Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget is the founder of Cognitive development. He is Swiss and although he had no background in psychology, he made a tremendous impact on the field, particularly in the area of cognitive, developmental and educational psychology. There are other theorists who have built upon his work with theories like information processing, social cognition and socio cultural perspective. According to Arringtion (2008) the term cognitive development describes the way in which the individuals learn about and perceive themselves and their environment and educators apply it to the classroom because educators work with both adult and young learners to develop higher order thinking. Arrington (2008) states that among many of his contributions, Piaget posited theories on cognitive development that was stage-independent and stage-dependent. The main idea of this theory is that knowledge could be inborn, learned or developed through self regulated process (Ibid, 2008).
Arrington (2008) states that according to Piaget, cognitive development presents schema, structures, equilibrium and operations as the main focus in the stage-independent theory. Schema is a generalized patterns of behavior and thoughts that are meaningful to people. More than one schema or schemata are adapted repeatedly throughout the life through experiences and maturation. Structure arises when schemata becomes more complex and needs to organize information according to the relationship to one another. Cognitive development proceeds throughout life because gathering information from the environment never stops. According to Piaget’s stage-independent theory, equilibrium occurs when the individuals confront with new information which has to be assimilated and accommodated based on their prior knowledge or experience during the process of accommodating it to the current structure. Operations are extensions of schemata and structure which occurs in the process of equilibrium (Ibid,2008). For example, the individual has learnt number concept so when counting anything in daily life, he/she will use the number concept to understand the amount.
Kretchmar (2008) states that according to Piaget children are capable of understanding the world around them as they mature and they cannot undertake certain tasks until they are psychologically mature enough and this research is based on observing children for years. Piaget has identified certain ages where transition of thinking takes place. He has identified the ages and has named these as different stages. The first stage according to Piaget is Sensory motor stage which is from birth to 18 months. The second stage is Pre-operational stage which is from 2 years to 7 years. The third stage is concrete operational stage which is from 7 to 11 years and the last stage mentioned is Formal operational which is from the age 11 and up. Piaget has...