Piaget’s cognitive development theory analyses the growth of children’s development for thinking and their understanding. In fact, American Psychological Association (2015) defines cognitive development as the ‘The development of processes of knowing, including imagining, perceiving, reasoning, and problem solving’. This essay analyses Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Jean Piaget was a psychologist who was acknowledged for his significant contribution of research in child development (Woolfolk & Margetts 2016, p. 80). Throughout this essay, Jean Piaget’s key concepts will be analyzed and linked to the development and learning of children.
Jean Piaget Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896. His interest initially lay in natural sciences, which he studied before his interests moved to psychoanalysis. He later moved to France, and had three children, who were the subjects of many of his observations regarding cognitive development (Kindersley, 2012). Piaget placed his main focus on the study of how intelligence changes as children grow, which he called genetic epistemology. Rather than being concerned with comparing levels of intelligence between children of different ages, he was interested in the natural development of mental skills over time.
Piaget had a very simplistic theory on schema development, in my opinion, compared to Vygostsky. However, Piaget’s theory was used and agreed upon by many others. He theorized that, development predates learning. This means that he believe humans, especially newborns and infants, portray their surrounding world through mental schema and this is what enables us to interpret and understand our environment. Piaget refers to schemas as a way for individuals to organize their knowledge.
Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who regarded cognitive development as a maturational process (Martin, Carlson & Buskist, 2010). Piaget constructed his conclusions through the observation of his own children and children at his Centre of Genetic Epistemology in Geneva. Piaget observed that children depend on an altered type of thinking when compared to the way in which adults think. A child’s thinking is qualitatively different than an adult’s thinking. Through his study, Piaget found that children of a similar age are inclined to behave in a similar manner and make similar mistakes when problem-solving.
Many researchers in their own opinion agreed that many children abilities overlap. (………………………………….). Consequently, Piaget rigid age-related stages thereby make Piaget’s hypothesis inaccurate. Furthermore, in a study conducted by (Kuhn et al., 1977) suggested that only 30-35% of high school student could achieve Piaget’s (formal operations stage of cognitive development. This implies that Piaget’s idea of one cap fit all was inaccurate, therefore he was criticised for not considering and focusing on individual’s child, because children are individual they achieve intellectual ability at different stages in life.
They certainly have made a massive impact with today’s psychologists, and research regarding the understanding of how so many of us function and cope with different situations. As stated above Vygotsky was brilliant with his theory about Social Development with children. While Piaget was the first psychologist to discover that children think differently to adults and started the theory with Cognitive child development. As Lourenco (2012) has noted that the differences between Piaget and Vygotsky should not be simplified nor minimised, the reason being that as a result “some fundamental differences between the two theories are related to their respective underlying philosophy, social influence on development, nature of the process of development, and the universality of cognitive structures” (Lourenco,
When one thinks about the major influencers and contributors in the field of developmental psychology, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky comes to mind, for they had great impact as influential developmental psychologists. Both psychologists studied the cognitive development of children and resulted in many resemblances as well as many fundamental differences. For Piaget, he developed a theory called the Piagetian Theory, influenced by Kant’s Philosophy and the Evolutionary Theory, where development leads to learning, indicating that the “individual constructs his or her knowledge individually or solitarily” (Lourenco, 2012, p.282), completely in contrast to Vygotsky’s theory, called the Sociocultural/Sociohistorical Theory, “based upon Marxist ideas of political economy” (Sugarman, week 2 lecture, pg.2), where learning leads to development, believing that “one only develops as one participates in various forms of social interaction, using then tools and signs, tools and signs which are also social in their very nature” (Lourenco, 2012, p.282). In addition to both of these theories having similarities and differences, the two theoretical propositions come with implications, issues and considerations. According to Susan C. Nurrenbern (2001) in her article “Piaget’s Theory of Intellectual Development Revisited,” Piaget’s view on cognitive development was that “learners are active participants rather than passive receivers of knowledge” (p. 1107).
Introduction Development of children has been one of the hotly-debated topics among scholars. Piaget’s stages of cognitive development provided insights for mental development of children. Piaget proposed that children need to go through different developmental stages within a specific age range so as to acquire different cognitive skills. One concept Piaget emphasized was conservation. Piaget suggested that after seven, children will be able to understand that physical properties of an object remain unchanged even the appearance of the object changes as children’s physical and mental operation are reversible (Piaget, 1965).
His approach of studying the development of the human mind was a synthesis of ideas drawn from biology and philosophy. He looked at human beings as biological organisms who must adapt successively to their environment. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development revolutionized the study of children’s cognitive development and it has undergone some revisions over the years. It also provides a set of basic principles to guide our understanding of cognitive development that are found in most recent theories. Piaget believed that in order to adapt successively to our changing environment, we are always actively trying to make sense of our experiments.
With assimilation and accommodation in mind, Piaget believed that there had to be a balance between both and it was known as equilibration (Wells, 2014). At the core of Piaget’s theory, it is said that Cognitive development occurs in four stages in the same order. Each stage has