Discussion Questions

  1. The text states that preschoolers are less likely to rehearse information than are elementary-age children. Could this be because rehearsal is an ability one develops as they age, or that is it a skill they acquire from formal education?

  2. In Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, there are specific ages associated with each developmental level. How do you think the cognitively challenged and cognitively gifted advance through the four stages? Would a child genius reach the formal operational stage much sooner than a child of normal intelligence?

  3. Piaget’s formal operational stage begins around age 11 or 12 and continues throughout our adulthood. Does this suggest that once one reaches this level of cognitive development that they plateau? Or, are there different levels of formal operations?

  4. What do you believe is the most ideal environment for a child to progress through Piaget’s stages of cognitive development? Or, is progression independent of environmental influence?

  5. Although Chapter 12 acknowledges other “non-Piagetian” theories of cognitive development, the majority of the chapter is devoted to Piaget’s theory. Why do you think this is?