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Theory of cognitive development by Piaget

Sensorimotor period The sensorimotor stage can be defined as one in which the child uses his/her senses and motor capabilities to discover the surrounding environment. This is where they build the world, the first knowledge appears and they prepare to think with images and concepts. They begin to implement the cognitive functions such as memory and thinking and use much imitation. In this period one of the most important achievements is usually reached: object permanence. This refers to the child's understanding that objects exist even when they cannot be seen, heard or touched. The cuckoo-after game is very enlightening about the status of object permanence in the child as it seeks to evoke the absence and test the reaction of the child. It extends from birth until about 2 years old. Pre-operational period It is between two and 6-7 years of age. At this stage children can’t perform logical and complex mental operations yet. The symbolic function predominates, which is manifested through the game. Symbolic play takes an important role in developing a cognitive and emotional level. They begin to remember, understand or represent based on objects that are not in situ. In addition, symbolic representations are secured with strong emotional content, for example, growing up. It is a way of building the children's own thinking that allows, in the first instance, to assimilate concepts –understand them- and subsequently reproduce or accommodate them. Period of concrete operations This period is divided into two stages: Period of concrete operations: from 6/7 to 11 years of age aprox. Children begin to develop logical thinking and hypothetical-deductive on concrete objects but have not yet reached levels of complex abstraction as metacognition. A child who has reached this stage is intellectually able to discern that the amount of water in a short wide glass is the same when switching to a long and narrow. One of the most noteworthy achievements that Piaget points out at this stage is the conservation of liquid. Period of formal operations: approximately from 12 years onwards. During this period the person has capacity for conceptual abstraction and hypothetical reasoning and deductive way. The ability to solve problems systematically, logically and methodically, develops. In addition, the ability to "think about thinking" or metacognition also appears. For further information: “The representation of the child’s world” book. Jean Piaget.