Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Theory
The Cognitive Development Theory was first identified by Jean Piaget. Jean Piaget was born on August 9, 1896 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. Piaget became well known by the many papers he published throughout his late teen years. Once graduating from the University of Neuchâtel, he received his Ph.D. in natural science and published two philosophical essay concerning adolescence. These two essays later became the general orientation for the first publication of the Cognitive Development Theory. According to the Jean Piaget Society by Les Smith, Piaget was married to Valentine Châtenay and soon after had three children. These children where primary examples of the study Piaget was doing concerning with the development from infancy to language. After the age of eighty-five, the Swiss psychologist died in Geneva on 1980, making him one of the most significant psychologists of the twentieth century. The objective of the theory was, and still is, the explanation by which the process of an infant, and then child develops into an adult that can both reason and comprehend. Saul McLeod published an article, “Jean Piaget”, in the website Simply Psychology, where he quoted Piaget, “Cognitive development is a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience. Children construct an understanding of the world around them, [and] then experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment” (McLeod 2). There are three basic components to Piaget’s Cognitive Theory: Schemas, the four processes that enable the transition from one stage to another, and the four stages of cognitive development. When starting with the Schema, Piaget described this word as a basic building block of intelligent behavior that a person would use by forming information using what the person saw, heard, smelled and touched. In the article, “Jean Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development”, from ICELS.ca Blog explains how a schema can be thought of as a unit of knowledge, relating to one aspect of the world including objects, actions, and abstract concepts (Unknown 4). An example of schema is how a child will know how to grab his favorite rattle and put into his mouth because he has gained knowledge of what that object was used for. Dr. George Boeree, author of Jean Piaget, describes how a toddler that is introduced to a new object will use his “grab and thrust” schema. Dr. Boeree calls this assimilation; the toddler is relating the old schema onto the new object (Boeree 3). The child after knowing how to react with his rattle is then puzzled with the new object in front of him, he does not know how to react and therefore uses the same schema as he would with the rattle, putting the object into his mouth. However if the existing schema does not work, the toddler has to find a new approach, this is known as accommodation. Accommodation occurs when there has been an unpleasant state of disequilibrium. Equilibrium occurs when a child’s schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation. McLeod clarifies the steps in as the four processes than enable the transition from one cognitive stage to another: Assimilation Equilibration New Situation Disequilibrium Accommodation When Piaget continued to study the each of these steps more carefully, he began to see similarities between most of the children in their nature and their timing. This became the development of the stages of cognitive development.
The first stage of the cognitive development is the sensorimotor stage which can be found from the ages of zero until approximately two. In this stage the key feature is object permanence meaning how the infant uses his senses and motor abilities to understand the world. In the article, “Development of using experimenter-given cues in infant chimpanzees: longitudinal change in behavior and cognitive development”,...
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