According to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, the concrete operational stage comes as the third stage in a child’s life. It is the middle childhood timespan which starts at the age of 7 and goes on until that child is around 11 years old. This stage is usually characterized by the development of logical thinking. Thoughts are quite concrete, but children become much sophisticated and logical when it comes to thinking.
Children in the concrete operational stage become quite logical about specific things. However, they still tend to struggle when it comes to abstract ideas.
Concrete operational stage and understanding logic
Children are able to go from one experience to mold that experience to a specific principle.
For instance, inductive logic includes noticing each time you are surrounded by a cat and experience runny nose, itchy nose, etc. You would be able to reason from this experience that it might be due to cats and that you are allergic to them.
However, when it comes to children, they face difficulties using this kind of deductive logic.
Understanding the concept of reversibility and awareness of the fact that actions could be reversed is one of the most important development factors in this stage.
For instance, take the example of a dog. A child would easily be able to recognize if their dog is of the Labrador breed, that it is a dog and finally, that it is an animal.
Observations in the concrete operational stage
Generally, kids in the preoperational stage focus on just a single aspect of the problem. But when they transit to the concrete operational stage, they are able to engage in decentration. This means that they are able to put their concentration on several aspects of the situation. As a result, this plays an essential role when they try to understand conservation.
Reversibility plays a critical role when it comes to advanced thinking. In the early stage of cognitive development, children are more egocentric. However, children with a strong concrete operational stage tend to be socio-centric. They are able to learn that different people have different thoughts.
Kids are able to understand the fact that people have different and unique perspectives. However, they fail to make a guess on what or how a person is feeling or experiencing. This ability of children to manipulate the information mentally and give a thought about other’s thoughts would play an essential role in the next stages of cognitive development.
This stage plays a crucial role in the child’s cognitive development since this is the stage where he or she starts to develop more understanding of the problems and situations.