According to Bruner, one’s intellectual ability evolve as a result of maturation, training and experiences through a series of three stages – the enactive, iconic and symbolic.
Enactive Stage: In this stage, cognitive experiences are received and represented through motor activities. It is the stage of learning through physical action. At this stage the child knows the world only through the medium of actions – not through words or image, for instance, the infant understands his environment only by touching, biting and grasping. (Similar to that of Sensori-motor stage of Piaget)
Symbolic Stage: During this stage, cognitive experiences are received and represented through symbols. The child engages in symbolic activities, such as language and mathematics. Here actions and images are translated into words. The symbolic stage allows compactability – that is, condensation of experiences into formulas such as F = ma, E = MC2, and into semantically rich statements such as: Too many cooks spoil the broth or Stich in times saves nine.