I chose to observe a young male child of 2 years and 1 month. I observed him in his home and his back yard while his parents/caregivers where present and all siblings were at school to better observe without interruptions. He is the child of friends of mind, I have not seen him in over a year and had looked forward to seeing his development and how he has changed. Although I had originally planned on comparing him to the Piaget and Erikson theories after observing him and doing a little more research into the theories, I decided to write on the Piaget theory. As you will see why after my observation of the child.
Piaget theory believes that young children go through 4 stages of development. The first of these stages is the sensorimotor stage from birth to age 2, children learn through touch, taste, look, and listen. The second is preoperational stage from 2-7, children develop the ability to use symbols. The third is the concrete operational stage from 7-12, children understand numbers. Lastly the fourth stage is the formal operational stage at about 12 children develop abstract thinking. For Piaget in regard to the child I observed, the preoperational stage stretches out from age two to around seven. Amid this period the child develops motor skills and builds up a feeling of self. She/he is fit for inventive reasoning and playful activity. While she/he can center around discrete data things she/he isn’t equipped for consistent, logical, discursive thought.
During my observation while observing for the developmental stages of Piaget I mostly noticed the Piaget’s preoperational stage. The child I observed engaged in imaginative solo play in a sand/water playset. He used simple plastic toys and water creatures to his imagination’s extent. He then moved on to solo play on the family’s playground equipment. Although he was not able to engage in complex motor skills, without help, he could emulate what he has seen others do. All the while he played, he would never be physically far from his parents/caregivers, he would frequently look at his parents/caregivers. He was always looking for his parents/caregiver’s approval and reassurance.
Erikson theorized that there were eight phases of psychosocial advancement. Each had a syntonic component and a dystonic component. They accommodated in a personality quality or quality. I decided not to utilize Erikson’s phases of improvement since I observe them to be quite elastic and overlapping. There is extensive overlap of practices inside each of the distinctive age classes. (Feist, J. & Feist, G.)
At long last I discovered that the conduct of the child I observed was fascinating. It shows a microcosm of the world. It isn’t difficult to imagine the subject child developing into an adult variant of himself displaying on a very basic level the equivalent mental qualities.