The Role of Classroom Environment on Cognitive Development of Children

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1655 Words
Date:  2022-03-15


Development in early childhood is influenced by various factors mainly experience and interaction. Classroom interaction establishes cognitive structure in children of pre-school between the ages of 3-7 years old. The study of cognitive development of this age group is influenced by both psychosocial and physical factors (Sylva, 1994). The study can be related to Jean Piaget's theory which investigates the phases in regard to maturity whereby schooling behaviors influence the perceiving arrangement construction all over childhood. The discussion will focus on the outcomes of the classroom environment to the age group of 3-7 years and focus on one major theory of cognitive development. It will be clear to tell the way children have to develop, how they respond to their environs, how they think, and the stages of their cognitive development. Childhood developmental stages cut across all backgrounds and cultures the difference is the stage differs with age from child to child.

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Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Piaget's study of the features and evolution of child brilliance made him develop the theory of cognitive development that has widely been used in children's psychology studies (Wadsworth, 2004). The psychologist created the concept of "ages and stages" that draft which learning systems children are accustomed to understanding at the individual developmental stages. The study notably focuses on the realization of how kids attain judgment and understanding the score of knowledge. The phases include the sensorimotor stage that takes place between birth and 2 years and the preoperational stage that is illustrated between the ages of 2 and 7 years (Inhelder, Chipman, Zwingmann, & Piaget, 2012). Piaget then describes the concrete operational stage among children aged from 7 to 11 years while the last stage described by the scholar is the formal operational stage that takes place from the age of 12 years (Inhelder et al. 2012). Focusing on the preoperational stage (3 to 7 years), which is the main focus of this study, Piaget suggests that the teacher should facilitate children with activities and information that correspond with their specific cognitive growth stage. Classroom activities are designed to facilitate interactivity where children can effectively develop themselves (Cameron, Connor, & Morrison, 2005). The preoperational stage is characterized by, children beginning to think symbolically and getting to use chitchat and depiction to represent something as they get better in conversation.

Executive Functions and Cognitive Response

Executive functions are crucial cognitive processes that facilitate goal-directed behavior to develop in the simulated environment to its maturation. As suggested by Jean Piaget's theory, this requires effort to use. The major chief actions, self-consciousness, goose, and mental complaisance where are combined to back more compound functions such as outlining and interpretation (Vandenbroucke, Spilt, Verschueren, & Baeyens, 2017). In the classroom context, the executive functions can be demonstrated in doing subjective mathematics that requires the child to recall sum and operations and make the computation. Piaget illustrated in his theory that it is the executive functions that facilitate the understanding of such basic concepts that impact the cognitive development of a child based on the nature of the classroom. The working mind is important in a child's learning in pre-school as revealed by positive rapport among engaged memory and the kid's school involvement and adherence to the directives in the classroom. Cognitive flexibility requires the children to observe issues from a diverse point of view and be competent in handling these aspects in order to adapt to the changing needs of the position. These functions develop children's classroom functioning and learning in relation to their proximal environments.

Impact of the Teacher-Child Relation

The role of teacher-child interactions at this preoperational stage is very crucial as it makes up an important period as the theory of Piaget clarifies that during which executive functions bring about brain growth and change. This illustrates as demonstrated in the theory that if a child delays preschool exposure, various aspects of mental development will be delayed hence affecting his/ her cognitive development. As a result, the expectations of teachers from the pupil's work might leverage achievement and classroom dealings. In essence, a tutor's outlook effect is well ingrained because teachers are actually accurate determiners of which of their pupils will perform excellently or poorly (Araujo, Carneiro, Cruz-Aguayo, & Schady, 2016). Consequently, other exemplars on tutor-child liaison such as motivation applied in evaluating the aspect of the teacher's executive functions achievement and advancement. As a result, children seem to take teachers' dependency as a positive characteristic, whereas the kids have minimal schooling participation that can endorse their progress. More specifically the focus would be shifted from mannerism forms of reticence to performing conscience, cognitive forms of inhibition, and intellectual resilience (Cameron, Connor, & Morrison, 2005). It will help determine which effective behavior of educators might help boost accomplishment and expansion in children.

