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Development Stages Proposed by Piaget and Erikson (Essay Sample)


This task was about the stages of development as proposed by Jean Piaget and Erik Erickson. The task required the student to identify and discuss the two theories of early childhood development. The paper discussed Piaget’s four stages and Erickson’s eight developmental stages and included a note on their contribution to the development of the pedagogical method.


Development Stages Proposed by Piaget and Erikson
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Development Stages Proposed by Piaget and Erikson
Since the 20th century, many scientists and researchers have developed theories that address children’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development. They provide a framework for understanding how children think, learn, and develop from one stage to another (Crain, 2015). Jean Piaget and Erik Erickson did pioneering work in this field by studying attitudinal and cognitive aspects of children besides recognizing their various developmental stages.
Piaget’s Stages of Development
Piaget’s proposed four stages of cognitive development. The first stage, the sensorimotor stage, is the earliest developmental phase and occurs from birth to two years of age. Infants use their five senses of touching, hearing, seeing, tasting, and smelling to process the world around them (Yue, n.d.). Development of faculty of object permanence, which denotes recognizing that things exist even when one cannot see them, is a feature of this phase. The second one is the preoperational stage, which occurs between 2 and 7 years. During this stage, children begin to use words and images to represent images. They also develop concrete thinking as they enhance their language skills and thinking abilities. Moreover, they become egocentric and focus only on themselves (Yue, n.d.).
The preoperational stage leads to the third one, which is the concrete operational stage that occurs between age 7 and age 11. It is characterized by children thinking logically about concrete objects and events. Egocentrism disappears, and they begin to consider how their actions might affect others. They also learn the concept of conservation, which is the recognition that properties of objects do not change with alteration of their physical appearance (Crain, 2015). The fourth stage is termed formal operational, which occurs between age 12 to adulthood. During this stage, children begin to think in systematic and abstract ways and develop skills in solving hypothetical problems (Yue, n.d.). They use deductive reasoning to think about social, political, moral, and philosophical issues.  
Erikson’s Stages of Development
Erikson proposed eight stages of development based on psychosocial and epigenetic principles. The first stage is trust versus mistrust. From birth to 1 year of age, the infant is dependent on the caregiver, and if handled properly, they develop trust, optimism, confidence, and a sense of security (Desai, n.d.). If care is inconsistent and unreliable, they develop mistrust, insecurity, and suspicion towards other people. Autonomy versus shame is the second phase and occurs from ages 1 to 3. Children build self-control, independence, and survival skills. If they are overly controlled or criticized, they become shameful and doubtful about their abilities (Crain, 2015).
Initiative versus guilt succeeds the second stage. From 3 to 5 years of age, children plan and act on their own. Conversely, if they are criticized, they develop a sense of guilt and embarrassment. The next stage is industry versus inferiority, which lasts from 5 to 12 years. During this phase, children learn to read, write, and solve problems (Desai, n.d.). If the initiative is not encouraged, they begin to feel inferior to their peers and may be unable to exploit their full potential. Identity versus role confusion is the fifth stage where adolescents develop a set of beliefs and values which shapes their identity. It begins at age 12 and continues up till 18 years. The young think about the future in terms of career, family, and relationships. A teenager may also become unhappy, rebellious, and unsure about their role in society if they are apathetic or are pressured to conform to their parent’s ideas for the future (Desai, n.d.).
The sixth stage is intimacy versus isolation which takes place from 18 to 40 years. In this stage, the individual develops intimate relationships which lead t

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