaced, it can still maintain its own continuity. The emergence of the symbolic function makes the child independent from acting for physical reasons in the immediate environment. The symbolic function allows the child to apply his past experience to present situations. Another key feature of this level is that modeling is becoming less specific and increasingly internalized. Imagination emerges during the game. The child develops the ability to treat objects as symbols of phenomena other than themselves. (he can use the broom as a horse.) At this level the child increasingly uses abstract descriptions of the outside world and his own actions.