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Jean Piaget



Jean Piaget



Piaget's theory of stage of cognitive development


In my Child and Adolescent Development (Psychology 240) class 7 1/2 years ago, I had a chance to learn about Jean Piaget and I've learned a lot about Piaget's life and his famous theory of stage of cognitive development and found Piaget to have a really interesting story. Jean Piaget was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland on August 9, 1896. Piaget was independent and took on an early interest in nature collecting shells. Piaget published his first paper at the age of 10, a one page story of his observation on an albino sparrow. Piaget published eagerly in high school on his favorite subject, mollusks. Piaget was very happy to get a part time job with the direction of Neuchatel's museum of Natural History, Mr. Gödel.


Piaget was encouraged by his mother to attend religious instruction and Piaget thought of that as childish. Piaget got into Philosophy but it lead to Piaget getting into Psychology. After Piaget graduated from high school Piaget attended the University of Neuchatel. From that point on, Piaget received his Doctorate degree in Science at the University of Neuchatel in 1918. Piaget worked a year at Psychology labs in Zurich and at Bleuler's Psychiatric clinic. Piaget was introduced to the works of Freud, Jung, and others. Piaget taught Psychology and Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris where he met Simon (of Simon-Binet fame) and Piaget did research on intelligence testing. Piaget cared for the 'right-or-wrong' method of intelligent tests and started interviewing his subjects at a boys school instead of using Psychiatric interviewing skills that Piaget learned a year before.


Piaget is well known for his theories. Piaget began his career as a biologist specifically as a malacologist. However, Piaget's interest in science and the history of science soon overtook his interest in snails and clams. Piaget became interested in nature of thought itself, especially development of thinking and Piaget called it genetic epistemology, which is the study of knowledge. Piaget noticed the amount of skills that infants had concerning objects in their environment called sensorimotor stage but infants directly directed in a way where they explored his or her environment and gained knowledge of the world and sophisticated exploratory skills called schemas. Piaget's other theory is the preoperational stage, which lasts from 2-7 years of age. At the preoperational stage, a child has mental representations and he or she is able to pretend, which is a small use of symbols. The concrete operational stage is where the child learns rules through conversation and that's from ages 7-12 years of age. Lastly is the formal operational stage is where adolescence allows that transition into thinking about the future when he or she becomes an adult and that is from ages 12- Adulthood. Learning about Piaget's life and his theories was really interesting in my Psychology 240 class.




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