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Summary of Piaget’s Theories

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Summary of Piaget’s Theories

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The Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget (1896–1980) had a superior impact in cognitive development study. He suggested that everybody goes through a series of universal stages of cognitive development in a specific sequence, focusing his attention on the cognitive change occurring when children move from one stage to the next. According Piaget, the information quantity as well as the quality of knowledge, changes among those stages (Feldman, 2008). Piaget’s learning theory of cognitive development covers the following four stages: sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational (JeongChul, Sumi, Koch & Aydin, 2011). The first stage, sensorimotor, covers from the day of birth to the second year of child’s life. He established that infants learn of their environments through sensation and movement. Likewise, they begin to develop reflexes, habits, and hand-eye coordination. Other characteristics shown in this stage are experimentation, creativity, trial and error experiments, and object performance. This specific stage is divided into the following six substages: Simple reflexes, First habits and primary circular reactions, Secondary circular reactions, Coordination of secondary circular reactions, Tertiary circular reactions, and Beginnings of thought. Although Piaget contended that the order of substages does not change among children, he admitted that the timing in when appear could and will vary in some grade (Feldman, 2008). Preoperational is Piaget's second stage of cognitive development and it lasts from the second to the seventh years of the child. Young children in this stage develop language skills, the use of symbols to represent ideas and objects with images and words, and imagination. They learn through imitation and play during this stage. They begin to use reasoning; however, it is mainly intuitive instead of logical. Another characteristic of preoperational children’s thinking is their inability to reason about transformations...