Piglet’s theory of cognitive development (1952) focuses on development and how a child thinks. Pigged (1952) defined a schema as the basic building blocks of behavior used to organism knowledge, each set Of schemas can be applied to situations, informing one of how they should act. Pigged (1952) argues that a child’s schema develops with age and becomes more elaborate, allowing them to apply memorized schemas to the world around them and therefore developing a person mental processes.
Pigged (1952) claimed that every child goes through four stages of cognitive development, the seniority stage, replication stage, concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage. Pigged (1952) believed these to be universal stages as each child will go through these in the same order, however there could be differences in the rates in which the stages are reached as they are based on biological changes as a child matures.
Bower and Wishers (1972) supported Piglet’s (1952) seniority stage yet found during the object permanence experiment (1972) that this stage can be applied to babies a lot younger than Pigged (1952) originally claimed. Pigged (1952) presumed that the child did not search or the object due to not being able to see it, yet did not account for the baby losing interest in the object or not having the necessary physical co- ordination to retrieve it (Samson, n. D).
Bower and Wishers (1972) found the child would continue to reach for the object 90 seconds after becoming invisible, supporting Piglet’s original theory, yet reducing the age a child reaches the stage. To support Piglet’s conclusion of the pre-operational stage (1952), in the three mountain task (Pigged and Inhaler 1956) a child’s behaviors at this stage is based on their own thoughts and the child is enable to see things from another’s point of view (McLeod, 2010).
Furthermore Pigged (1952) argues egocentric children believe others see, hear and feel how they do as shown in the experiment (1956). A child aged four to six tended to provide an answer that matched their own point of view as they are unaware of alternative perspectives. Focusing on the limitations in the cognitive development at this operational stage, Pigged (1956) found a child focuses on one part Of a situation, only being able to solve one part due to being unable to mentally process all changes that may occur (Hill, 2009).
However Hughes (1975) conducted the policeman doll study, a simplified version of the three mountain task (1956) and argued children had generally lost their egocentrics by the age of four, which contradicts Piglet’s thinking that the operational stage lasts till the age of seven. Hughes (1975) claimed Piglet’s experiments were too difficult for children to understand and simplifying them would produce more accurate results (McLeod, 2010). Although with the use of experiments Piglet’s theory (1952) can be accurate in showing stages a child goes through cognitively, there are some weaknesses to this theory.
Based solely on biological maturation, any social, environmental and cultural effects on cognitive development are not accounted for, suggesting the theory cannot be universal. The tests in which Pigged (1952) collected his findings, can be classed as confusing or difficult for children, therefore not providing a solid set of results. If the experiments are too hard for the child to understand then it will increase the age in which one will be able to complete them. In addition Piglet’s theory on schema cannot be measured or observed as it is an internal, therefore not provable (Cherry, 015).
In addition to Piglet’s cognitive development theory (1952), Goldberg (1958) looked at moral development and how reasoning changes as one grows older. Goldberg (1958) outlined three levels of moral reasoning, including pre-conventional morality, conventional morality and post- conventional morality. These levels consisted of six stages, stage one: obedience and punishment orientation, stage two: Individualism and exchange, Stage three: Good interpersonal relationships, stage four: Maintaining the social order, Stage five: social contract and individual rights ND stage six: universal principles (McLeod, 201 1).
This theory is similar to Piglet’s cognitive development (1952) as it sets out stages a child develops at and argues, each stage has to be reached in a set order, ensuring progression to the next stage. Each stage that was set out by Goldberg (1958) links directly to Piglet’s (1952) stages Of cognitive development, meaning that when a child reaches a stage cognitively, their moral reasoning also develops. However as Kohlrabi’s (1984) findings are all based on male morality, his theory is therefore gender biased and cannot be linked directly to females, whereas
Pigged (1952) incorporated both sexes making his finding and theory more reliable (Fleming, 2005) Gilligan (1982) theorists men and women have different concepts of moral understanding subsequently meaning women’s values differ from a males when making moral judgments and are more based on moral care and compassion. Gilligan (1982) agrees with Kohlrabi’s stages of moral development yet argues that men and women base their morality on different values.
