This edition: The School Years: Cognitive Development
During the school years, new cognitive skills emerge as children pass into a new phase of their cognitive development, often identified as the “age of reason.” This lesson discusses how school-age children’s thought processes become more sophisticated, more logical, and based in reality. In many countries, formal education begins at age 6 or 7. The lesson discusses the cognitive stage that Jean Piaget called concrete operational thought. School-age children use complex language and they become capable of moral reasoning. The lesson explores Lawrence Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning and considers the criticisms of this theory. The last segment discusses schoolchildren’s use of code-switching and considers the implications of total immersion, bilingual education, ESL programs, and other ways of learning more than one language.