Explain the Concrete Operational Stage of Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development


The cognitive development theory was propounded by Jean Piaget who was a Swiss psychologist. He is known as the father of cognitive development. He stated,

“Cognitive development is a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience.”

He observed the intellectual development of children during childhood.

According to Piaget, there are four main stages of cognitive development namely, the sensorimotor stage, the preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage. The concrete operational stage begins at 7 years old and lasts till 11/12 years of age.

Characteristics of Concrete Operational Stage of Cognitive Development

The characteristics of the concrete operational stage are as follows:

  1. In this stage, the child starts learning about conservation which means that the quantity of a thing remains the same even when you change its shape or size.
  2. Children also develop decentration during this stage which means the ability to pay attention to more than one aspect of a situation or a thing.
  3. Children also learn reversibility which means that something can be restored to its original state.
  4. Children start developing the ability to perform mental operations and start solving problems in their mind.
  5. During the concrete operational stage, children’s operations are limited to real events and tangible objects.
  6. The child develops the ability to use logical thought but they can only apply it to physical objects.
  7. In this stage, children also develop problems solving skills, and other skills such as transitivity, seriation, and class inclusion.


Piaget considered the concrete operational stage as an important stage because he believed that it was a turning point during the cognitive development period of a child. It is the stage in which the logical or operational thought of a child starts developing.

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