Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory Case Study

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Jean Piaget started to study schemata. Schemata is the how the brains being developed as children interact with physical and social environments. Piaget believes that children operate on the cognitive schemata, meaning things that move are alive. In 1953 he described the three kinds of intellectual structures which are behavioral schemata, symbolic schemata, and operational schemata.

Behavioral Schemata is described as patterns of behavior that respond to experiences. Symbolic Schemata is described by Piaget as the images one sees or represents from an experience. The Operational Schemata is the internal mental activity that performs on objects of thought. Piaget says children create a schema to interpret what the child is experiencing.
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As he was learning the genetic epistemology he studied mainly children and how they learned as they grew older leading up to his Cognitive Development Theory. This theory inspired many others to do research on children and how their minds work. The theory was made up of four series of stages of intellectual development which were sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage.

The first stage of the Cognitive Development Theory is the sensorimotor stage which is developed from birth to two years old. This is the stage where infants and toddlers are learning coordination and sensory experiences. Piaget believed that object permanence (child’s understanding that an object can still exist though it can’t be seen or heard) is the most important accomplishment. Piaget divided the sensorimotor stage into 6 sub-stages; simple reflexes, primary circular reactions, secondary circular reactions, coordinating secondary schemes, tertiary circular reactions, and symbolic
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This stage allows the baby to use their knowledge to reach a goal. The fifth sub-stage, tertiary circular reactions, is where the baby learns to put things back together that they took apart such as building blocks. The last sub-stage of sensorimotor, symbolic thought, they have developed the ability to visualize things that aren’t physically there.

The second stage is the preoperational stage which is developed from two to seven years old. In this stage a child is able to use symbols to represent something. A child is also learning to differentiate past, present and future. A child will begin to play and pretend more often. For example, a little boy says he is batman and pretends to fly. This stage is also where children have difficulties seeing things from other people’s point of views. The preoperational stage has two sub-stages. The first sub-stage is the symbolic function sub-stage. The second sub-stage is the intuitive thought

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