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Cognitive Development and School Readiness

Many of those who remain committed to Jean Piaget's cognitive developmental theory see important implications for our conceptions of readiness for formal aspects of school learning. The general principle of strong correlations between measures of cognitive development and school achievement is complemented by Piaget's proposal of a hierarchical sequence of four cognitive developmental stages: sensori-motor, pre-operational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages. In many Western school systems, the timing of the movement of children from the informal learning settings of kindergarten and pre-school to the first year of formal curriculum-based learning in primary or grade school coincides with the transition from pre-operational to concrete operational modes of thinking. Furthermore, the change in curriculum demands of theoretical mathematics, language, and science learning (for example) in high ...

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