Cognitive Development 

Does a child’s cognition refer merely to the achievements in academics? Is there any role of cognition in developing other dimensions of a child’s personality? Child’s cognitive development forms the foundation of many other developments like language, social, moral and emotional development. But the question arises, what is this cognitive development? Cognitive development involves mental processes that are associated with taking in, organising and making sense of information processes that include perceiving, attending to, understanding and recalling information. 

The mental functions are part of what is referred to as cognition. Let us explore this dimension of cognitive development in terms of general characteristics and Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.

Characteristics of Cognitive Development in Childhood and Adolescence

At adolescence stage, between the ages of 13 and 16 years, there seems to be a progression in skills like arguing, abstract thinking, deductive reasoning, and decision-making. They can now distinguish fact from opinion, learn to focus on future development, mixed with some fantasy and develop a conscience. When the children enter the stage of later adolescence (16-18 years), they develop an ability to think more abstractly, hypothetically, reflectively, and critically, and therefore, form their own opinions. They are more concerned with reasons and proofs. Although, most have not made the connection between learning and life’s experiences, they desire to do something well. Therefore, everything seems to be a big deal for young teens. Jean Piaget (1896-1980), while working in Binet’s test lab became interested in how children think. Piaget’s training as a biologist influenced his theory of cognitive development.

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