Jean Piaget’s stage theory outlines a toddler’s cognitive development. According to the theory, cognitive development is characterized by alterations in cognitive processes and capacities (Lourenço, 2016). Piaget’s fascination with children’s psychological maturation was sparked by his studies of his daughter and nephew. These findings supported his theory that toddlers’ brains are not just little replicas of grown-up minds. On the contrary, he argues that intelligence is a phenomenon that matures through time as it progresses over many phases (Lourenço, 2016). Based on observations of Jose, it can be argued that, consistent with Piaget’s view; kids are not intellectually inferior to adults; rather, they perceive things and the universe differently.
Jose is three years old and of Mexican and Hispanic ancestry. He is the only kid in a household of three people. His parents are married, and his mother is a stay-at-home mom. His father works for a packaging firm. The mother is 22 years old, and the father is 24 years old. Both parents are struggling financially due to the father’s low-wage packing work. Jose is always under the care of his mother and emerges as a highly intelligent boy. At times, his father engages in play with him, typically including the use of Jose’s toys. Despite the family’s financial challenges, Jose’s parents strive to provide him with the best possible care. This essay chronicles Jose’s growth from eight months to three years.
Jose at Eight Months
In this setting, Jose showed a fascination in investigating his immediate surroundings and demonstrated the ability to handle items with his body. He could move things he considered obstacles from the vicinity to access those he preferred. Jose appeared to be drawn to things that could be combined to make a unit (four puzzle pieces). Thus, it was apparent that he was in the sensorimotor stage of development. During this stage, toddlers scrutinize the items they have chosen with their hands and mouth, gaining an understanding of their characteristics (Babakr et al., 2019). In Jose’s example, it seemed as if he determined that the plastic puzzle pieces should be combined. By manipulating items, he could fix problems as they occurred by moving undesired objects from view to create space for wanted ones as a natural problem-solving technique. Quite clearly, Jose seemed to be intellectually gifted compared to children of his age.
Jose at Thirteen Months
Jose solved three out of four puzzles using trial and error. That is, he manipulated the plastic puzzle pieces into the box. Initially, he examined each of the four puzzle pieces and appeared to be determining their characteristics by touch. These activities may be classified as sensori-motor since Jose was collecting information regarding the pieces via his senses (Lourenço, 2016). This also relates to the apprenticeship phase since Jose honed his puzzle-solving skills (Mangal & Mangal, 2019). He had acquired these abilities in various places, including the Funscape Arcade, where he visits with his mother. Accordingly, he could apply the information he had obtained in his macro system to his micro-system (Houston, 2017). Jose’s physical development and relative agility (in comparison to his maturation as a newborn) implied that he had the muscular abilities to maneuver the jigsaw pieces to solve it.
The fourth puzzle’s difficulty was quickly overcome when Jose received guidance from his mother, demonstrating the concepts of scaffolding and guided discovery when his mother suggested rotating the last component (Sysoev et al., 2022). Jose likewise demonstrated decision-making abilities and tendencies like inquisitiveness, persistence, and logic (Babakr et al., 2019). This indicated that he was operating within his current environment, utilizing skills acquired in key places such as the Funscape, his home, and the neighborhood.
Jose at Nineteen Months
Numerous problem-solving abilities were evident in this assessment of Jose immersed in a toy car wash with his father. He demonstrated his familiarity with his room by noting the location of all the toys. He was able to dry and transport clean toys to their designated storage areas while transporting filthy toys to the cleaning facility. This demonstrated unequivocally that he could discern between clean and dirty things, implying that he was capable of solving this issue on his own. Additionally, Jose put these items in the drawer by delicately positioning them under his armpits and positioning his body to access the items he was tasked with retrieving.
The ability to forecast and reason through a challenge without requiring help indicates the start of the pre-operational development stage. According to Piaget, children can think in symbolic representations and perform cognitive processes throughout this period (Babakr et al., 2019). This is also shown when the detergent solution splashed across the table; Jose was able to meticulously wipe up the mess when his father inquired as to what he should do. He chose to clean the table without being advised to do so. The pre-operational developmental stage is particularly obvious when Jose’s father informs him that the tractor needs a larger trough, and he rushes to the toy cabinet to get one.
Jose’s capacity to create analogies between thoughts and things and his grasp of the spherical form is shown by this symbolic comprehension. Jose tried to wash the tractor again after fetching the larger trough, but it would not fit. When he realized this was too difficult for him, he turned to his father for assistance. After seeing his father do it, he tried again, but his fine motor abilities were still underdeveloped and not strong enough to manoeuvre the tractor into the trough. His father was satisfied with this, acknowledging and accepting his efforts as sincere. This approval of his efforts to clean the huge tractor was crucial for his problem-solving exploration. It nurtured and maintained his interests in cleaning and assisting his father.
