Piaget's Explanation For Cognitive Development

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  • Created on: 21-06-12 16:57
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Piaget's Explanation For Cognitive Development ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 This essay will focus on the work of Jean 1 However there is debate as to what
Piaget. Piaget proposed that children are proportion of each is responsible for the
born with the ability to develop processing progression of cognitive development.
skills. His research suggested that it is
partly biologically determined, but also
influenced by the environment. Genetics
establish the ability to develop, but only
through interaction with a complex
environment can this occur.
2 Piaget believed in a number of processes
which contributed towards his theory. The
first is that new information is assimilated
or accommodated into schemas, which
are collections of knowledge on a
particular subject. Assimilation involves
referring to old schemas and
accommodation involves creation of new
3 Secondly is Interactionism. This is the idea
that development will never occur unaided.
Development will only occur through
4 Lastly is Equilibration, the idea that
learning occurs due to new information
upsetting the balance of knowledge,
creating a desire for equilibration.
Therefore there is a desire to process the
new information and reset the balance.
5 The first stage of Piaget's theory is the
sensorymotor stage. In this stage, infants
begin understanding the world through
interaction, forming action schema. Action
schemas are knowledge of body
movement. By the end of this stage
(around 2 years), the infant can internalise
schema, representing the first thinking
6 The second stage is the preoperational 2 However some research suggests that
stage, occurring between the ages 2 and children in the sensorymotor stage are
7, where language, symbolic thought and capable of object permanence. Doing the
object permanence, the knowledge an same experiment, where sensorymotor
object continues to exist when it is out of children had to pick up a teddy, in both the
sight, develop. light and the dark, gave the same results,
suggesting that the children were using
object permanence to assume the teddy
was still there in the dark.
3 However it is important to note that this does
not negate the idea of object permanence,
only stating it can happen earlier than Piaget

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Piaget's Explanation For Cognitive Development ­ Andrew F
7 Piaget stated that children in the 4 To prove this, Piaget developed an
preoperational stage are completely experiment using a model mountain. The
egocentric, unable to recognise the preoperational child is shown both sides of
perspective of others, even when they have the mountain before stopping on one side
previously held the same perspective. and being asked about the features of the
other.…read more

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Piaget's Explanation For Cognitive Development ­ Andrew F
freedom and do not work as expected.
14 Piaget's theory of cognitive development still
has a huge effect on the school system
through the use of discovery learning.
15 Piaget's theory is deterministic as it
suggests that children will move through
these stages, not of their own accord, but by
interacting with the environment.
16 It is also reductionist because it does not
consider how social factors can affect
cognitive development.…read more


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