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Piaget Essay

1790 words - 7 pages

This book report will focus on Piaget by Margaret A. Boden. It was published by the Harvester Press Limited in association with Fontana Paperbacks in 1979, in Sussex. It serves as an outline for Jean Piaget's theoretical work in psychology, biology and philosophy, and then offers a critique into the validity, importance, and influence of his ideas. This book report will offer a summary of the major themes outlined by Boden in her book, and then offer an analysis and critique into how the theory is presented.Boden begins her book by discussing briefly some of Piaget's early life, background education, and inspirations. She explains that Piaget began his work in biology, receiving his doctorate at the age of twenty-two. Biology was considered his educational priority, but he also theorized and studied in the areas of psychology, philosophy and cybernetics.Boden looks first at Piaget's contributions to psychology as this is what has garnished him the most fame and respect. She outlines Piaget's successive psychological stages in the growth of intelligence, which are the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage, and finally the formal operational stage. Piaget thought that from birth to the age of two, the child is a sensory being, and information is absorbed through sensory and motor activities. Piaget further broke this stage down into six sub-stages where in the first stage, month one, the child does not show any real learning, simply adaptation, and its primary concern is refining its reflexes. In the following stage the child refines its circular reactions, where they learn from repetition involving their own body. The third stage involves secondary circular reactions, where they enjoy repetition involving manipulation of their environment. At this point in their development, they understand that they are the ones causing the change in their surroundings. The following stages involve the formation of some practical knowledge, and tertiary circular reactions as the child begins to retain some simple information and understand the consequences of some of their actions. The last sub-stage to the sensorimotor stage is when the child is able to use objects to represent real things, as well as gaining the ability to use words as symbols. Boden adds to the credibility of the sensorimotor stage by explaining that Piaget based his research on his own three children, and that further research has affirmed his ideas and stages.The second main stage in the development of intelligence as identified by Piaget, is the pre-operational thought period which takes place from two to seven years of age. This stage is characterized by a lack of operation in the child's thought process. Operation can be seen as a way of acting out on the environment. A child in this stage of development is unable to see the world from another's point of view. This egocentrism is not to be confused with selfishness or inconsiderateness, explains Boden, even...

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