Jean Piaget and his revolutionary approach to understanding childs mind

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Jean Piaget and his revolutionary approach to understanding child’s mind

Jean Piaget is certainly one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century. Piaget is the author of psychological concepts such as schema, accommodation, assimilation or balance, and his findings contribute significantly to contemporary psychology and philosophy. Because his work has influenced the science of teaching and is imperative to understanding the development of formal thinking, his followers equate Piaget’s role in psychology to that of Newton in physics.

Based on observations of his three children, Piaget distinguished four successive stages of cognitive development. The development of formal thinking in children comes in stages. All children go through these stages, but not all reach them at the same rate. The rate, although to some extent dependent on individual child's experience, is determined by biological processes of development. The development of formal thinking cannot and should not be drastically accelerated. It has its biological clock that ticks in spite of speech development and the influence of the environment. To develop and achieve intellectual maturity, a child must go through four ordered and successive stages.

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Stages of child cognitive development

The sensorimotor stage (practical intelligence) lasts from birth to two years of age. At this stage with the development of motor skills, children begin to develop ideas about objects, which is a starting point to future development of concepts. Children start to learn about the permanence of objects from their immediate environment through the formation of sensorimotor schemas. What does this mean in practice? Children begin to notice that events occur one after another and that there is a cause and effect to their actions. Unfortunately, their memory is still very underdeveloped.

Preoperational stage lasts from ...

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