Children's egocentrism 
in Jean Piaget's 
Cognitive-Developmental Theory 

皮亞傑認知發展論中孩童的自我中心觀

Dear parents:

     Do you have ever discovered that your children at 2-7 year of age have the feature such as egocentric and thoughtless?  Are they always selfish to fulfill their own desire but forget someone else feeling?  Therefore, we focus on why children appeared the feature at that stage and give some introduction in a broad sense.

     There is an educator who named Jean Piaget; he had a great contribution in how to educate children.  Perhaps through our introduction you’ll have some ideas to make better choices and know how to guide your children better.

親愛的家長:

     您有發現您家中2~7歲的孩子有自我中心,不會為他人著想的特徵嗎? 他們是否只知道一味的滿足自己的需求而忘了理會別人的感受呢? 在此我們要針對為何孩童會有此特徵做出概略的介紹。   有個教育家叫做皮亞傑,他對於如何教育孩子有著頗大的貢獻,也許經由我們的介紹,您會有一些想法能為如何引導您的孩子做出更好的決定。

~ Brief introduction to Jean Piaget ~

Jean Piaget was born in 1896 in Switzerland.  Because his special background, he feel a great interest in analyzing spirit and psychology.

He worked in elementary school, then started to research the psychology and cognitive of children, besides, he put emphasis on discussion that how to increase the intelligence and get knowledge all his life.

Jean Piaget advocate “development” is kind of result through mutual effect between internal and external.

~ 皮亞傑生平簡介 ~

         皮亞傑1896年出生於瑞士,由於家庭背景特殊,對於精神及心理分析有著濃厚的興趣。

          他任職於一所小學並展開對幼兒心理及認知的研究,他一生研究重點主要是探討智力是如何增長及知識是如何獲得。

皮亞傑主張「發展」本身是一種內在與外在交互作用之下產生的結果。

Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory

The Period of Preoperational Thought

       Piaget brought up cognitive development theory, he divided it into four periods: Sensor-motor intelligence, Preoperational thought, concrete operations, and Formal operations.

 

Children by the age of seven couldn’t image subject by dream up, they must contact in-kind subject to receive the experience. 

Jean Piaget advocates that students acquire knowledge that almost comes from spontaneous learning and heurists’ process.  Thus, he uses the feature of active learning to design creative courses in teaching, and inspire the potential of active learning of children. 

He also insists that we should give appropriate teaching to match children’s development in each stage, and let students love to learn.

~ 皮亞傑認知發展理論運思前期 ~

        皮亞傑提出認知發展理論,分為:感覺動作期、運思前期、具體運思期、抽象運思期。

        七歲以前的兒童無法憑空想像,他們必須用接觸實物來獲取經驗。皮亞傑主張學生獲得知識主要來自於自發性的學習與探索,所以在教學上把握主動學習的特性來設計富有創造力的課程,來激發主動學習的潛力,並配合小孩發展的階段,給予適當的教學,使學生樂於學習。

~ Why are children egocentric? ~

        Egocentrism is a great characteristic in preoperational thought, it means children focus on the first impression of every thing he saw.  And egocentrism usually makes children’s thinking confused, because children cannot see things from different points of views.  Thus, when adults give children

guidance, children tend to have cognitive conflicts, which may be confusion at first but turn out to be the source of disequilibrium in children’s learning process.

Furthermore, children at two to seven year of age belong to the period of preoperational thought.  This period is egocentric that means children think that others made the mistake even though they made it themselves.  Children in preoperational period haven’t developed reversibility.  That is, they focus on fixed, self-centered perspective, and their unable to think from other’s viewpoints.  While they cannot figure out self-other relationship within specific contexts, the socialization process will help them to take turns, take into account other’s opinions through interacting with people and objects in the environment.

For example, they can use same color to classify them are different but neglect the shapes in classification.  The concept of quality and quantity are immature, similar situations are their inability to figure out why quantity waters the same looks unequal in different containers.

~ 兒童為何會有『自我中心』的意識? ~

      我中心是運思前期的一大特性,他是指兒童集中於自己對人事物的第一印象,而自我中心往往會讓兒童的思考產生困惑,因為兒童無法從不同角度去看待事物,因此當大人給予小孩指引時,小孩容易發生認知衝突,即是他們一開始可能會產生困惑,但這種不平衡將成為孩童學習的來源。

 

 

而二到七歲的孩童歸屬於運思前期,這時期的孩童較以自我為中心,即使是自己做錯事也會認為是別人的錯。在運思前期的孩童思想的可逆性還沒發展完全,即是他們只會把焦點集中在自我的看法,且他們也不能以他人的觀點來想事情。當他們不能從特有的情況找出自身與他人的關係,這種社會化的過程會幫助他們轉變,也就是藉由環境中與人或物的互動來判斷他人的觀點。

例如:在分類東西時,他們會以顏色歸類而忽略了形狀不同。在質量和數量的觀念裡也較不成熟,以相同的情況來說,他們還沒有能力去發現為何在不同容器中相同水量的水會看起來不一樣。

~ Conclusion ~

         Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory makes great contributions to infants’ education.  According to Piaget, children’s egocentrism is a short-term characteristic in childhood; it will disappear when children grow and become socialized.

         To let children develop fully in this stage, Jean Piaget proposed to appropriate teaching to achieve this goal.  For example, when you discuss concepts such as “part”, “whole”, or “one-half,” use shapes on a felt board or cardboard “pizzas” to demonstrate.  Besides, you should avoid social studies lessons about worlds too far removed from the child’s experience.

Good educators not only give knowledge but also give stimulating environment for children to learn as active explorers.

~ 結語 ~

         皮亞傑認知發展理論對於幼教貢獻相當大。從皮亞傑的理論得知,小孩子的自我中心只是兒童期短暫的特徵,當孩子長大以後此特徵會漸漸消失且逐漸被社會化。為了要使兒童在此階段能有完善的發展,皮亞傑建議給予孩童適當的教學方式,使學習能達到所要的目的。

例如:當你跟孩子討論諸如部份全部或者是二分之一,你可以用切割成多塊的批薩形狀的氈板或是硬紙板來實地教學。此外,你也應該避免一些關於跟孩子的個人經驗相差太遠的社會教學課程。

好的教育者不是純粹給予知識,而且是要給予孩童有所刺激的環境使他們能成為主動的探索者。

Writer: Samantha Chang & Celine Huang

          School: Wenzao Ursuline College of Language

                      Dept. of Foreign Language Instruction

Information From:Theories Of Development」、

   「Piaget's Theory: A Primer」、「近代幼兒教育思潮」

姓名: 張倚瑄 & 黃心怡

學校: 文藻外語學院 / 外語教學系

   資料來源: 學習發展概論」、 「近代幼兒教育思

    潮」「皮亞傑論理初階論」