PIAGET AND GESELL: A COMPARISON OF BEHAVIORAL AGE AND COGNITIVE ABILITY Allie Cohill Annie Kaplan PIAGET
1896-1980 Switzerland Swiss Developmental Psychologist and Philosopher Natural Sciences Ph. D University of Neuchatel Worked at University of Zurich, developed interest for psychoanalysis Studied cognitive development Became the theory of cognitive development Strongly interested in the development of
knowledge, specifically with the child PIAGET TERMS Schema Each child had knowledge, acquired through experiences and interactions, organized through groupings Pre-operational Stage Typically
ages 2-7 The beginning of thinking in symbols, but still unsystematic and illogical. The ability to mentally represent what has been absorbed on the level of action PIAGET TERMS Concrete Operational Stage Typically ages 7-11 Thinking becomes more organized logically on a mental plane Conservation occurs at this stage
Conservation The ability to transform reality by means of internalized actions which are grouped into coherent, reversible systems. A psychological indication of the completion of an operatory structure. Requires the ability to see multiple aspects of a problem conservation of substance (age 7-8) conservation of weight (age 9-10) conservation of volume (age 11-12) Arnold Gesell
Completed Ph.D in psychology at Clark U Yale Medical Degree Founded clinic at Yale Established Gesell Institute of Child Development in New Haven, CT 1950 Set out to provide a standard in which people could recognize typical and not ordinary child patterns in behavior GESELL TERMS
Maturation The process by which development is governed by intrinsic factors-principally the genes, which determine the sequence, timing, and form of emerging action-patterns School readiness Point in the biological development of the child in which he or she is behaviorally mature enough to learn in a school
environment and accomplish school age tasks. Occurs usually at age 5 or 6 GESELL TERMS Incomplete Man Test Children are given a drawing of a stick figure which is incomplete and they are asked to draw the missing parts. The open ended nature of this task allows the children to demonstrate many different aspects of their personality and development, especially their ability to observe and copy from a picture.
HYPOTHESIS If students are at the normative behavioral age according to the incomplete man test by Gesell, they will also not be able to complete Piaget Conservation tasks. OUR STUDY Small North Texas Catholic School 7 kindergarteners, 5 boys, 2 girls
Study was conducted in school library Incomplete Man Test was given to the students while sitting at one main table Students were taken aside individually to complete conservation task GESELLS ANALYSIS OF INCOMPLETE MAN TEST RESULTS
Hair inclusion of hair is normative (Age 5.5) Hair too long (until age 5.5) Too few hairs (until age 9) Better stroke developed, majority achieve good length of hair (Age 7)
Most placement of hair accurately (Age 9) Only 6% of girls, 12% of boys, reproduce the number correctly (Age 10) Eyes One fourth of children make a pupil (Age 5.5) Eyes match in size and placement, though horizontal placement may not be as accurate (Age 6) Pupil normative (Age 9) ANALYSIS
Neck Area Simple completion of the body line (Age 4.5-5) Instead of a simple extension of the body line, as earlier, some now make a slanted combination of neck and body line. Neck area tends to consist of a two-part straight neck and body line. (Ages 5.5) Struggle to make the bow with difficulty (Ages 5.5-6)
Bow added to the earlier body line (Age 7) The ages of 4 through 6 emphasize the gradual improvement of the neck area: first the extension of the body line to meet the knot in the given bow, then the addition of the neck, and then the struggle with the bow. At this time, when some arm and fingers, leg and foot, hair, ear, and eyes can be pretty well taken for granted, how the child handles the neck area can be an examiners best clue as to how far that child has developed. (Ilg, Ames, etc, 98) ANALYSIS
Arm Arm and leg are becoming shorter in some (age 5) Arms are moving upward and point upward (age 5.5) Leg Leg is good length (age 6) RESULTS Student 7 (Age 6)
Hair Does not make any Eyes Does not make any Ear Makes ear -Placement: correct -Size: Too small Shape: Some indent but not correct Neck Area Makes neck area Body line and neck only Arm Placement: Middle Direction: Up Length: Correct
Fingers: Correct Leg Makes leg placement: Too far Direction: Correct Student 2 (Age 6) Hair Makes hair Number: too few Eyes Does not make any Ear Makes ear -Placement: too high -Size: Too small Shape: poor
Neck Area Makes neck area Body line Neck Bow Arm Placement: Just right Direction: Up Length: too long Fingers: correct Leg Makes leg placement: Too near Direction: Correct Length: Too short Student 3 (Age 5)
Hair Makes hair Number: too few Eyes Makes eyes Placement: too high/uneven Ear Makes ear -Placement: correct -Size: Too big Shape: poor Neck Area Makes neck area Body line Arm Placement: upper third Direction: Up Length: correct
Fingers: correct Leg Makes leg placement: Too near Direction: Correct Length: Too short Foot: up too much CONSERVATION OF NUMBER According to Piaget Before conservation of number, children link numerical evaluation with the spatial
arrangement of the elements 8 pennies pennies close together pennies spread apart Ask if there is the same amount in each row CONSERVATION OF NUMBER CONSERVATION OF VOLUME
According to Piaget Before conservation of volume, the pouring of the water from one cup to another is not conceived as a reversible movement from one state to another, changing the form but leaving the quantity constant VOLUME RESULTS Hypothesis confirmed Most
students did not have the behavioral characteristics to be labeled as ready in the incomplete man test All students except one could not conserve Behavioral and cognitive development is related Student 7 Able to conserve number Unable to conserve volume Incomplete man test was below average LIMITATIONS
Could have encouraged children more Ask if they were missing any parts of the stick figure Shortened the childrens gym class, were very anxious and wanted to finish quickly
More students Find out age per month More readiness tests Useful is assessing child in various aspects Our study stimulated some questions for one to think about: Should we look again at the curriculum for the age levels and ask whether it expects students to have the ability to conserve? Does
the curriculum match cognitive ability? Maybe we should do a better job of analyzing cognitive abilities in order to better teach them Children may not be prepared for a first grade curriculum Would a child learn how to conserve if
they had never been asked? Would children be able to develop logical skills if they had not been asked? Stimulation has to be there Piaget criticized about Americans trying to speed things up Are we not stimulating children enough at
younger ages? Or are we forcing complex thinking on children when they are not ready? FINAL THOUGHTS Piaget The child must be independently doing things and learning Not all about demonstration Child works alone until the aha! moment with conservation
Child must be cognitively developed to a point for this moment to happen Gesell Believed one had to wait until the childs human genetic processes have occurred in that child WHAT CAN THESE CHILDREN DO? Do not want to shortchange a child
Also want to challenge a child Important to understand there is a uniqueness in their rate of learning and development Piaget and Gesell focused on different aspects of child development Both useful in developing a correct curriculum for a child and helping them grow
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