Three Main Principles Of Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development

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Three Main Principles of Piaget’s Theory Piaget’s theory of cognitive development was based on three main principles which are assimilation, accommodation and equilibration First it is important to define the term ‘schema’. Schema is a cognitive representation of activities or things (Oakley 2004). For example, when a baby is born it will have an automatic response for sucking in order to ensure that it can feed and therefore grow (Oakley 2004). As the baby grows, this schema will become advanced with other feeding schemas such as chewing food or drinking from a cup.
Assimilation is the process of putting a new experience into already existing mental structure (Oakley 2004). In this process, children develop cognitive structures to help them
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In this process, the child is constantly trying to understand the world while at the same time discovering new experiences. At this point, a child can build an understanding of the world and how it is suppose to work. However, this process is often challenged by new experiences that may have an impact on their current understanding (Oakley 2004). The purpose for equilibration is that all of these new experiences fit together and make a picture of the world that is logical.
Four Stages of Cognitive Development In a child’s cognitive development, Piaget suggests that it can be divided up into four different stages. Piaget’s thoughts were that as a child develops, their brain will develop through the natural process of maturation (Oakley 2004). He developed the stages of development based on his research with children. To some people, his theories are thought of almost like a staircase. Each stage on the theory can represent a step and as you climb each step the level of development get higher on a cognitive ability (Oakley 2004).
The Sensorimotor Stage
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The first part of this stage is called the pre-conceptual period, which deals with children from age’s two to four. During this time, the child has an increase in language development, continuation of symbols and the development of imaginative play (Oakley 2004). This simply means that the child will begin to use symbols and language to represent different things. The second part of this stage is called the intuitive period, which deals with children from age’s four to six. This stage consists of the development of mental ordering and classification (Oakley 2004). Children in this stage of their life have a difficult time with conservation. This basically means that a child fails to realize that if nothing is added or taken away from a substance than the amount of that substance stays the same regardless of change in shape or appearance (Ormrod

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