Piaget's Cognitive Development Essay

1370 words - 5 pages

Cognitive development is the process whereby a child's understanding of the world changes as a function of age and experience. Theories of cognitive development seek to explain the quantitative and qualitative intellectual abilities that occur during development. No theory of cognitive development has had more impact than the cognitive stages that Piaget presented. Jean Piaget founded the regulation in its current form and his ideas, methods and findings have shaped work in the filed for more than half a century. Piaget, a Swiss psychologist, philosopher and logician, developed a theory of intellect formation based on the basis of the in-depth study of children.Piaget's 'genetic epistemology,' which was a study of how children and how they develop concepts and cognitive capacities through human and individual growth. While in Paris, Piaget devised and administered many reading tests to school children and became interested not in their correct answers, but in their incorrect answers. He wanted to explore the reasoning process that children have. By 1921 he began to publish his research findings. In 1929, he joined the University of Geneva as a professor of child psychology and through his experience at Geneva, he became one of the most influential theorists in the area of cognitive development. He stayed at the university until his death in 1980.Piaget saw the child as constantly creating and recreating his own model of reality, achieving mental augmentation by integrating simpler concepts into higher level concepts at each stage. He argued for a "genetic epistemology," which was a timetable established b y the nature for the improvement of the child's capability of the child's aptitude to think, and he traced four stages of development. I will be explaining these stages in the following paragraphs. "If we examine the intellectual development of the individual or of the whole of humanity, we shall find that the human spirit goes through a certain number of stages, each different from the other." -Jean Piaget.The first stage that Piaget came up with is the sensory-motor stage. This stage takes place from birth to around age two. Babies start to take in the world through their sensory and motor interactions with objects, through looking, hearing, touching, mouthing and grasping. The most important accomplishment of this stage is that of the eventual attainment of the undeviating object realization, which allows the child to be aware of the existence of objects.The second stage is the preoperational stage. This stage takes place from around age two to about age six or seven. He believed that at this age, children are too young to process or perform mental operations. One of the restrictions of the preoperational child is his self-thinking (egocentrism), specifically, the child's tendency to take for granted that his way of belief about things is the only achievable way. This concept of egocentrism results in a lack of differentiation between self...

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