Jean Piaget and cognitive development.
Cognitive development is the study of a child's development in terms of factors such as information processing, language acquisition and conceptual resources. A part of both neuroscience and psychology, cognitive development is concerned with understanding how a child negotiates meaning when first faced with the world, and how that meaning changes as the child becomes more communicative on a verbal level with other individuals. Key questions in this field of study include the question of when a child becomes aware of its own personality and image, and when a child comes to understand the qualities of other individuals. Many of the main theories relating to cognitive development are based on the idea of Jean Piaget. Piaget was the founder of the cognitive development school of thinking. Piaget's work throughout the 20th century helped to redefine the ways in which developmental stages are recognised, and he focused particularly on the acquisition and manipulation of knowledge. Piaget proposed that language is contingent on cognitive development and that the entirety of cognitive development could be reduced to two primary concepts: transformations and states. Transformations are the ways in which states are continually being influenced by time. Human intelligence, according to Piaget, is extremely adaptive and is capable of negotiating multiple complex understandings of an extremely dynamic reality. Piaget argued for a distinction between operative and figurative intelligence. Operative intelligence, he suggested, is the active aspect of intelligence, and is concerned with adapting to dynamic changes in the environment in which the individual is operating. Figurative intelligence is the static form of intelligence, of the type that operates in the spaces between transformations. Linked to this, Piaget suggested, are the processes of assimilating and accommodating, whereby an individual learns how to deal with knowledge and...
References: Goswami, Usha. Cognitive development: the learning brain. London, Psychology Press, 2007.
Sutherland, Peter. Cognitive development today: Piaget and his critics. London, Sage Publications, 1992.
> Free essay filed in: Psychology on December 7th 2010.
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