Stage 1: Concrete stage
In this stage babies and toddlers use all their senses to explore their world around them and to learn new concepts. They use real objects. A few weeks after birth, the baby begins to understand some of the information it is receiving from its senses, and learns to use some muscles and limbs for movement.
Babies are unable to consider anyone else's needs, want and interests, and are therefore considered to be ‘ego centric’.
Knowledge about real objects and ways that they can be manipulated is acquired. Through the acquisition of information about self and the world, and the people in it, the baby begins to understand how one thing can cause or affect another, and begins to develop simple ideas about time and space. Babies have the ability to build up mental pictures of objects around them, from the knowledge that they have developed on what can be done with the object.
Large amounts of baby’s experience are surrounding objects. What the objects are is irrelevant; more importance is placed on baby being able to explore the object to see what can be done with it. At around the age of eight or nine months, infants are more interested in an object for the object’s own sake.
Stage 2: Semi concrete stage
After having experienced a real object with their senses a picture or symbol is associated which may involve drawing pictures; using circles, dots and tallies; or using stamps to imprint pictures for counting. Those objects continue to exist even though cannot be seen.
Children usually go through this stage between the ages of two to seven years old.
During this stage, children’s thought processes are developing, although they are still considered to be for from ‘logical thought’, in the adult sense of the word. The vocabulary of a child is also expanded and developed during this stage, as they change from babies and toddlers into ‘little people’.
Children at this stage are usually ‘ego centric’, meaning that they are only able to consider things from their own point of view, and imagine that everyone shares this view. Gradually during this stage, a certain amount of ‘decentering’ occurs. This is when someone stops believing that they are the centre of the world, and they are more able to imagine that someone or something else could be the centre of attention.
Stage 3: Abstract stage
In this stage children start writing by using lines to form words.