The Role of Academic Self-Concept

At this stage, children tend to construct a composite network of self-concepts. This appears to immediate achievement behavior and motivation. This has an impact on learning achievement way above the effect impacted by intelligence and guardian education (Bertram, & Pascal, 2002). Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development highlights that children tend to choose their friends and the types of toys and games they wish to play. Even though a variation in the maturity at which authentic evaluation is speculated to begin the children learn to compare their social status, performances, and manipulated trial during class task-work. It starts to happen from the age of 5-7 years. It is suggested that children start to identify their role, significant others, establish a new classic by which to critic themselves and others (Diamond, 2012). There are also noted changes in self-esteem where other environmental factors influenced their performances whereby teaching strategies and learning processes also affected children cognitively and its evolvement.

Impact of Compulsory Education

Piaget's theory of cognitive development of this age group demonstrates how the pupils are largely influenced by compulsory education from age 3 to 7 years. This has clear effects on children's intellects ability but cognitive achievements were no longer relevant after the end of the following year at the academy (Vandenbroucke, Spilt, Verschueren, & Baeyens, 2017). It should be noted that the classroom set-up is different from the home setting of the study. Although some parents have considered homeschooling, the effects demonstrate that those two sets of children develop differently. The beginning in school demonstrates a brief conclusive impulse on a kid's self-esteem, academic accomplishment, motivation, and communal mannerism. During this period, the parental role is minimal since the children spend most of their time with the teacher (Blair & Raver, 2015). The research shows that that presence is excellent, cognitively adjusted pre-school programs that are associated with later academy appropriateness. Besides, parents have admitted that they had noted improvement in their children's school performances. It is, therefore, noted that early childhood learning changes the achievement model of most of the families where parents' expectations from their children are achieved.

The Relationship of Development Stages

In his theory of cognitive development, Piaget illustrated different developmental stages which are interrelated. The sensorimotor stage is where newborn knows nature through their sensations and movement. It is at this stage that children learn the world around them through behavior such as lactation, grasping, glancing, and listening. The following phase has major developmental changes whereby, toddlers begin to reason symbolically and grasp to use pictures and words to represent items (Wadsworth, 2004). Children grow into more skilled at bluffing play it is at this phase that they are ushered to the solid operational phase, young ones begin to think logically about solid issues and events. They begin to comprehend the art of conversation hence their reasoning becomes more structured but still very detailed. In the main operational phase from 12 years and above teenagers start to understand more about moral, profound, ethical, collective, and political matters that require theoretical and hypothetical reasoning. This concluding stage of Piaget's approach constitutes the capacity to think about brief ideas and positions which is the major indication of the formal operational phase of intellectual evolvement.


Piaget's theory had an astounding effect on the emergence of enlightening psychology as an extraordinary subfield in cognitive development in the field of education. Its major contribution attributed that human beings actively construct their thinking capacity of the nature-based on the cooperation amidst their perception and their know-how. It is noted that the approach young ones perceive is fundamentally opposite from the approach that adults reason. The study concludes that children sort know-how through their actions and synergy into categories attributed to schemas. The study has suggested that intervening in executive functions complication might be more capable when accommodating such approaches of teacher-child relationship in the academy situation and using methods that encourage functions both precisely and indirect can increase children enjoyment by improving teacher's sensitivity. Among other factors highlighted classroom behavior affects the cognitive development of children in this age group and it prepares them to transit to other age groups on their way to adulthood.


Araujo, M. C., Carneiro, P., Cruz-Aguayo, Y., & Schady, N. (2016). Teacher quality and learning outcomes in kindergarten. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 131, 1415-1453. doi:10.1093/qje/qjw.016

Bertram, T., & Pascal, C. (2002). Early years education: An international perspective. Washington, DC: National Foundation for Educational Research.

Blair, C., & Raver, C. C. (2015). School readiness and self-regulation: A developmental psychobiological approach. Annual Review of Psychology, 66, 711-731. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015221

Cadima, J., Doumen, S., Verschueren, K., & Buyse, E. (2015). Child engagement in the transition to school: Contributions of self-regulation, teacher-child relationships and classroom climate. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 32, 1-12. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2015.01.008

Cameron, C. E., Connor, C. M., & Morrison, F. J. (2005). Effects of variation in teacher organization on classroom functioning. Journal of School Psychology, 43, 61-85. doi:10.1016/j.jsp.2004.12.002

Diamond, A. (2012). Activities and programs that improve children's executive functions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 335-341. doi:10.1177/0963721412453722

Inhelder, B., Chipman, H. H., Zwingmann, C., & Piaget, J. (2012). Piaget and his school: A reader in developmental psychology. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Sylva, K. (1994). School influences children's development. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35(1), 135-170. https://doi.or...

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