Development of Skills in Children!
(a) Resemblance sorting
(b) Consistent sorting as represented by the child, matching and sorting objects on the basis of perceptible attributes.
(a) Exhaustive sorting, as represented by the child, separating from mixed array of all blocks sharing the same attribute.
(b) An understanding of ‘someone all’ relationships, as represented by the child recognizing some, but not all share the same attribute.
(a) A knowledge of multiple class membership, as evidenced by the child recognizing that the same triangular-shaped blocks may be grouped by size and also by colour.
(b) An understanding that the number of objects in two subclasses equals the number in the Superordinate class.
(a) Conservation of classes, as represented by the child continuing to associate a non-sense- syllable label with a specific geometric form in spite of irrelevant transformations.
(b) Conservation of a class hierarchy and
(c) Horizontal reclassification according to different criteria.
Class inclusion skills, as represented by the child answering questions correctly.
Hierarchical reclassification skills evidenced by the children demonstrating that in a array of four red and three blue triangular-shaped blocks, all the blocks share one attribute (shape), but that any one of the blocks has an additional attribute (colour) shared by only some of the blocks in view.
Kosfky designed 11 experimental tasks to assess the hypothesized classificatory acquisition sequence produced by Piaget and Inhelder and his results showed a general sequence of skills among children of age 4 to 9. By age 4 ‘resemblance sorting’ and consistent sorting were demonstrated by 90% and 81% of the children, respectively. By age 5, 75% of the children demonstrated ‘exhaustive sorting’.
The most difficult tasks class inclusion and ‘hierarchical reclassification’ were passed by only 60% and 40%, representatively, of the 9 year old children. It is interesting to note in passing that the sequence of attainments is of more interest in terms of developmental stages than the age at which any skill is attained.
Here we conclude by mentioning the classification skills laid down by Inhelder and Piaget as:
(a) Resemblance sorting,
(b) Consistent sorting,
(c) Exhaustive sorting,
(d) Multiple class member-ship
(e) Horizontal sorting
(f) Hierarchical reclassification.
These failed to find complete support from Kofsky and others later on, for the order of the emergence of three concrete operational skills: conservation—class inclusion—transitivity, Kofsky found a general correspondence with the sequence proposed by Inhelder and Piaget, but there were exceptions too.
In summarising Piagiets theory of the child’s cognitive developmental stages we note that at the first two years of life the child acquires sensory motor control. At the age of 2 extracts concepts from experiences, at the age of 4 makes intuitive judgments. At the age of 7 he can master concrete operations (control through perceptual anticipation of consequences); and at the age of 11 the child progresses towards formal operations (control through logical deduction of possibilities and consequences).