…But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” (Mark Twain)
(Online Etymology Dictionary): past participle of concrescere “to grow together,” from assimilated form of com “together” (see con-) + crescere “to grow” (from PIE root *ker- (2) “to grow”).
“Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a comprehensive theory about the nature and development of human intelligence. It was originated by the Swiss developmental psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980). The theory deals with the nature of knowledge itself and how humans gradually come to acquire, construct, and use it. Piaget’s theory is mainly known as a developmental stage theory.
In 1919, while working at the Alfred Binet Laboratory School in Paris Piaget “was intrigued by the fact that children of different ages made different kinds of mistakes while solving problems”. His experience and observations at the Alfred Binet Laboratory were the beginnings of his theory of cognitive development.
Piaget believed that children are not like “little adults” who may know less; children just think and speak differently. By thinking that children have great cognitive abilities, Piaget came up with four different cognitive development stages, which he put out into testing. Within those four stages he managed to group them with different ages. Each stage he realized how children managed to develop their cognitive skills. For example, he believed that children experience the world through actions, representing things with words, thinking logically, and using reasoning.
To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He believed that children construct an understanding of the world around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, then adjust their ideas accordingly. Moreover, Piaget claimed that cognitive development is at the center of the human organism, and language is contingent on knowledge and understanding acquired through cognitive development. Piaget’s earlier work received the greatest attention.
Child-centered classrooms and “open education” are direct applications of Piaget’s views. Despite its huge success, Piaget’s theory has some limitations that Piaget recognized himself: for example, the theory supports sharp stages rather than continuous development (horizontal and vertical décalage)…
…The concrete operational stage is the third stage of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. This stage, which follows the preoperational stage, occurs between the ages of 7 and 11 (middle childhood and preadolescence) years, and is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. During this stage, a child’s thought processes become more mature and “adult like”. They start solving problems in a more logical fashion. Abstract, hypothetical thinking is not yet developed in the child, and children can only solve problems that apply to concrete events or objects. At this stage, the children undergo a transition where the child learns rules such as conservation (the idea that an object, such as water or modeling clay, remains the same even when its appearance changes). Piaget determined that children are able to incorporate inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning involves drawing inferences from observations in order to make a generalization. In contrast, children struggle with deductive reasoning, which involves using a generalized principle in order to try to predict the outcome of an event. Children in this stage commonly experience difficulties with figuring out logic in their heads. For example, a child will understand that “A is more than B” and “B is more than C”. However, when asked “is A more than C?”, the child might not be able to logically figure the question out mentally.
Two other important processes in the concrete operational stage are logic and the elimination of egocentrism.
Egocentrism is the inability to consider or understand a perspective other than one’s own. It is the phase where the thought and morality of the child is completely self focused. During this stage, the child acquires the ability to view things from another individual’s perspective, even if they think that perspective is incorrect. For instance, show a child a comic in which Jane puts a doll under a box, leaves the room, and then Melissa moves the doll to a drawer, and Jane comes back. A child in the concrete operations stage will say that Jane will still think it’s under the box even though the child knows it is in the drawer.
Children in this stage can; however, only solve problems that apply to actual (concrete) objects or events, and not abstract concepts or hypothetical tasks. Understanding and knowing how to use full common sense has not yet been completely adapted…”