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Jean Piaget Growth and Development Theory
Introduction to Child Development 205
Jean Piaget was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland in 1896 and died in Geneva in 1980 at the age of 85. At a very young age, he had been interested in the pursuit of knowledge through scientific observation and research. One of his most brilliant works concerns his study of the cognitive development of children and eventually formulated his Theory of Cognitive Development, also known as Piaget’s Four Stages of Cognitive Development. This theory asserts that children go through different and progressive stages of cognitive construction as they grow older. This cognitive construction is centered on organization and adaptation. Humans make sense of the world by organizing thoughts and experiences, and, adapt in varying situations by incorporating new ideas that will deepen one’s understanding. There are two ways in which humans adapt to new information: assimilation, which is the incorporation of new ideas into the existing knowledge; and accommodation, which occurs when present knowledge is adjusted to fit in new information.
Piaget regarded knowledge as an evolution of logical thinking from basic to complex form, and thus referred to this view as constructivism. He also presented the term interactionism because he believed that the construction of knowledge is influenced by the interaction between heredity and the environment (Silverthorn, 1999).
Piaget developed his theory with the notion that children’s quality of performance varies depending on the cognitive stage they are in. With this, he presented the Four Stages of Cognitive Development:
Sensorimotor. The first Piagetian stage, which lasts from birth to the second year of life, focuses on how infants construct the world through the coordination of sensory experiences with physical actions. This reflex-laden and non-symbolic stage is divided into six...
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