Jose at Two Years
These eyewitness accounts of Jose’s involvement in the difficulty of clothing himself and his toys and supporting others in dressing demonstrated a high level of involvement in problem-solving occurrences. Jose’s efforts to dress demonstrated his growing demand for independent behavior, which was related to his progress in the pre-operational stage since he could re-enact earlier grooming encounters (Babakr et al., 2019). In a separate event, Jose tackled his Funscape buddy’s difficulty of being unable to dress a Batman mannequin through his use of the prior day’s experience. This instance of ”guided participation and knowledge production in a social setting demonstrated Jose’s growing ability to reflect, assist others, and use recently acquired abilities to resolve an issue (Sysoev et al., 2022). A subsequent event demonstrated more thought and skill growth. Essentially, Jose needed verbal assistance to help him dress his toys; as he practiced, he could eventually do it independently. His quick progress in problem-solving to achieve the desired outcome is shown by his application and practice of a scaffolded technique.
Jose at Three Years
Children grow rapidly between three and five years of age and develop fine motor skills. Most children demonstrate fairly good control of pencils, crayons, and scissors by age five. Gross motor accomplishments may include the ability to skip and balance on one foot. More importantly, Jose’s vocabulary began to develop rapidly, although he could not distinguish some objects. According to Piaget, children’s illogical thinking extends across various domains (Lourenço, 2016). In Jose’s classification abilities, he could yet understand that one object can be classified in multiple ways. For example, during one visit to the Funscape, he claimed that there were more boys than children in the place.
Overall, it is not required for avenues for problem-solving to be established in a staged setting for toddlers. Children may have difficulty completing the daily tasks of a “typical” day. Among the most important considerations for children and people who enable settings for kids are the availability of space and time to discover in an open-ended, adult-supported fashion (Mangal & Mangal, 2019). To create a learning environment that fosters problem-solving, adults should be able to observe, analyze, and evaluate infants’ progress while simultaneously comprehending the aims and methods of child-centered education.
The development of problem-solving abilities in children requires a broad range of physical experiences and play. These opportunities are most effective when tailored to kids’ interests and integrated into a play-based education (Fesseha & Pyle, 2016). A known and familiar environment for youngsters is also necessary to feel comfortable participating without the anxiety of the unexpected disrupting their efforts to solve problems.
Piaget’s development theory is broadly quite practical. His concepts on how toddlers’ cognitive capacities operate and expand are very valuable to parents and teachers in early childhood development matters. I completely agree with Piaget’s thoughts and beliefs that kids psychologically evolve into certain roles. Consistently, I believe that as infants develop, their capacity for thought and perception expands, and they acquire a deeper understanding of their surroundings.
There are several instances of toddlers possessing Jose’s gifts. His categorization of the jigsaw pieces as he slotted them into the right holes on the panels established an obvious connection to basic geometry notions of place and location. Jose demonstrated his growing understanding of the measuring principles of scale and sequence by measuring the sizes of garments in the house. These instances indicate how he gained comprehension uniquely and at his speed. The advancement of problem-solving abilities from early childhood lays a solid basis for future achievement and academic skills.
Jose’s problem-solving abilities will improve, and the information obtained will ensure that he possesses new abilities for resolving other difficulties as they arise. This may result in an increased interest in metacognitive skills as he organizes, analyzes, contrasts, places, and counts items of fascination. If toddlers are to be self-assured problem solvers, they should be taught to explore their surroundings from infancy. They need actual, practical learning encounters to understand how the world operates. Furthermore, toddlers must be able to think critically and think logically. Future inventiveness and the capacity to analyze, foresee and construct new concepts and ideas will be based on these components of growth and development.
Babakr, Z. H., Mohamedamin, P., & Kakamad, K. (2019). Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory: Critical Review. Education Quarterly Reviews, 2(3), 517-524.
Fesseha, E., & Pyle, A. (2016). Conceptualising play-based learning from kindergarten teachers’ perspectives. International Journal of Early Years Education, 24(3), 361-377.
Houston, S. (2017). Towards a critical ecology of child development in social work: aligning the theories of Bronfenbrenner and Bourdieu. Families, relationships and societies, 6(1), 53-69.
Lourenço, O. M. (2016). Developmental stages, Piagetian stages in particular: A critical review. New Ideas in Psychology, 40, 123-137.
Mangal, S. K., & Mangal, S. (2019). Learning and teaching. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Sysoev, I., Gray, J. H., Fine, S., Makini, S. P., & Roy, D. (2022). Child-driven, machine-guided: Automatic scaffolding of constructionist-inspired early literacy play. Computers & Education, 104434.