It all started in 1936, Jean Piaget established the Cognitive Theory. His reasoning explains how a child constructs a mental model of the world. Piaget didn’t necessarily agree with the idea that intelligence was a fixed trait, but rather that cognitive development was a process which occurs due to a biological maturity and interaction with sociology (around its environment) (Mcleod, S. (2018, June 06). With the cognitive theory in psychology, Piaget discovered that there were four stages: the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational period. These stages characterized the intellectual development into specific ranges of age: sensorimotor stage: birth to 2 years, preoperational stage: ages 2 to 7, concrete operational stage: ages 7 to 11, and formal operational stage: ages 12 and up. Piaget started this research when he did research on his niece and nephew.
After conducting his research, he concluded that adults are not more intelligent than children; both beings just think differently. The sensorimotor stage shows that infants get the “grasp” of movements and sensations. The preoperational stage proves that children start to think symbolically and they start to use words and imagery to represent certain objects around them. The concrete operational stage tells us that children start to think logically about more “concrete” events. Lastly, formal operational period shows that young adults start to think more critically and question hypothetical problems (Cherry, K. (2015).
Piaget’s research and discovery was really meant for us human beings to really think about how children learn and grow. As presented above, these stages demonstrate how a little infant grows and develops all up to the way up to how a young adult learns and grows. This is shown by schema. Schema describes the mental and physical actions that are involved in understanding and knowing. The way Piaget viewed it, schema includes the category and the process of obtaining knowledge.
Modernly, Piaget’s discovery has recently fallen out of favor but some are still prominent to today’s society. Alternative models have been advanced including information-processing theory, neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development (these models aim to kind of reflect Piaget’s discovery; but still are different). By this, Piaget’s discovery opened a door to learning how we (humans) grow and learn.
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