What are cognitive skills?
Cognition is the entire collective array of mental abilities and processes with which a child acquires knowledge. Cognition is not just learning information, it is the ability to think about new information, process and express it and apply it in other situations to previously understood concepts. As children grow, they develop the capacity to think on higher levels, and process information more dynamically and skilfully, connecting concepts more easily.
The following cognitive skills develop in a child through exploration and experiences with his environment.
- Problem solving
- Decision making
Children develop cognitive skills by learning about causes and effects in everyday activities and similarities and differences in things around them. Thinking skills help make all experiences more meaningful to children. According to Piaget, the most renowned psychologist of all times, children develop various cognitive skills through two ways –
1. Adaptation –
This is the process of building concepts through direct interaction with the environment. It includes the complex processes of assimilation and accommodation. For example – a 2 year old child drops toys on the floor and understands that by varying the way he holds the toy in his hand he is able to get a new result.
2. Organization –
This is the internal rearrangement and linking together of schemes to form a strongly interconnected system. For example- a 2 year old who has dropped toys on the floor many times , develops an understanding of ‘nearness’ and ‘farness’