You will observe as the child is asked to participate in play-like activities that illustrate Piaget’s stages of
cognitive development. Try to make predictions about the outcome based on your reading of the text and
make notes of your observations for questions and discussion afterwards.
If you complete this form and submit it to me by the end of the week I will award youten (10) extra
credit points. You are welcome to annotate your responses by reviewing the text and online notes to help
with your written conclusions. You don’t have to turn it in at the end of the demonstration; you may turn
it in when you have had time to complete each question.
What did Piaget assume about cognitive development? Did he believe problem-solving ability was based
on intelligence, learning, or upon specific stages of development related to a child’s age?
What did Piaget say we could expect in a child of 2-7? What stage did Piaget say these children were in?
How does the child respond to the demonstration? How does he/she respond to the instructor and/or to the
parent or caretaker? Interested and engaging? Reluctant or withdrawn?
Record your observations, questions, or comments as each task is
1.Colored Spools –
Object transformation by rotating the spools. Can the child maintain an accurate
mental image? Can the child predict which color will emerge first? What else did you notice? Did the
child know or did he or she just guest?
Topological or Euclidian Space
– Can the child accurately reproduce both the figure and the relative
relationships between the objects? Normally before seven years of age the child will have trouble with the
shapes. Young children can recognize the relationship of the dot to the figure but the shapes presented
later are somewhat irregular. After the age of 4 the circles and squares are pretty good but the others are
vague without clear and accurate angles being reproduced. What did you observe he or she?
3.One For One Exchange
– Why do I exchange one penny for one block? Can the child establish
equivalence between two different sets of objects and then conserve that property as the objects change
position? At what age should this be no longer a problem? Note carefully each child’s approach to this
– Can the child establish equivalence between two similar sets of
objects and then conserve that property as the objects change position? Note what is similar or different
from the task just completed. Are they using preoperations or using concrete operations? Why or why
5.Conservation of Length
– Can the child establish equivalence between sets of objects of differing
length? Can the child then conserve the property of length equivalence when the dowels change relative
position? Record whether you observed both equivalency and conservation or just one of the properties.
Was one task more difficult than the other? Did the multiple segments make any difference in the second
6.Conservation of Liquids
– Can the children establish equivalence of volume and maintain the
equivalence when the physical dimensions of the liquid change. What was similar or different in the way
the children approached this conversation task as compared to the others? In this note the reaction to the
task at hand and the confidence expressed in his or her judgment.
7.Conservation of Substance
– Can the children also conserve the property of substance? Is this easier,
more difficult or about the same difficulty as the other conservation tasks?
– Using a bottle of water and then rotating the bottle noticing the properties of
the liquid will the child be able to reproduce the water as it would appear if the bottle was in different
positions. What do observe about the children’s drawing representing the water line? How do you explain
this result if not accurate?
– Can the child successfully comprehend the relationship of the animals to be both a
member of a class and subclass at the same time? What cognitive skills are represented in this task? What
about Piaget’s assumptions of these cognitive abilities at this age?
– Brothers and sisters, can the child understand the properties of relationships when
asked to take another’s perspective? Do you believe the children understand the concept or have just
memorized their own family membership?
– Can the child understand the concepts of serialization and arrange lengths in ascending
order. What did you observe about the children’s approach to this problem? What cognitive skills are
required to successfully complete this task? Did each child use the same or different strategies to solve the
– Can the child understand left and right relationships from different points of view?
Why is this also related to the concept of egocentrism? What does the memory task have to say about
cognitive abilities (metacognition) in children of different ages? Did you observe any difference between
the children here?
Based on your observations what stage of cognitive development do you believe the child to
be in? What do you think about Piaget’s theory? Do you believe he was right or that he was wrong? Does
it appear that children understand and solve problems differently than adults?