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Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development Essay

1768 words - 7 pages

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a Swiss psychologist who had a lifelong interest in how individuals, especially children, use cognitive development to adapt to the world around them. Piaget published his first paper by the age of 10, completed his bachelor’s degree by the age of 18, and at the age of 22 received his PhD from the University of Neuchatel. Piaget spent many years of his life researching the developmental and cognitive knowledge of children. The Theory of Cognitive Development places focus on human intelligence and developmental thinking. “Influenced by his background in biology, Piaget (1950) viewed intelligence as a process that helps an organism adapt to its environment” (Rider and Sigelman, 2006, p.41). At an early age, and pretty much the rest of his life, Piaget devoted many years of his life to the study of Cognitive Development in children. According to Piaget, children use their own interpretation of the world to help them solve problems. “The interaction between biological maturation (most importantly a developing brain) and experience (especially discrepancies between the child’s understanding and reality) is responsible to the child’s progress from one state of cognitive development to a new, qualitatively stage” (Rider & Sigelman, 2006, p.42). Jean Piaget’s argument was children’s cognitive development evolves naturally throughout four stages. To help individuals grasp his idea of Cognitive Development, Jean Piaget came up with four stages. Piaget’s stages include: Sensorimoter, Preoperational, Concrete Operations, and Formal Operations.
Sensorimoter (stage one)
The Sensorimoter stage focuses on infants to children 2 years of age. As the stage name implies, infants use their motor and sensor abilities to help them understand the world. To give a better understanding about the Sensorimoter stage, Piaget breaks it down into six sub-stages. Sub-stage I occur between birth and six weeks of age and mainly focus on reflex development. Piaget describes three primary reflexes. They include; sucking, eye movement by following an object, and palmer grasping. Sub-stage II occurs from six weeks to four months of age and focuses on the development of habits. For example, if a child thinks something is pleasing or fascinating, odds are they are going to do it again. Sub-stage III places focus on infants from four to nine months of age. Stage III mainly focuses on hand eye coordination and object concept. “Object concept is the understanding of what an object is, including recognition that an object has properties that can stimulate all of you senses, and that an object continues to exist even when we do not perceive it” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2009, g-10). An example of this would be if an infant wants something they will continue to grasp at the air until their hand reaches the desired object. Sub-stage IV occurs between the ages of nine and twelve months and involves a child’s secondary circular reactions. ...

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