Jean Piaget was born in 1896 and died in 1980. Piaget was interested in how children think. Piaget studied children and their mental processes. Piaget believed that children move through four stages of cognitive development being the sensory motor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage and formal operational stage. The preoperational stage is the second stage of cognitive development. As children move from the sensory motor stage they move to this second stage being the preoperational stage which spans the years 2 to 7 years. A preschool child is a child from the age of 2 years to 6years.
The preoperational stage is a period when the child demonstrates an increase in language abilities and concepts become more elaborate. At the beginning of this stage at about 2 years, children learn to talk, by just expressing simple words such as calling their mothers or caregivers. At about 3 to 4 years now children are able to express themselves in sentences, their concepts become more elaborate.
Piaget believed that children’s thinking during this stage is egocentric, which is they think about the world only in relation to them. He believed that when children first mentally represent the world, they tend to focus on their own viewpoint and assume that others perceive, think, and feel the same way they do. During this stage young children egocentrically assign human purposes to physical events, magical thinking is also common during the preschool years.
Children at the preoperational stage cannot yet conserve. They have the inability to conserve. Conservation refers to the idea that certain physical characteristics of objects remain the same even when their outward appearance changes. For example in the conservation of liquid problem: the child is shown two identical tall glasses containing orange juice and asked if they contain equal amounts. Immediately the child agrees, the orange juice in one glass is poured into a short, wide container,...