• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe how Piaget's approach to children's intellectual development has been extended to explain their development of social understanding. In what ways does the approach of Donaldson and her followers differ from that of Piaget?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe how Piaget's approach to children's intellectual development has been extended to explain their development of social understanding. In what ways does the approach of Donaldson and her followers differ from that of Piaget? The work of Piaget provided the foundation for developmental psychology. He concentrated on the development of cognitive abilities, leaving much scope for later research. Before exploring how Piaget's approach has been extended it might be helpful to outline his theory. Piaget's theory is constructivist; it shows how knowledge is actively constructed by the individual. Knowledge of the world is built through interaction with the environment. The development, in 4 stages, is divided into broad age groups, although he stressed that the ages were guidelines only. All children progress at different rates and move gradually from one stage to the next. The 4 stages must be passed through sequentially and are called the Sensori-Motor (0-2 years), the Pre-Operational (2-6 years), the Concrete-Operational (6-12 years) and the Formal Operational (12 years onwards). Children think differently to adults and Piaget believed that as children pass through these 4 stages of development they mature into adult modes of thought. ...read more.

Middle

His famous 3 mountains task illustrates the inability in young children to decentre from their own viewpoint. If Piaget had studied the children in a social context he may have seen examples of them taking each other into account. In T.V. program 2 we saw one child direct another in putting out an imaginary fire whilst playing at being firemen. He had put himself in the others place and decided what the other should do. Being unable to appreciate viewpoints other than your own, is a feature of egocentrism, which Robinson & Robinson (1976) were able to illustrate within the social context, with their study on communication failure. Their results corresponded with Piaget's findings; the ability to take account of another's expectations improves as children develop into the concrete operational stage. As the study on communication failure involved assessing another's needs and placing blame, it extends Piaget's' theory to encompass social understanding. Robinson & Robinson were not alone in their endeavour to extend Piaget's work, there are many similar examples. The approach of Donaldson and her followers however, was fundamentally different to that of Piaget. ...read more.

Conclusion

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 created by Piaget. Piaget & Donaldson Linda Healy Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. What is distinctive about the Person-Centred Approach to counselling? Describe how you have put ...

    As infants we start recognising the need for safety, and will become interested in finding safe circumstances, stability and protection. From a negative point of view, it could manifests itself in adults, as our fears and anxieties of creating a comfortable home in a safe neighbourhood, to secure a good job, pension or retirement plan, and insurance.

  2. counselling stages of attachement

    The work was also objective and value free. This all makes the learning theory of attachment high in reliability. * The theory makes common sense and emphasises on the relationship of food as a reinforcer for attachment. Weaknesses - * The person to whom an infant is attached is not always the person who feeds them.

  1. Physical, Social and Emotional Development of Children.

    Lorenz also suggested that aggression in animals and humans and is spontaneous as if the aggression has built up inside and needs to show itself. There are many criticisms of Lorenz's theory, for example, when Lorenz states that "Aggression is learnt behaviour."

  2. MENTORSHIP ASSESSING

    The author was competent at the task, a level she considers necessary in order to teach it effectively. Rachel was required to be either a novice or an advanced beginner for learning to take place, in this case she was an advanced beginner.

  1. Is Homework Beneficial to Children in Any way?

    They presented a research paper to the British Psychological society education conference in Exeter. This paper outlined that teachers who set homework for younger children could be overloading their pupils and causing unnecessary tension in the family. (BBC Online Network, 9th October 1998)

  2. I have decided to do my portfolio on Beaufort Park School, for several reasons. ...

    Beaufort Park School has been influenced by the public, and by national agencies in many ways. The public who have influenced the school are the parents. A lot of changes have been made due to the parents. The school has opened breakfast club, and after school clubs to make it

  1. Research Study About Accidents That Occur To Young Children.

    I will collect this information by seeing if the statistics for accidents prove this prediction right I will also look into drowning- how and why it happens to young children and how it can be prevented. I will obtain this Information by looking at accident statistics on the internet and

  2. Free essay

    A qualitative study to explore the meaning of identity using interview data and relating ...

    Pre-existing material is used for this reason and the participants have given their full permission for their interviews to be used in this manner and are aware that they are being studied. The thematic analysis was carried out by extracting material relevant to the research topic and grouping the information taken into themes listed below.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work