Jean William Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development

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Jean William Fritz Piaget was born on August 9, 1986 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland to Arthur Piaget, a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchâtel and Rebecca Jackson, his mother. She was said to be intelligent and energetic, although he is quoted saying he was neurotic, which eventually lead to his interest in psychology and discouraged his interest in pathology. In his early years, being the eldest child, he became very independent and took an interest in nature, specifically collecting shells. While attending Neuchâtel Latin High School, he published his first paper at the early age of 10 — a one page paper on a recent sighting of an albino sparrow. From there, he developed an extreme interest in mollusks which eventually…show more content…
He asked the question: How does knowledge grow? From there he found that “the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically embedded structures superseding one another by a process of inclusion of lower less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful ones up to adulthood”. In regards to Piaget’s actual theory, there are three basic components: the building blocks of knowledge — schemas; the adaptation processes that allow transition from stage to stage — equilibrium, assimilation, accommodation; and the four stages of cognitive development — sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, formal operational. Jean Piaget defined a schema as “a cohesive, repeatable action sequence possessing component actions that are tightly interconnected and governed by a core meaning.” As a more simple definition, schemas are the initial, basic building blocks of behaviour, most often intelligent. They are ways of organizing thoughts and knowledge in one’s brain. One can develop simple schemas such as a chair, a car or a fish, or more complex schemas such as chemical bonds, the Canadian Parliamentary System or the British Royal Family. Piaget mentions the development of a human’s mental processes; when talking about this he refers to the increase and/or complexity of these initial schemas. Brains create and use schemas as a short cut to simplify future…show more content…
The first stage is the Sensorimotor stage. Young children go through this stage from birth to two years old. Rapid change is seen throughout this stage as the child will begin to explore the world through senses and motor activity, begin to understand the concept of “cause and effect”. Babies are unable to tell the difference between themselves and the environment, which forces them to believe that if they cannot see something then it simply does not exist. Later in the stage they are able to follow an object with their eyes. The second stage is the Pre-operational stage. Children go through this stage from approximately ages two to seven. Now they are able to imagine the future and reflect on the past. Speech communication is improved as well as they begin to develop basic numerical abilities. Often children in the pre-operational stage have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality and do not understand the Conservation of Matter which is the concept of understanding that something doesn’t to change even though it looks different. A question that is asked to a child who does not understand this Concept is “Are ten coins in a long line more than ten coins in a pile?” The child will most likely answer incorrectly. The third stage is the Concrete Operational stage. Children ages approximately seven to eleven experience this stage. Abstract

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