Service Learning reflection Essay

The course concept that I’ve been thinking most about is Piaget’s four stages of cognitive development. The four stages, including sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational, are very interesting to me. Sensorimotor is the infant stage, from birth to 2 years old, and preoperational is about 2 to 7. Concrete operational follows from 7 to 12 while formal operational is 12 to adulthood. Some years ago, I babysat 2 girls that lived across the street from me. I started to babysit them when they were about 8 months old. This would put them in the sensorimotor stage of Piaget’s four stages. During this stage, infants are only aware of what they can see. Something that is out of their view is out of their mind- they don’t realize that it might exist. I remember that the girls would fight over a toy, and all I had to do was take it away to make them forget about it. Only a couple months later, I would take away the toy but they started to realize that the toy still existed even though it wasn’t in their view. When this was happening, I was confused as to why they started to remember that the toy was still there even though it was behind my back.

I know now that the girls had started to develop object permanence. When learning about Piaget’s four stages, I realized that I had watched these two girls go through the early stages. It was fun to look back and know examples of each stage in my own personal life. I also have two younger siblings, the younger of whom is on the border of concrete and formal operational. Knowing the skills he has to accomplish now is going to be interesting to look out for.

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