The dramatic differences found by Piaget in the development of preschoolers and elementary-age children

Length: 349 words

A child undergoes rapid physiological and cognitive developments in the first few years. Preschoolers or toddlers slowly shed their ‘ego-centric’ view. This means that a newborn baby does not have the capacity to think of and for others. This ability to understand that there are others in the world is slowly gained during the years 0-3. After a year and half the toddler begins to verbally express its likes and dislikes. This is an important cognitive milestone, for the language ability has significant ramifications for psychosocial and later academic performance. The preschool stage is when most of the gross and fine motor ability is acquired and exercised. So the graduation from moving limbs to crawling to walking signify the baby’s growing capacity for self-expression in physical space. During the elementary school age, the child understands that the world is comprised of people like itself with similar motivations and needs. During this stage crucial psychosocial skills are acquired, as the child learns to negotiate its own needs with that of others.


Herbert Ginsburg and Sylvia Opper (1979), Piaget’s Theory of Intellectual Development, Prentice Hall, ISBN 0-13-675140-7, p. 152

Santrock, J.W. (2008). A Topical Approach To

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Life-Span Development (pp.211-216). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

Summary and Reaction to Chapter 3 (The Slow Hunch) of Steven Johnson’s book ‘Where Good Ideas Come From’

The main argument in the chapter is that great innovations are due to accumulative processes rather than spontaneous ‘eureka’ moments. Almost in any major technological or scientific innovation of modern times, the break-through was made possible by the robust base built by accrued prior knowledge.

A key idea put forward by Steven Johnson is that of ‘convergence’. This is the process of the gradual accumulation of information, concepts and their interrelationships that are precursors to the occurrence of ‘insight’. Although the decision to synthesize and analyze them is that of an individual, the fundamental facts and concepts can be fetched from a disparate range of sources. To this extent, though great innovations are not one-off events of brilliance, they are the result of ‘collective intelligence’. Collective .

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