Saturday, March 20, 2010

Formal Operational Stage: Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

          Logical thinking is now more developed in this stage covering the ages twelve to fifteen years. Formal operant individuals can now solve abstract problems and to give their own hypothesis. When we say hypothesis, this is a sort of an educational guess or forecast of a certain situation, problem or phenomenon.   
          This also includes gathering and weighing the information and data available in order to give a judgment or conclusion. This can be done both with concrete and abstract objects. For example, in an experiment of the effect of water to a plant, formal operant individuals can now hypothesize what will happen to the plant in the absence of water, or to think of what are other factors aside from water that can make a plant survive. What ifs question are developed.

          Another development on the logical thinking of individuals on this stage is what we call analogical thinking. This can also be referred to as metaphorical thinking. This is relating one instance to another related and similar instances. For example, if socks is to foot, then gloves is to hand. Or just like saying that life is like a roller coaster, sometimes your up, sometimes your down.

          Lastly, individuals in this stage know deductive reasoning. That is, general to specific, or stating a rule and then applying it to a particular situation. For example, if all birds have wings, and a chicken has wings, then it is a bird. Or stating a rule like all the objects that revolve around the sun are members of the solar system, the earth revolves around the sun, so it is a member of the solar system.

          My next post will be the application of this theory to teaching and learning. I hope that so far I have helped you understand this theory based on how I understand it myself. But I just would like clear that I am not a psychologist or a PhD in psychology or education. I am just a teacher and an enthusiast in this field who wants to share my own insights about these topics. So for any reactions or corrections, I will appreciate it very much.


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