Piaget concluded that human development involves a series of stages. The Sensorimotor Stage is the first stage Piaget uses to define stages of sensory development of children of preschool age development. During this period, infants are busy discovering relationships between their bodies and the environment.
Researchers have discovered that infants have relatively well developed sensory abilities. The child relies on seeing, touching, sucking, feeling, and using their senses to learn things about themselves and the environment. Countless informal experiments during the sensorimotor stage led to one of the important achievements. They enable the infant to develop the concept of separate selves, that is, the infant realizes that the external world is not an extension of themselves. The sensorimotor stage is also marked by the child’s increasing ability to coordinate separate activities. An important discovery during the latter part of the sensorimotor stage is the concept of “object permanence”.
Object permanence is the awareness that an object continues to exist even when it is not in view. This child has not yet mastered the concept of object permanence. In older infants, when a toy is covered the child will actively search for the object, realizing that the object continues to exist. After a child has mastered the concept of object permanence, the emergence of directed groping” begins to take place. With directed groping, the child begins to perform motor experiments in order to see what will happen. During directed groping, a child will vary his movements to observe how the results will differ.
The child learns to use new means to achieve an end. At this time all women are ‘Mummy’ and all men ‘Daddy’. While at this level a child’s thought is transductive. From the age of about 4 years until 7 most children go through the Intuitive period. Most preoperational thinking is self-centred, or Egocentric. According to Piaget, a preoperational child has difficulty understanding life from any other perspective than his own. In this time, the child is very me, myself, and I oriented.
Imagine two children are playing right next to each other, one playing with a colouring book and the other with a doll. They are talking to each other in sequence, but each child is completely oblivious to what the other is saying. Julie: “I wonder what Tina’s eyes are made of? Julie: ” I know her eyes are made of glass. These types of exchanges are called “collective monologues”. This type of monologue demonstrates the “egocentrism” of children’s thinking in this stage.