The three stages of Bruner’s intellectual development are as follows:
- Enactive Stage: The enactive stage is Bruner’s first stage of representation. It is characterized by encoding and storing information. Objects are directly manipulated disregarding the objects’ internal representation. For instance, when a child shakes a rattle, he or she will expect the rattle to make a noise or sound based on his or her past experience.
- Iconic Stage: The iconic stage is the second stage of representation. It begins from one to six years old. In this stage, external objects have internal representation through visual forms of mental icons and images. For instance, a child drawing a car is characteristic of this stage.
- Symbolic Stage: The symbolic stage is the third stage of representation and starts from seven years and above. During this stage, information storage takes place through symbols or codes such as language. Each symbol is representative of something it relates to. For instance, mangoes are a symbolic representation of one kind of fruit.
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