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The transition from preoperative to operational thinking of children

Dijana Klašnja (2014) The transition from preoperative to operational thinking of children. Diploma thesis.

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    The theoretical part of this diploma thesis focuses on Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development. The thesis discusses the characteristics of Piaget's theory, the employed research method and the developmental factors affecting the cognitive development of children. The largest part of this section focuses on the characteristics of the individual stages of cognitive development. Since the thesis examines the transition from the preoperational to the operational stage of intellectual development, special attention is paid to the mental processes within the transition under consideration (i.e. irreversibility, conservation, seriation, and egocentrism). The continuation discusses the features of theory of mind, the educational implications of Piaget's theory for teachers and educators, and some criticisms of Piaget's theory. The survey was conducted in kindergarten classrooms, among children between 5 and 6 years of age. Various Piagetian tasks were employed to determine whether the participants have already developed the abilities of seriation and conservation, and to evaluate their current stage of development. Piaget argued that children in the pre-operational stage do not understand the principles of conservation and that they have not yet developed the cognitive processes of seriation and classification. One of the participants actually exhibited the operational stage of development in all sets of tasks while the majority of others merely exhibited some of the characteristics of operational thinking. Thus, the findings do confirm the findings of Piaget's theory, but the criticisms of the latter, emphasising that Piaget underestimated the actual intellectual abilities of children. In order to show that the results would be different if the tasks were designed differently, I adapted two tasks in acccordance with the suggestions proposed by some critics of Piaget's theory. The tasks of this type proved effective since the findings greatlly differed from the ones obtained via Piagetian tasks. The findings confirm that Piaget truly underestimated the actual intellectual abilities of children, so various criticisms of his theory are completely justified.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: cognitive development, Piaget´s theory, operational thinking, conservation, seriation, irreversibility, egocentrism, theory of mind
    Number of Pages: 66
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Marcela Batistič ZorecMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10159689)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2351
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 08:47
    Last Modified: 09 Sep 2014 08:47
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2351

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