A CLASSROOM PLAN 10
As children begin to interrelate with their surroundings andobjects, they begin to develop and learn new things. They make keymilestones in cognitive, language, social-emotional as well as motordevelopment, as explained in Piaget’s stage theory. Thedevelopmental characteristics differ depending on the age group ofthe child. Instructors use different classroom plans to ensure thatchildren achieve the developmental domains expected at every stage oftheir growth. The paper develops a classroom plan for a preschoolclassroom using Piaget’s stage theory. It involves a summary of thetheory, description of the developmental traits of preschoolers,physical layout of the classroom that conforms to Piaget’s theory,and activities for every development domain. The objective is todemonstrate how activities included in the classroom plan enhancedevelopment of preschoolers, while aligning to Piaget’s theory.
Piaget’s Stage Theory
Piaget came up with a developmental theory, which concentrates onhow intelligence develops from birth to maturity. The theory derivesits influence from the notions that intelligence similar to abiological structure creates the systems required to operate, knowhowderives from the interaction amid the person and the surrounding andvarious aspects influence intellectual development. These aspects arethe physical and social surrounding, maturity and equilibration(Weber, 2014).
Piaget’s stage theory is divided into four stages. The first is thesensorimotor where children are 0-2 years. At this age, children arecapable of coordinating their senses through motor response, arecurious about things happening around them, they begin to uselanguage in making demands or cataloguing (Shapiro& Wallace, 2014). Second is preoperational, children aged2-7 years. Children begin to think symbolically, they employ correctsyntax as well as grammar in expressing themselves, their thoughtsand instinct becomes strong, though it is difficult to make intricateabstract thoughts at this stage and the children develop conservation(Shapiro & Wallace, 2014).Third is concrete operational and the age range is 7-11 years. Atthis developmental stage, children use concepts during actualsituations, they understand time, quantity and space and are able touse them (Shapiro & Wallace,2014). Last is the formal operations stage for 11 and aboveyears. Children are able to apply the concepts that they learn todifferent areas, are able to plan strategically and have abstractreasoning (Shapiro & Wallace,2014).
Piaget, in his stage theory assumes that children are dynamic as wellas motivated learners. This means that they demonstrate a desire tolearn new things in order to find meaning in their world (Weber,2014). For instance, if a child is given a toy, they do not justobserve the toy but connect with it through tasting, throwing orhitting the toy to see if it will react. Another presumption is thatchildren develop knowhow based on what they experience. Becausechildren lack fragmented pieces of information, they create knowhowdepending on experiences and observation. An illustration is a childliving with an animal. The child will slowly learn how the animalcommunicates, which increases their knowhow to create comprehensionconcerning the animal. The knowhow that children get is grouped in ascheme, which is an arrangement of alike perceptions. After sometime, the schemes may transform, though they are a relevantfoundation of information concerning specific occurrences.
Further, Piaget proposes that children learn via the procedures ofassimilation or accommodation. Assimilation regards to dealing withnew happenings in a manner, which complies with an established scheme(Weber, 2014). An illustration is a child realizing that they caninclude a ball into the group of toys that can be thrown.Accommodation happens when handling new information or occurrencesthrough modification to an established scheme or creation of anadvent one (Weber, 2014). This happens when the child realizes thatit is not possible to carry a heavy ball and they can only throw it.It is apparent that interaction with the physical as well as socialsurroundings is important in ensuring cognitive growth. Piaget statesthat experimentation and manipulation of new things acts as the mainway for children to learn. The social surrounding is important incognitive growth. Social interactions facilitate numerous views andinitiation to new manners of approaching happenings.
An important issue introduced in the theory is equilibrium. Theprocedure of equilibrium enhances growth towards more intricateperceptions. Equilibrium refers to a condition when learners are ableto narrate new happenings using established schemes (Weber, 2014).Contrary, disequilibrium is the uneasiness or cognitiveinconsistencies that children experience after realizing that the twoviews they have concerning a situation are not probable to becorrect. This results in discomfort setting the basis for developmenttowards enhanced thinking. In conclusion, Piaget’s theory arguesthat children are incapable of reasoning in the similar manner asgrownups. Children must go through every phase to permit theformation of difficult cognitive reasoning.
Developmental Characteristics of a Preschooler
A preschooler refers to a child that from three to four years(Damon, Lerner& Eisenberg, 2006).They differ from toddlers because they are at a stage when theydevelop fundamental life skills, learn to become independent andacquire knowhow, which will be important as they join school years.At this stage, children tend to ask many questions concerning whathappens within their environment. The children become more abstract.When preschoolers face particular learning problems, they seem toreason in a one-sided manner. This is because it is not yet possibleto understand issues from two views, and neither is it possible tosolve challenges that need the child to evaluate more than a singleissue all at once. At the age of three, the child’s senses arebecoming more advanced. The child is able to comprehend theirday-to-day routine and works towards understanding the routines ofother people. An illustration is the child becomes aware that mailcarrier brings mails daily. At age four, the child starts to discovernumerous fundamental ideas, which will be taught more indepthly whileat school. The child should be able to understand that a day beginswith morning, afternoon then evening. The child begins to ask generalquestions, such as what is the world, the reason the sky appearsblue.
The following summary shows the children’s characteristics duringthe different developmental domains (Damon,Lerner &Eisenberg, 2006):
Physical development – the child is able to skip using one foot,can draw, use scissors to cut images, wash and wipe their face, andability to throw a ball.
Social development – enjoys the company of other children, is ableto engage in parallel play where children take turns to play, takespart in-group actions and is willing to assist in simple tasks.
