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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The Theories as a Framework to Support Children Sensorimotor (birth to two years old): Children use their senses and motor skills (for example, sucking and grasping) to gain information about the world around them. Preoperational (three to seven years old): The ability to learn through symbols (language and mental representations of thought) is developed. Children use interactions with meaning- ful experiences to acquire knowledge that can be integrated into previous information. Children are egocentric. Concrete Operational (seven to eleven or twelve years old): Children have the ability to think logically about direct experiences and perceptions. Their thinking is restricted to what they can per- sonally see, touch, and hear. Formal Operational (eleven or twelve years old through adulthood): Adolescents and adults have the ability to think abstractly and reason analytically. They can be logical about things they have never experienced. Piaget suggests that children have their own unique way of thinking that differs from that of an adult. The terms that follow are from Piaget. They explain the cognitive processes that allow children to move from one cognitive stage to the next. They also apply to how adults incorporate new information into existing knowledge. Adaptation is the process that happens any time new information or a new experience occurs. Adaptation takes two forms, assimilation and accommodation: Assimilation occurs when a person tries to make new information or a new experience fit into his existing concepts. Accommodation occurs when a person has to modify or enlarge her usual ways of thinking (or her schemas) in order to take in new information. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Piaget development theory reveals that children spend time making sense of the world around them through active involvement in meaningful activities. This theory emphasizes how children construct an understanding of the world around them and adapt their thinking based on what they know and through active engagement with the environment. Piaget’s theory is based on his understanding that children’s minds process new information as children move from one stage of thinking to the next through relevant play experiences. He proposes four stages of development: 11