Jean Piaget was a developmental psychologist as well as a philosopher. Piaget’s career had a large impact on both education and psychology. Throughout his career, Piaget made an impact through his contributions to the understanding of learning and cognition. There is also a very important model developed by Piaget that also has its own theoretical concepts within the model. Today, this model still has relevancy.
Contributions to the Field of Learning and Cognition
In the field of learning and cognition, Piaget made developed theories that supported the understanding of the cognitive differences between children and adults. He also performed tests and supported the idea that children think differently than adults. He believed that the incorrect answers that the children gave, revealed the important differences between the two. Piaget perpetuated that cognitive development occurs in four different, age related stages (Berger, 2011).
Model Associated with Piaget
Jean Piaget believed that as children mature, they are able to understand more and have the ability to understand reason more. Within the model of Piaget’s theory, the cognitive development is different among children at different ages. With growth children are better thinkers. Piaget learned how to distinguish differences in abilities and inabilities that are common to other children within each stage (Martinez, 2010). The four cognitive structures within Piaget’s model are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational (Berger, 2011).
Piaget’s first stage of Cognitive development is the sensorimotor stage including age’s birth to age two. Because of the lack of language, this stage depends heavily upon the senses such as sight, smell, touch and so on to gain knowledge of their surroundings. Infants learn largely through muscle movements for crawling, and walking, and to manipulate objects. Interactions with the surroundings are strictly sensory and deal with the present moment. Children that are in this stage egocentric however, by the end of this stage children are aware that things go on even though they are not experiencing them (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2013).
This stage is from about two years to seven years of age. There are two categories within this stage which are preconceptual thinking (age 2-4), and the period of intuitive thought (age 4-7), (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2013).
Period of Preconceptual Thought.
During this first stage of preoperational thinking, children begin to understand basic concepts. They start classifying objects into categories based on similarity however, there are usually several mistakes in these classifications. Because of how they piece the classifications together, all men are seen as “daddy”, or all toys are “mine”. At this stage of development, children use transductive reasoning (Olson & Hergenhahn, 2013).
Period of Intuitive...