However Gilligan (1982) had little evidence to support her theories and additional research has failed to confirm this view Ball, 2010) Sailing’s theory’ takes into account the differences that can occur between men and women whereas Goldberg (1958) only studies men, arguing his theories sexists and generalized (Fleming, 2005) In contrast to cognitive theories, behaviorist’s argue the environment determines how one behaves and that children learn through classical and operant conditioning.
Skinner (1938) argued that using positive reinforcement, a specific behavior can be strengthened due to a positive response received after a behavior is displayed. A person is more likely to repeat a behavior in order to achieve hat positive response. Negative reinforcement is where the removal of an unpleasant response has a rewarding effect for an individual, meaning that a behavior is likely to be repeated in order to avoid an unwanted response. Skinner (1948) studied animals to support his theories on behavioral leaning meaning that it cannot be generalized and directly linked to the study of humans.
In addition to this Skinner (1948) does not account for any cognitive factors that develop learning and basis his theory solely on behavioral implications (Boundless, 2014) Reward systems are forms of positive enforcement widely used in education to reward positive behavior, for example sticker charts. The use of these in classrooms helps reinforce good behavior, ensuring this behavior is repeated. If a child listens when a teacher is speaking, they subsequently receives a sticker, the child will then associate that behavior with a positive response.
Rewarding a child for positive behavior they do not usually display motives that individual to repeat the specific behavior, this is extrinsic reinforcement. Furthermore by using shaping, reward is given at stages when a child is reaching a target, awarding them along the way gives the child encouragement to reach the end desired behavior (McLeod, 2009) Operant conditioning has many advantages, especially when used in education. Praise encourages recurrences of a particular behavior, as well as encouraging pupils to engage in class activities.
If punishment occurs when undesirable behavior is displayed, a child avoids behaving negatively to avoid punishment. A disadvantage of the use of classical conditioning is that extinction can occur when reinforces are removed, causing that desired behavior to be weakened. Furthermore, Skinner (1948) does not take into account any cognitive factors that can influence behavior and only focuses on good or bad behavior, there is no middle ground (Webby, n. D).
Bandanna’s social learning theory (1977) argues that behavior is learnt through observation within the environment and behavioral learning cannot occur unless cognitive process exist (McLeod, 201 1). Bandeau (1977) states, children copy behavior off influential models in their environment and the response they receive from this, whether positive or negative, increases the likelihood of it Ewing repeated or avoided, which links with Skinners (1948) theory of positive and negative reinforcement. Watson (1920) believed that new behaviors could be learnt by linking two stimuli together to produce a newly learnt response (McLeod, 2008).
Watson and Earner (1920) produced result from the little Albert experiment (1920) showing how one could be classically conditioned into fearing an object. If one could be conditioned in to associating a certain stimulus with fear then this could possibly be achieved for another emotion. Learning has to be associated with positive emotions ND experiences to ensure good behavior within a class room. Pavlov’s dogs (1902) is another example of classical conditioning, showing how two stimuli can produce a specific response (McLeod, 2007).
Applying this to class room practice, the use of the dinner bell can produce a conditioned response. If a child hears the bell ring, they may not know what is it symbolizes. However if the bell is then rang and the child is told it is lunch time, after several repeats of this the child will then be conditioned into knowing it is lunch time when the bell rings without having to be told. An advantage of classical indignation is that it focuses on the environment and how this can affect the way a person learns.
Pavlov s dogs (1902) is based on empirical evidence, even though the evidence was not found through human observation this theory can be linked directly to learning environments. The theory does not account for the free will an individual has, basing classical conditioning on a learnt yet uncontrollable response (Learning, 2015). Overall both cognitive and behavioral theories can be applied to the way a child learns and behaves. With the use of experiments to support Piglet’s (1952) theory Of cognitive development it can be seen that children can develop at different stages.