Essay question: Jean Piaget proposed a step-wise sequence of mental development during childhood. Provide an overview of Piaget’s core ideas, discussing evidence for and against these ideas.
Jean Piaget (1869-1980) started to investigate children’s development after two years of working with children in Binet’s lab (Eddy, 2010).He found that children of younger aged gave different answers than those of alder age not because they have less knowledge but because they thought differently. He describes development as sequence of stages and each of these stages represents different type of thinking occurs in variable ages in different background (Vidal, 2000) Focal point – children have all the cognitive mechanisms to learn by constantly react with their environment. Experiences also play an very important formative role in children’s development. Piaget (1985) says that experience engenders disequilibrium and eventually a higher state of equilibrium.
Some underlying principle behind Piaget’s theory:
* Schema: cognitive structures or frameworks that represent certain aspect of the world and to help individuals understand the world they inhibit. * Adaptation: the process that builds and adapts our schemes through interaction with environment. * Assimilation: a process that takes in substances and stimulations or incorporates/ fits new information into pre-existing schema (Read, 1997). * Accommodation: this happens when the existing schema does not work and changes are needed to adapt better to the assimilated reality (Read, 1997).
The four stages of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development: 1. The sensorimotor stage (0-2 years): Develop the ability to make sense of the world by using their senses ad motor abilities. 2. Preoperational stage (2-7 years): begin to develop motor skills but still lacks of understanding of conservation of physical properties. Wellman and Gelman (1992) claim that young children by age 3 or 4,...
References: Cherry, A (2013). Support and Criticism of Piaget’s Stage Theory. http://psychology.about.com/od/piagetstheory/p/piagetcriticism.htm
Edday, S. (2010). Theories of cognitive development: Jean Piaget. http://psychohawks.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/theories-of-cognitive-development-jean-piaget/
Piaget J. 1985. The Equilibration of Cognitive Structure. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press
Read, D.T. (1997). Jean Piaget and The World Of The Child. The evolution of psychology: Fifty years of the America Psychologist. (Ed.) (pp. 355-372). Us: American Psychological Association. http://web.ebscohost.com.ezlibproxy.unisa.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=ddd6a4e1-aff4-4b81-9f02-716543a46cb9%40sessionmgr12&vid=2&hid=10 (useful)
Vidal, T. (2000). Jean Piaget. In Encyclopedia of psychology. (pp. 193-196). Washington. US: American Psychological Association. http://www.easybib.com/reference/guide/apa/encyclopedia
Wellman, H.M. and Gelman, S.G. (1992). Cognitive Development: Foundational Theories of Core Domains. http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.ps.43.020192.002005
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