Piaget

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Piaget’s theory can be useful to many different people – educators, parents, psychologists, doctors, etc. This theory enables us to understand cognitive development and identify potential problems in children’s development. I think as you learn more about this theory you will be able to think of many real life examples of Piaget’s theory. I hope that we will be able to share these examples and experiences of Piaget’s theory in action in our class discussions. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development suggests that as individuals we are explorers and scientists and that we learn by doing. In other words, when we are confronted with a situation in which we do not know the answer our attempts to problem solve result in learning. My daughter was trying to figure out how to get past my husband’s legs that were up on the coffee table. She tried pushing through his legs, hitting his legs, and she even tried to go over the top of his legs. In the end she figured out that she could crawl under his legs. I am sure we can all think of examples when we learned by doing. I have not had any formal instruction in the use of Word. When I was first confronted with this word processing program I was frustrated because I did not know how to accomplish functions like mail merging and printing labels. However, through trial, error, and my own exploration I have been able to become proficient in this program.

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a stage theory. You may have encountered stage theories previously, such as Freud's psychosexual theory and Erikson's psychosocial theory. The framework of Piaget’s theory is consistent with these theories in the way that individuals progress through stages. The stages are sequential and you must understand all the concepts in one stage before you progress to the next.

You have just engaged in assimilation! This is a key concept of Piaget’s theory. Piaget believes that when we are confronted with new information we need to...
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