chapter  1
28 Pages

Structures, Stages, and Sequences in Cognitive Development

My aim in this chapter is to speculate about certain aspects of childhood cognitive development. The chapter is intended to be an essay or "think piece" rather than a literature review, and thus the coverage and referencing are selective rather than systematic and exhaustive. The aspects of cognitive growth that are discussed mostly fall into the "formal" rather than "functional" category. As Flavell and Wohlwill (1969) have stated:

The formal aspect has to do with the "morphology" of the process: the sorts of cognitive entities that make up the successive outputs of development and how these entities are causally. temporally. and otherwise interrelated .... The other aspect ... has to do with function and mechanism: the activities or processes of the organism. somehow specified in relation to environmental inputs. by which it in fact makes the cognitive progress that has been formally characterized [pp. 67-68].