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Stages of Development - Essay Example

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The essay "Stages of Development" states that Piaget and Erikson both believed that cognitive and social development occurred in waves or stages. Piaget’s stages were primarily concerned with the cognitive development of children while Erikson focused on social development…
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Stages of Development
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Establishing an equilibrium of understanding after disequilibrium occurs as the result of new information is the mechanism that actually helps a child grow. Piaget divided development into a Sensorimotor Stage (birth to age 2), a Preoperational Stage (ages 2-7), a Concrete Operational Stage (ages 7-11), and a Formal Operational Stage (ages 11- adult). Each stage is marked by certain abilities, such as the ability to understand the conservation of mater or the ability for hypothetical thinking.
Erikson’s work closely resembles Piaget’s, but it is showing the development of a person’s social intelligence and self-awareness, not cognitive ability. Erikson believed that we went through eight different levels of psychosocial development, each one possessing a unique crisis for the individual’s understanding of who they are and where they fit into society. Stage 1 is Trust v. Mistrust, Stage 2 is Autonomy v. Doubt, Stage 3 is Initiative v. Guilt, Stage 4 is Industry v. Inferiority, Stage 5 is Identity v. Role Confusion, Stage 6 is Intimacy v. Isolation, Stage 7 is Generativity v. Self-absorption and Stage 8 is Integrity v. Despair. Erikson suggests that if the conflict of each stage is not successfully resolved, the final adult will be a person that has emotional baggage. They will have a difficult time reconciling conflicting feelings that should have been resolved at an earlier stage.
Both of these theories are as relevant today as they have ever been. Students may use different technology and have a different social environment than they once did, but they still must follow these stages of development in order to be fully functional human beings. Read More
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