Infant Random Actions? Mais non! Merci Monsieur Piaget!

Ashley HsawTeachers

Do infants really understand what’s going on around them? Can they actually form ideas and have a mind of their own? Most of us would say yes, and you are indeed, correct. While it is clear to us that infants can form thoughts in their minds, it was once believed that children without language skills lacked any kind of cognition and understanding. This included the ability to think and/or form ideas.

Luckily, Jean Piaget (1896-1980), a Psychologist from Switzerland, came up with a theory to prove them wrong. Piaget believed that there are a total of 4 stages of cognitive development, each occurring at different times throughout a child’s life. The first one, the sensorimotor stage, is the one we will focus on primarily here.

According to Piaget, the sensorimotor stage occurs between birth and 2 years of age. From the moment infants are born, they are constantly learning about the world around them, primarily using their senses. Below is a little breakdown of what children go through during this stage.

As you can see in video below, Baby E clearly has a mind of her own. Even after being moved a few times, she still attempts to crawl off the carpet.

In this video, Baby C found a way to get from one place to another without even knowing how to crawl yet! Even at this age, children are capable of simple problem solving skills!

So the next time you are looking with love and awe at your little bundle of joy, look at what they are doing and while you marvel, apply Piaget’s sensorimotor, and consider the processing going on in their minds. It’s a thing of wonder and beauty. And remember, never underestimate an infant! They know more than you may think and definitely have a mind of their own.