Schemas: adaption, assimilation and accommodation
Piaget realised that human infants are born with reflexes that allow them to survive such as sucking and grasping reflexes which allow breastfeeding. These reflexes are innate and involuntary and the result of our first mental structures. These mental structures/schemas represent our knowledge and change as we grow. Piaget believed that schemas were the key to cognitive development and he was interested in how they developed.
Piagets Theory - the child as a scientist
Rather than trying to explain individual differeces in temrs of why some children are more intelligent than others, Piaget was interested in how intelligence itself changes as children grow. He called this genetic epistemology.
Piaget - cognitive development occurs through interaction of innate capacities with environmental events and progresses through a series of hierachal, qualitatively different stages.