How A Child Thinks

Jean Piaget, a renowned psychologist, while giving an English test to children in Binet Institute made a discovery that would shape the rest of his life. He was intrigued by the fact that children kept giving wrong answers to questions that necessitated them to think logically. It is then that he made an extensive research that helped psychologists to understand children in a different way. The discovery points to the fact that there is a difference between how children and adults think.

Different Schemas Can Explain How a Child Thinks

Before Piaget did his research, people believed that children did not have the sophisticated brain of an adult. In any case, they thought that the children were not competent thinkers. Accordingly, the treatment of children in schools and in life was inappropriate. However, Piaget pointed that children have a mental picture of the world even before they are born. He used the term schema to explain his concept of how children think, which refers to a part of knowledge that an individual can have. He further suggested that whereas children may not have sophisticated schemas, they have parts of it and will utilize them to make sense of their world.

By considering some of the things that children are able to do at birth, Piaget’s ideas are viable. A few minutes old baby has the ability to suckle and express their feelings. Within a month, they are able to do more and express their feelings even better. As they grow and develop, their schema become more sophisticated and they are able to think logically to some extent. By the time they become adults, they have knowledge that helps them to logically make decisions in life.

The Relationship between Different Stages of Development and Logic

An understanding of how a child thinks is further elaborated by various stages explained by Piaget. They are divided into sensorimotor stage (0-2 years), preoperational stage (2-7 years, concrete operational stage (7-11 years) and formal operational stage. At each stage, a child thinks differently. Teachers and parents should identify some of the developmental changes to understand what a child is thinking.

It is clear that a child thinks differently from an adult. They, however, can make sense out of their world even after birth. Adults should, therefore, observe the different stages of development to understand how a child is thinking rather than making the assumption that a child is not a competent thinker.