Emotional development – demonstrates some level of defiance torules, requires regulated freedom, and children start understandingwho they are.
Intellectual development – communicates eloquently in shortsentences, can narrate stories, responds to questions, depictsimaginative skills and is able to recite simple songs.
At age 4
Physical development – children are comfortable to dress withouthelp, can ride a tricycle, can ties shoes, perfect body balance andare able to skip or hop.
Social development – enjoys being in the company of other children,social, talks a lot, engages in cooperative play and demonstratesversatility.
Emotional development – likes to be around the mother, is able toidentify when they make mistakes, takes responsibility of small rolesand follows rules.
Intellectual development – children should be able to make completesentences, question a lot, learn to make general statements, becomedramatic and are in a position to identify simple objects.
Physical Layout of Classroom
Accordingto Piaget, children at the preschool stage are becoming more aware oftheir environment. Children also develop a keen interest in learningnew things. In preschool, the classroom needs to have objects, whichare easy to assess for the children to play with. The classroom needsto have an area that comprises of wooden blocks, nesting cubes, softfoam blocks and cardboard blocks. It is also important to incorporatea painting and sculpting area, where children are provided withcrayons, clay to mold and a water table. Children use the spaces andmaterials in performing different tasks, which makes it possible forthem to improve understanding on shapes, colors and objects. Thearrangement of the classroom is very important because at this stagechildren are beginning to develop a sense of order. They become awareof what stays where, which section is used for painting, where toread and where to get blocks for playing.
The classroom layout provided above is suitable for preschoolersbecause it aligns with Piaget’s stage theory. First, the layoutmakes it possible for the children to associate and understand theirenvironment. It is divided into different sections and every sectionis named for the children to identify. The classroom is spacious,which gives ample room for the children to interact with thedifferent objects and have ample space to play. The teacher’s deskis located at a central position where it will be possible to monitorthe activities of the children. Notably, at this stage children arelikely to ask many questions, hence, the teacher needs to be at aposition where the children are able to reach out in case they needto ask anything. The classroom layout is organized in a manner thatit is possible for children to engage in all types of activities.This ensures that the children are able to choose whicheveractivities they feel suitable. Thus, children are able to explore aswell as learn in a structured manner.
Piaget notes that the main importance of education is to moldindividuals that are capable of learning new things, and not arepetition of what has been done for years. At the stage ofpreschooler, children are starting to understand abstract signs aswell as language. This means that repetitive activities that may havebeen interesting during the toddler stage begin to disinterest thechildren. Children become more understanding of their environment andteachers need to engage children in activities that improve theirunderstanding.
Intellectual development – the activity involves engaging thechildren in storytelling. The teacher will narrate a story to thechildren by reading a storybook. The children will then be given apencil, eraser, drawing book and colors. The teacher will require thechildren to draw one of the characters narrated in the story.According to Piaget, at the stage of preschool, children aredeveloping a new kind of thinking, which permits them to solvechallenges using internal reflection. The children are in a positionto think of objects, which are not available, they are able toreflect upon things that are invisible, unheard, cannot be touchedand act upon them. It is also possible for the children to envisionobjects of individuals in turn contemplating on prospect events, aswell as recall what has already happened. The activity is in linewith Piaget’s theory because it provides the children with anopportunity to envision about a character they have not seen andprogress to draw the same.
Physical development – the activity happens outdoor and involvesskipping. The teacher gives every child a skipping rope. The childrenare then asked to space out, each occupying enough space to skipwithout hurting others. The children will use the ropes to skip. Atthis stage, children are expected to have simple physical skills likeskipping. The activity aligns with Piaget’s theory because it testson the physical ability of the children. It ensures that childrenengage in activities that improve their physical development. It isalso possible for the teacher to detect the different developmentalchallenges that may be evident in the children.
Social development – because at this stage, children enjoy being inthe company of others, a construction activity will ensure that theywork together as a team. The teacher provides children with buildingbricks where they will be required to build a village. The childrenare then grouped in teams where every team is accountable forbuilding a specific part of the village. For instance, some childrenwill build the houses, while others build pavements. The teacher willfirst build the entire village together with the children showingthem where every brick is supposed to fit in. After that, the teacherwill demonstrate to every team how they are supposed to build theirsegment. The teacher will disarrange the bricks and ask every team tobuild their part of the village in turns. The children will assisteach other in placing the bricks in the correct places. The mainobjective of the activity is not that the children create the villagein the correct manner rather that they work together within a socialsetting. The activity aligns with Piaget theory because it focuses onan activity, which is in line with the children’s interest at thepreschooler stage.
Emotional development – activity involves allowing children to takeon family roles. At this stage, children already have emotionalskills and are in a better position to act out what they see in theirlives. The teacher may give the children dolls, which will act aschildren and they are expected to take care of the dolls. The skillaligns to Piaget by emphasizing on the emotional connection childrendevelop towards friends or family.
Piaget’s stage theory is an important resource in informing on theproper classroom layout as well as activities for preschoolers. Thetheory informs on how children develop imaginative skills, are ableto form relationships, associate with peers and engage in physicalactivities.
Damon, W., Lerner, R. M., &Eisenberg, N. (2006). Handbookof Child Psychology Volume 3. Hoboken:John Wiley & Sons.
Shapiro, E. K., & Wallace, D.B. (2014). Developmental Stage Theory. Cognitiveand Affective Growth (PLE: Emotion): Developmental Interaction,111.
Weber, E. (2014). Stage Theory andCurriculum Development. Cognitiveand Affective Growth (PLE: Emotion): Developmental Interaction,131.