Jean Piaget Theory Of Cognitive Development Essay

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Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who specifically studied children and how they learn. Piaget began his career by studying zoology but soon became interested in psychoanalysis and cognitive processes. He began his studies on children in 1920 working with Theodore Simon, conducting tests that tested what challenged children at specific ages and what children were unable to do at certain ages. Today, he is widely known for his Theory of Cognitive Development which consists of 4 stages related to age and the intellectual, biological, and emotional development of children. Each stage has an average age range and typical indications of children being in this stage based on his own observational studies.
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Children in this stage are usually 7-11 years old. Children in this stage are characterized by more rational and organized thinking. Instead of basing their knowledge off of just their own personal experiences, they use “reasoning from specific information to a general principle” (Cherry). Children in this stage can think more logically based on information given and prior knowledge combined. They also are able to look at a situation from other people’s perspectives, making them somewhat less self-centered and more open minded. They also start to understand that their thoughts and opinions could differ from everyone else’s. An important development in this stage is the ability to grasp the idea of constancy. They can now understand “ that the amount of liquid in a short, wide cup is equal to that in a tall, skinny glass, for example”(Cherry). Once children fully develop their concrete operational skills, they move on to stage 4: formal operational stage. Children in this stage are generally ages 11+. This is the peak of their emotional and intellectual development. They are just “forming the ability to think abstractly with more complex understandings of logic and cause and effect”(Jean Piaget Biography). This is why, for example, children 12-13 start to learn Algebra. They are able to understand abstract concepts and apply them to hypothetical situations. Children
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