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Applying Piaget’s Theory in today’s classroom

Today I will be talking about a great scientist with so many powerful qoutes, knowledge and theory that is helping and shaping the education systems all over the world 🌎

The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.
Jean Piaget

If you didn’t study this man in school
Maybe you didn’t study education 🤔😕😏😳🙄😅Who was Piaget and what are his stages of development?

Jean Piaget was a Swiss developmental psychologist who studied children in the early 20th century.
His theory of intellectual or cognitive development, published in 1936, is still used today in some branches of education and psychology.

It focuses on children, from birth through adolescence, and characterizes different stages of development, including:

1️⃣language
2️⃣morals
3️⃣memory
4️⃣reasoningThere are four stages in his theory

1️⃣ Sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years
2️⃣ Preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7
3️⃣ Concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11
4️⃣ Formal operational stage: ages 12 and up

The stages cover a range of ages from birth to 2 years old to young adulthood.

Piaget believed that children take an active role in the learning process, acting much like little scientists as they perform experiments, make observations, and learn about the world. As kids interact with the world around them, they continually add new knowledge, build upon existing knowledge, and adapt previously held ideas to accommodate new information.Piaget made several assumptions about children while developing his theory:

Children build their own knowledge based on their experiences

Children learn things on their own without influence from adults or older children.

_Children are motivated to learn by nature. They don’t need rewards as motivation._Sensorimotor

The sensorimotor stage covers children ages birth to 18–24 months old. Characteristics include motor activity without use of symbols. All things learned are based on experiences, or trial and error.
The main goal at this stage is establishing an understanding of object permanence — in other words, knowing that an object still exists even if you can’t see it or it’s hidden.Piaget’s four stages

Piaget’s stages are age-specific and marked by important characteristics of thought processes. They also include goals children should achieve as they move through a given stage.Preoperational

The preoperational stage can be seen in children ages 2 through 7. Memory and imagination are developing. Children at this age are egocentric, which means they have difficulty thinking outside of their own viewpoints.
The main achievement of this stage is being able to attach meaning to objects with language. It’s thinking about things symbolically. Symbolic thought is a type of thinking where a word or object is used to represent something other than itself.Concrete operational

Children are much less egocentric in the concrete operational stage. It falls between the ages of 7 to 11 years old and is marked by more logical and methodical manipulation of symbols.
The main goal at this stage is for a child to start working things out inside their head. This is called operational thought, and it allows kids to solve problems without physically encountering things in the real world.Some of us that are familiar with maria montessori education will understand about.

Somehow similar
I will talk about that soonFormal operational

Children 11 years old and older fall into Piaget’s formal operational stage. A milestone of this period is using symbols to understand abstract concepts. Not only that, but older kids and adults can also think about multiple variables and come up with hypotheses based on previous knowledge.
Piaget believed that people of all ages developed intellectually. But he also believed that once a person reaches the formal operational stage, it’s more about building upon knowledge, not changing how it’s acquired or understood.So, how exactly can Piaget’s stages be applied to education? At the root, it’s about recognizing the stage a child is currently in and catering to that developmental level.

Teachers and parents can help by providing children with different experiences or ways to explore and experiment with their environments. It’s through these experiences that children may gain understandings of different concepts in a hands-on way.Next

How to apply Piaget’s stages to learning and developmentFor young children entering preschool and kindergarten, Piaget’s theories align more with play-based school programs, or environments where kids are offered opportunities for trial and error, and interaction with the real world.

And in the Montessori classroom is this also importantAs I said you can also help your child throughout the stages by catering to their specific learning style at the time:

Sensorimotor

1️⃣Use real objects in play activities.
2️⃣Connect play to the five senses.
3️⃣Implement routines for the youngest children. They are predictable and may be highly useful with developing communication.Piaget’s philosophy can be incorporated into any education program.
Examples include:

Providing chances for trial and error. Focus on the process of learning versus the end result.

Providing children with visual aids and other props, like models, to illustrate different ideas and concepts.

Using real-life examples to paint complex ideas, like word problems in math.

Providing chances to classify or group information. Outlines and hierarchies are good examples and allow kids to build new ideas from previous knowledge.

Offering problems that necessitate analytical or logical thinking. Brain teasers can be used as a tool in this instance.

You can also help your child throughout the stages by catering to their specific learning style at the time:

Concrete operational

1️⃣Create timelines, three dimensional models, science experiments, and other ways to manipulate abstract concepts.

2️⃣Use brain teasers and riddles to foster analytical thinking.

3️⃣Focus on open-ended questioning.Formal operational

1️⃣Offer step-by-step explanations of concepts and utilize charts and other visual aids.

2️⃣Explore hypothetical situations. You may relate them to current events or social issues.

3️⃣ Broaden concepts whenever possible. For example, if talking about the Civil War, discuss other issues that have divided the country since that time.Piaget vs. Montessori

Maria Montessori shared some ideas with Piaget, including how children move through stages. Their theories are similar until children reach age 3. In school, Montessori classrooms are more child-directed. Piaget classrooms are more teacher-directed with a focus on routine, though there is flexibility and opportunity for child-directed activities

.Preoperational Period: Activities for Toddlers and Early Childhood

1️⃣One way to do this is by playing dress up and encouraging the child to take on a character.

2️⃣Sometimes children in this age group enjoy playing house. This is also a good activity because they are playing different roles that they have observed in their own lives.

3️⃣Hands on activities should also be facilitated at this time.

4️⃣Encourage children to play with toys that change shape (ex: playdoh, sand, clay, water) because this will help them move towards the concept of conservation.

5️⃣Children need physical, hands on practice with facts and skills needed for development.
-Use cut-out letters to build words.

6️⃣Avoid lessons that are very different from the child’s world. And steer away from using workbooks or paper and pencil activities very often.Sensorimotor Period: Activities for Infants and Toddlers

Provide a rich stimulating environment

Another example of a toy is a rattle; when the baby shakes a rattle it makes noise.

-Playing peek-a-boo is another good example of a fun activity for children around this ageFormal Operations: Activities for Adolescents

At the beginning of this stage:

1️⃣Teachers should continue using strategies and materials used in the concrete operations stage.
2️⃣Use charts and illustrations, as well as incoporate new more sophisticated graphs and diagrams
3️⃣Give step by step explanations and materialsLastly on Operational Activities

7️⃣Students should also be encouraged to explain how they solved a problem.

8️⃣Students could work in pairs, one is the listener, while the other is the problems solver. The problem solver works the problem out loud, while the listener checks to see that all steps are followed and seem logical.

9️⃣Teachers could put a few essay questions on a test, which allows students the opportunity to give more than one final answer.

🔟Teachers should try to teach broad concepts, rather than just facts.

1️⃣1️⃣Use materials and ideas relevant to the students

1️⃣2️⃣For example: If you were teaching material about the Civil War, the class could join in a discussion about other issues which have divided our country

1️⃣3️⃣Use lyrics from a popular song to teach poetry4️⃣Students need the opportunity to explore various hypothetical situations.

5️⃣Children in this stage should be encouraged to work in groups in school to explain and discuss hypothetical topics.

For example: have then discuss social issues in groups and brainstorm.

6️⃣ Have them write a short story on a hypothetical topic such as what life would be like in outer space. This allows the child to apply their new creative aspect.Conclusion

Jean Piaget’s work has helped people understand how knowledge is developed at different stages of childhood, starting at birth. His philosophy is still used in Pre school to ss classes today.

Understanding the different stages may help you better understand your own child/students and assist their learning development.

Thank you
Odetola Ebenezer Israel

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