Piaget 's Impact On Developmental Psychology Essay

756 Words Sep 24th, 2015 4 Pages
Piaget’s Impact on Developmental Psychology
No theory has ever had a greater impact on developmental psychology than Jean Piaget’s. Born in 1896 Switzerland, Piaget was always an extremely bright individual, with his first paper being published at age 10, and earning his Ph.D. at 22. As an anonymous reviewer of a paper on Piaget put it “assessing the impact of Piaget of developmental psychology is like assessing the impact of Shakespeare on English literature, or Aristotle in Philosophy – impossible” (Lourenço). Before Piaget the common assumption in psychology was that children were simply less competent thinkers than adults. Challenging this was one of the most important contributions of Piaget. He showed that children are much more than an immature version of adults, that they have their own rules. While Piaget’s theory has been widely challenged and has its flaws, much of his contribution has become so ingrained in how we view cognitive development today that we often overlook his true impact on the field. Piaget’s theory explains how we grow from an infant unable to talk to an adult who is capable of complex and abstract thought. There are three main parts of Piaget’s cognitive theory: Schemas, Adaptation, and the Stages of Development. Schemas are a way to organize knowledge and experience. Each schema might relate to an aspect of the world such as objects, actions, and abstract concepts. Schemas are modified, or new ones are developed, as someone encounters new…

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