Piaget Essay

Topics: Jean Piaget, Cognition, Developmental psychology Pages: 7 (1310 words) Published: April 22, 2015

Excelsior Community College
PSY235 Life Spam and Development
Piaget’s Theories: Educational Principles and Preoperational Stage Limitations Tatiane Boyd
March 20, 2015

Educational Principles Derived from Piaget’s Theory

Educational principles derived from Piaget’s theory continue on having a major impact on both teacher training and classroom practices. His theories have influenced a number of educational principles, especially at the preschool and early primary levels. (Beck, L. 2014) His theory of cognitive development focuses on how learners interact with their environment to develop complex reasoning and knowledge and the relevance of his ideas for the education of children is one of the major reasons causing his work to be especially attractive. Discovery learning; sensitivity to children’s readiness to learn and acceptance of individual differences in developmental process are three educational principles derived from Piaget’s theory. According to Piaget, appropriate learning experiences build on children’s current level of cognitive functioning, however, only when teachers appreciate children’s methods of arriving at particular conclusions are they in a position to provide such experiences. (Educational Implications of Piaget’s Theories. Page 41). For these reasons, in a classroom, in accordance with Piaget, the focus should be on children’s thinking, not just its products. Children should be encouraged to discover and learn for themselves through a visual and practical interaction with the subject. To be encouraged to discover for themselves; to explore and interact with the environment. Piaget believed that children are not an empty vessel which need to be filled up with someone else’s knowledge, yet, children should be considered active builders of the knowledge and should be encouraged to use their imagination and more importantly, to think for themselves. So, in a classroom, instead of providing only ready-made material to the children, teachers are encouraged to use different and interesting material that can allow a child to explore, such as puzzles, table games, building blocks, books, dressing cloths, measuring tools, musical instruments. (Beck, L. 2014. Page 233) Piaget referred to the question “How can we speed up development?” as “the American question.” (Educational Implications of Piaget’s Theories. Page 41) Based on the information found on, Piaget traveled among many countries, but, psychologists and educators in the United States seemed most interested in developing techniques that can help by accelerating children’s progress through the stages. He believed that in a classroom, children need to be introduced to activities that can help them boost and improve their cognitive system development; however, premature teaching can be worse than no teaching at all. For these reasons, Piaget suggested that in a classroom, there should be a de-emphasis on practices aimed at making children adult like in their thinking. Acceptance of individual differences in developmental process it is a very important principle of Piaget’s theory. According to him, it is important to understand that children go through the same path of the development, however, at different rates. He believed that every child is unique, different in their own ways, with their own individual strength and weakness. Therefore, in a classroom, it is extremely important for teachers to plan activities on the children’s individual capability of learning, instead of trying to reach the class as a whole. In addition, he recommended children’s evaluations on their educational progress need to be done on the basis of their previous classes instead of being based on the average performance of same-age peers or the normative standard of the class. (Beck, L. 2014)

Limitations of Preoperational Thought from Piaget’s Point of View

The preoperational stage is the second stage in Piaget's...

References: 1. Berk, L. (2014). Physical Development in Infancy and Toddlerhood. In Development through the Lifespan (Sixth ed., p. 228-233). Boston: Pearson.
2. Cherry, K. (n.d.). Preoperational Stage of Cognitive Development. Retrieved March 16, 2015, from
3. Educational Implications of Piaget 's Theory from Pearson: Educational Psychology Theory and Practice. (Chapter 2, Page 41). Retrieved on March 16, 2014, from
4. Piaget 's Theory of Cognitive Development from Education Portal. Retrieved on November 8th, 2014 from
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