Friday, August 16, 2019

Piaget’s theory Essay

Donaldson also found that children pay great attention to the social context of a task. As they are in the process of developing a vocabulary, they rely on contextual clues to enhance their understanding of verbal communications. Piaget devised a task to study children’s understanding of the conservation of liquid. He asked whether the amount of liquid had changed after being poured from one shape vessel to another. Unable to sense a purpose in the activity, the children gave an answer based on the variable that has changed, i. e. the shape of the vessel. Making sense of the conservation task, putting it in a socially understandable context, achieved better results. A study by Light, Buckingham & Robbins (1979) involved 2 groups of 6 year olds. The first group were shown some pasta shells poured from the first breaker to a wider one and 95 per cent of the children confirmed Piaget’s finding as being non-conservers. The second group of children were told that the shells were to be used in a game and the reason for the transference of shells was a chip on the rim of the first beaker. This time only 30 per cent of the children gave non-conserving answers. It would seem that the task must make human sense to the child, not just to the investigator. Even though Donaldson’s approach highlights the way in which Piaget underestimated children’s abilities, it made no criticism of the theoretical framework. The lasting aspects of Piaget’s admirable body of work include the concept of a progression through developmental stages. There is a general agreement that the changes involved in the progression are of a qualitative nature, and, as Piaget explained, they come about as a result of constructive activity. Developmental psychology will continue to evolve, grateful for the solid foundation

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