The 4 Stages of Cognitive Development (LS-PT-542)

I am Maria Antónia Brandão, a psychology teacher at a secondary school in Vila das Aves, which is in the north of Portugal. I created, and implemented this LS, in February 2021, with my 17 years students.

Since 2016 I’m part of Europeana’s DSI project, and my professional growth became exponential, but all started in 2008, when I joined the eTwinning community. Moreover, this year I became an MIE Expert, and recently a Scientix Ambassador…what a great journey!

My students benefit from all my learning, and the learning scenarios with Europeana’s resources, are more exciting to them.

In the present LS, by exploring Europeana’s Photo Gallery Children in the machine and the exhibition Family Matters, we started to discuss children labour, and how we see children today. Then, we understood human development as Jean Piaget explain it, we learned that Piaget believed that children take an active role in their learning process. Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development shows that children move through four different stages.

His theory focuses, not only on understanding how children acquire knowledge, but also, on understanding the nature of intelligence. Students investigated, observed, and made experiments, to understand the four stages of children’s cognitive development. This LS was developed for distance learning.

Lesson Aims

Concerning the aims of this Learning Scenario they are focused mainly on:

  • to compare children lives past and present,
  • to discuss the importance of life context to one’s development,
  • to understand that Piaget was one of the first to identify that the way that children think is different from the way adults think,
  • to understand Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development: Sensorimotor Stage; Pre-operational Stage; Concrete Operational Stage; Formal Operational Stage,
  • to describe the four different stages by observing and by making some simple experiments (prepared with the contribution of maths and physics teacher’s) with children from Kindergarten and primary school.


Firstly, I consider that being part of European Education project it has been an excellent opportunity to promote, not only the knowledge of Europeana’s platform but also, other important considerations related with education, such as distance collaborative work. Important to mention also that taking part on this project it has allowed my students to developed their digital skills.

In this particular context, as a result, students build a timeline with Piaget’s biography, meanwhile, they also studied Piaget’s theory about children cognitive development.

Further, they developed their creativity, imagining how to perform the experiences with children of different ages. In addition, they had fun filming the experiences. All the work has been done in distance learning.

Here you can find two links to students Timelines.

Students building a timeline

And some photos from the process work:

A student’s work

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

Did you find this learning scenario interesting? You might also like:

Jobs … From The Dusty Pages of History to Modern Times (EN-CUR-524)

Children on the move (LS-IT-73)

Emotional Intelligence and Teenagers (LS-BG-506)

Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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