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14 January 2012


Jerome Bruner has made a detailed study of the cognitive process and has arrived at conclusions that resemble those of Piaget. The major difference between Bruner and Piaget is that, Bruner has not associated the stages of development with chronological age. But the developmental stages are described in terms of the nature of the experiences used by an individual to form concepts.  According to Bruner the thinking process of the child develops in three stages. They are as follows:-
Stages of Cognitive Development
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)
Iconic Stage:         This stage is characterized by the child’s representation of things and events in terms of sensory images or mental pictures or icons of perceptual experiences At this stage, information is gained by imagery and the cognitive process is controlled by perception. Single feature of environment hold attention; visual memory is developed but impressionistic leaps take place.
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.