Jean Piaget (1896-1980) established fact for his ideas of development which have been a hot subject matter not limited to psychology also for educational domains (Berger 1988). The following text is going to discuss the main top features of Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Furthermore, will analyze the concepts of schemas, the developmental periods, assimilation - accommodation and lastly, equilibrium.
Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who's the founder of the cognitive development field as it is known today (Flavell 1996). As Miller (1993) explained: "Piaget changed the field of developmental mindset. When a developmental psychologist were somehow plucked from the 195O's and established down today, he'd be bewildered by the have a discussion around him. He would hear psychologists discussing strategies, rule-governed habits, cognitive structures, strategies, plans, and representations, instead of stimulus generalization, mean length of utterance, mental age group, conditioning, discrimination learning and learning collection. To a great level Piaget was in charge of this change. He altered the course of psychology by asking new questions that made developmentalists ask yourself why they had ever before asked the old questions to begin with. Once psychologists viewed development through Piaget's sight, they never observed children in quite the same manner. ''(p. 81)
Piaget's theory of cognitive development, as stated, had an enormous impact on the disciplines of education and psychology. Matching to Kail and Cavanaugh (2004), his theory of development focuses about how children have the ability to build knowledge and how this knowledge forms and changes over time. Piaget, due to the effective exploration children performed, and because they 'run' some types of experiments, for e. g. on items, pushing them off of the table to see if indeed they would fall to the bottom, argued that children behave as 'little' scientists that form theories about the world. Piaget also believed that children revise these ideas in three critical items of their development (at ages 2, 7 and 11) and that this method is so fundamental that the modified theories become one, brand-new theory (Kail & Cavanaugh, 2004). From this exact opinion the four developmental periods were created.
The first level of development is the Sensorimotor level. This stage is from the delivery of a kid to barely 2 years old. Piaget(1951, 1952, 1954) implied that both first years of the child condition a distinct level in individuals development. Furthermore, this stage, according to Piaget(1951, 1952, 1954), is divided into six sub-stages in which every infant is progressing through in the same order, but at a different rate. By name, the six sub-stages are:1) Exercising reflexes (around 0-1 month), 2) Understanding how to adapt: primary round reaction(roughly 1-4 weeks), 3) Making interesting incidents[secondary circular reaction(roughly 4-8 months)], 4) Behaving intentionally: Separating means from ends(roughly 8-12 a few months), 5) experimenting(roughly 12-18 weeks), 6) Using symbols(roughly 18-24 weeks). Due to the fact that every child advance to another level uniquely, the ages mentioned previously are only approximations.
The second stage of development is the Pre-operational stage (around 2 - 7 years old). In this particular stage children commence to understand the planet symbolically and their use of vocabulary rises. (S. Milioritsa, PSYC1031, lecture, October 27, 2010). Regarding to Kail and Cavanaugh(2004), the cognitive abilities of children are still limited. Some of these limitations include Egocentrism, the fact that the child is struggling seeing the planet from another's point of view, Centration, the actual fact that the kid can only focus on one aspect of an problem and cannot identify the whole problem from a spherical view, Animism, the fact that the children 'give' life to inanimate things, believing they are real.
The third stage of development is the Cement Operational stage (approximately 7 -11 yrs. old). Within this stage the restrictions of the Pre-operational stage become achievements. For instance, Egocentrism is 'in the bring of extinction' in this stage due to the fact that children of this age are more capable with friends and siblings who exhibit different viewpoints, so children recognize that there isn't only their perspective(Kail & Cavanaugh). The most important restriction in this stage is the fact that children cannot reason abstractly, only if these are with dolls, matching to Piaget.
Te fourth and the previous stage of development is the Formal Operational stage(approximately 11 years of age + ). Within this stage, children stepping into adolescence, achieve the constraints of the Concrete Operational level, but the most crucial achievement is that they can reason abstractly(Bond 1995). Another achievements is that young adults can work organized in duties.
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