After reading this article you will learn about the cognitive development in a child.
Cognition is the general term for all processes (mental) by which a human being becomes aware of his set or environment.
Cognitive activities involve thinking, reasoning, perceiving, learning, memorizing and problem-solving, i.e. the activities that can be designated as “intellectual” and the ability behind all these activities is known as cognitive ability.
The cognitive activities in a child undergo a process of development.
They become more and more complex as the child grows in age. The progressive changes in intellectual growth which take place from birth to adulthood are assumed to follow a definable sequence. Three main theories of cognitive development dominate developmental psychology at the moment, those of Piaget and Bruner and Flavell, which we.
For considering cognitive development, we first start with the cognitive abilities based on intellect.
Binet describes and defines intelligence in 3 parts:
(i) The tendency to take and maintain direction.
(ii) The capacity to make adaptation for the purpose of attaining a desired end.
(iii) The power of auto-criticism.
The first point has to do with accepting task and keeping one’s mind on it. The second point contrasts intelligent behaviour with acting out of habit, with little analysis of the immediate solution. The third emphasizes that better performers prevent errors before they occur or catch them promptly when they are made.
How does the intellectual performance change? What processes enter into effective performance at various ages?
How does the child master these processes ? The changes that occur in intellectual development are gradual—transition is not abrupt, though it is accepted that the stage of operational thought begins at age 11—actually it means that the stage starts around the age 11.
Intelligence, as defined by Binet, in the first part of it has motivational as well as intellectual components:
(1) The child has to be willing to try; with each added experience of pay off following a big of effort, his willingness to try is strengthened,
(2) To set his own direction, he has to visualize goals— from simple goals of childhood to more complex goals of adulthood
(3) With increasing age the child is able to think about more original goals, and he learns to point his efforts toward a goal. The second part of the definition of intelligence consists in maintaining direction and in order to operate it he must resolve a large task into intermediate tasks and give himself an instruction for each step of the journey.
The third element—”Self-criticism”—likewise has both emotional and intellectual components. Emotional readiness to review one’s impulses obviously grows out of relations with authority in early childhood. The intellectual component includes knowing how to recognize a good performance and knowing the difference between functional criticism and niggling perfectionism.
The second of Binet’s elements—analysis and adaptation —is the centre of Piaget’s theory to which we now turn.’
Although Piaget is a highly original thinker, his work is a direct outgrowth of Binet’s. Piaget started his work in Binet’s laboratory, testing the reasoning of school children. Both were interested in why children make mistakes and in how children control their responses to reach excellent performance. Piaget watched individual children in infancy to see how more mature mental operations come into being. Piaget’s interpretations have had great influence on developmental psychologists in all countries, particularly since 1960.
During the same period an experimental cognitive psychology was being formulated— almost independently—mostly in British and American laboratories. These theorists described “information processing” in a language different from Piaget’s, but the concepts are close to those of the developmental psychologists.