Middle, Late Childhood, and Adolescence

By selecting elements from Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories, please create an ideal theory relating to the IMPORTANCE OF PLAY that explains the major developmental factors related to middle childhood, late childhood, and adolescent development.

Please be sure to include the a description of the theories from which you selected your elements, discuss how each element works together to create your ideal theory. Include your rational for selecting these elements. If you believe that the current theories have major gaps be sure to address them.

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Please provide examples in terms of development during this phase to illustrate the points of your theory. Please provide examples in terms of development during this phase to illustrate the points of your theory.
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  1. By selecting elements from Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories, please create an ideal theory relating to the IMPORTANCE OF PLAY that explains the major developmental factors related to middle childhood, late childhood, and adolescent development.

An ideal theory of how play impacts a child’s cognitive development would inclue aspects of both Paiget’s and Vygotsky’s theories. The stages of intellectual development formulated by Piaget appear to be related to major developments in brain growth.

Whereas, Piaget outlined several principles for building cognitive structures where, during all development stages, the child experiences his or her environment using whatever mental maps he or she has constructed so far. If the experience is a repeated one, it fits easily-or is assimilated-into the child’s cognitive structure so that he or she maintains mental “equilibrium.” If the experience is different or new, the child loses equilibrium, and alters his or her cognitive structure to accommodate the new conditions. This way, the child erects more and more adequate cognitive structures. On the other hand,
Vygotsky adds the social aspect of learning, which is an important aspect of learning and the role plays in this developmental process

Thus, Piaget portrayed the child as a lone scientist, creating his or her own sense of the world. The individual will interpret and act accordingly to conceptual categories or schemas that are developed in interaction with the environment. The knowledge of relationships among ideas, objects, and events is constructed by the active processes of internal assimilation, accommodation, and equilibration (B: p. 39, as cited in

Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages and the processes by which children progress through them. This question deals with the last three stages, but for continuity, the four stages are:

  1. Sensorimotor stage (birth – 2 years old)-The child, through physical interaction with his or her environment, builds a set of concepts about reality and how it works. This is the stage where a child does not know that physical objects remain in existence even when out of sight (object permanance).
  2. Preoperational stage (ages 2-7)-The child is not yet able to conceptualize abstractly and needs concrete physical situations.

? The Preoperational Stage can be further broken down into the Preconceptual Stage and the Intuitive Stage… The Preconceptual stage (2-4 years) is marked by egocentric thinking and animistic thought. A child who displays animistic thought tends to assign living attributes to inanimate objects, for example that a glass would feel pain if it were broken. Transductive reasoning. Is also present, where the child can think about something without the object being present by use of language e.g, hiding a toy and asking her sister where it is.
? Play is how the child experiences the world during this period.
? For example, in the preconceptual stage (2-4 years), which is marked by egocentric thinking and animistic thought, as a child plays with a doll or her toys, she will display animistic thought assigning living attributes to the inanimate objects, for example that a her doll would feel pain if it were broken e.g. arm breaks off the doll

? The use of language is, of course, the prime example, but another good example of symbol use is creative play, wherein checkers are cookies, papers are dishes, a box is the table, and so on. By manipulating symbols, we are essentially thinking, in a way the infant could not: in the absence of the actual objects involved!

? For example, in the Intuitive (4-7 years) stage, children start employing mental activities to solve problems and obtain goals but they are unaware of how they came to their conclusions. For example a child playing with blocks often orders them by color or shape and then counts them. Or, playing with her pets, she is able to classify that there are more dogs (2 dogs) than cats (1 cat), but if asked if there are more dogs than animals the child would once again respond with “yes.” This is pre-operational thought, as thinking in terms of all animals in the world demands a higher thought process in the next stage. Thus, according to Piaget, this is a fundamental error in logic showing the transition between intuitiveness in solving problems and true logical reasoning acquired in later years when the child grows up. The older child would reason that 2 dogs, when compared to all animals in the world, would be less. Thus, during this operational stage, the child primarily learns through imitation and play, building symbolic images through internalized intuitive thinking activity.

? For example, playing with blocks or other objects, the child sort’s toys in an order according to size, shape, or any other characteristic. For example, if given different-shaded objects they may make piles according to color or shape. In CLASSIFICATION, the child might name and identify sets of toys/objects according to appearance, size or other characteristic, including the idea that one set of objects can includes certain characteristics.

? Rules of a game not developed, so when playing the child might say that she does not cheat because her Mom told her not to. The child only uses simple do’s and don’ts imposed by authority.

  1. Concrete operations (ages 7-11)-As physical experience accumulates, the child starts to conceptualize, creating logical structures that explain his or her physical experiences. Abstract problem solving is also possible at this stage. Evidence for organized, logical thought. There is the ability to perform multiple classification tasks, order objects in a logical sequence, and comprehend the principle of conservation.

a.. Thinking becomes less transductive and less egocentric. The child is capable of concrete problem-solving. Some reversibility now possible (quantities moved can be restored such as in arithmetic: so when playing a game, the child can add the objects (3+4 = 7) and also think irreversibility, where is she tool 4 away from 7, she would have three dolls remaining (7-4 = 3). These can be solved with numbers, not just with objects.

b. In addition, a child learns classification and seriation during this stage. It the child playing with marbles, for example, classification includes whether there are more marbles or more black marbles. Now the child begins to get the idea that one set can include another. Seriation is putting things in order. The younger child may start putting things in order by, say size, but will quickly lose track. Now the child has no problem with such a task.

c. By nine or ten, for example, the child masters the last of …

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