Essay on Piaget 's Theory And Cognitive Development Theories

838 Words Dec 8th, 2014 4 Pages
Critically assess Piaget’s theoretical predictions about when children would and would not be able to have/do certain things (eg. Object Permanence, imitate facial expressions, take another’s perspective, pass a conservation task etc.

Cognitive development describes the growth of cognitive abilities and capacities from birth to old age (Colman, 2009). Jean Piaget’s four stages cognitive-developmental theory (Piaget, 1962) is widely regarded as the most detailed explanation of child development (Carlson et al., 2004). This essay will assess the strengths and weaknesses of Piaget’s theory and compare these to other cognitive development theories namely the theories developed by Lev Vygotsky and Mark Johnson in order to gain a better insight as to how and when children mature.

Piaget suggested that a child’s knowledge is constructed via interaction between the child and their surrounding environment. He argued that a child’s knowledge was made up of representations or schemas of specific behaviour in order to use as a reference when undergoing new experiences. Schemata can be any action for interacting with the environment such as looking or kicking (Crain, 2005) and are constantly being altered via two separate processes. Assimilation refers to expanding present schemas with new experiences whereas accommodation is whereby schemas are altered due to new experiences. An example of Piaget’s theory including assimilation is shown when a young child sees a man with frizzy…

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