Piaget's pre operational stage and the role of social and cultural development of a child psychology in Bangladeshi context
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Piaget’s theory has fame and criticism both. In his theory there are four stages where he has described development of children at different ages from birth to adolescence. In his theory of cognitive developmental stage he referred that a child maturation gradually developed by the process of direct continuation of inborn biological development rather than his surrounding environment which has been extremely criticized (Machado, 1996, p.148. In addition, among his four cognitive developmental stages Pre operational (2-7 years old) is the second stage where he has described some common characteristics of children as they are; imaginative, egocentric, confused appearance, reality and have magical thinking capability. Moreover, he also thinks that children of this age do not necessarily need any social or cultural awareness for their cognitive development. However, it has been discovered that Piaget’s Pre operational stage has been greatly criticized because of underestimating child’s competence at great amount (Smith, 1991, p.71). From this point of view, the aim of this study is to find out whether the characteristics of Piaget’s Pre operational stage really suit the Bangladeshi students or not. Besides, are they aware of the social and cultural aspects which plays significant role for their cognitive development will also investigate here. To perform this research, survey has been taken place, 60 respondents were surveyed successfully with a written questionnaire. Hence, classroom observation was done favorably to find out whether there were similarities with Piaget’s theory or not. The survey shows that most of the participants of this stage have a very few similarities with Piaget’s Pre operational stage theory. Besides, similarity was found with his theory that, Bangladeshi students of 5-7 years old have egocentric problem. In contrary of Piaget’s theory it was found that although Bangladeshi students are imaginative but they have sense of logic and practicality and they do not have the characteristics of animism which have been mentioned in this certain stage. Moreover, they are aware of social and cultural knowledge with the guidance of their parents and teachers. So, it can be said that although Bangladeshi students have similarity with few characteristics of Piaget’s pre-operational stage but the research proved that they are much more advance than that of Piaget’s Pre-operational stage.