Jean piagets theory of cognitive development changed the thinking of how children’s thought process develops. As children grow their thought process change as a result of maturation(ageing) and the environment. The mechanisms of cognitive development allow this to happen; schemas, assimilation, accommodation and equilibration.
Mechanisms of cognitive development
Schema: A mental structure of related facts that are based on previous experiences. A schema is used as a mental shortcut to quickly generate future expectations. Some schemes such as grasping and sucking are innate. They develop through interaction with environments.
Assimilation: The process of fitting a new experience into a pre existing schema.
Accomodation: Having to adjust a pre existing schema because new information does not fit. Accommodation is the consequence of disequilibrium.
Equilibration: The driving force behind accommodation and development. If something can’t be assimilated then a sense of disequlibration (unbalance) is formed and the individual must accommodate for equilibrium to reoccur.
Face schemas are innate as shown by research by Fantz(1961) and Goren et al(1975)
Equilibration is hard to demonstrate Inhelder et al(1974). Bryant(1955)
It has real world education application Bennett(1976)
Language: Vygotsky vs Piaget- support for Piaget from Sinclair-de-Zwart(1969)
The most comprehensive theory of children’s cognitive development
Piaget stated that through maturation the brain developed along with experiences. Enabling children to become capable of further levels of thinking through each stage of development.
Stages of development
Stage 1: Sensorimotor stage (0-2y)
Key development: Object permenance
Stage 2: Pre-operational stage (2-7y)
Children are egocentric and lack conservation skills
Stage 3: Concrete operational stage (7-11y)
Key development: Class inclusion and Logical reasoning
Stage 4: Formal operational stage (11+y)
Key development: Abstract thinking
Relationship between members where they are in two different classes but they still come under one master class.
E.g: ANIMAL- dog/cat.
Pre operational children cannot understand categorisation into sublevels.
Piagets methodology was flawed Mcgarrigle and Donaldson(1974) naughty teddy. And Hughes(1975) naughty doll
There is cultural bias, not universal
Alternative views- Vygotsky
Biologically driven stages is correct Dasen(1994)
Has important educational application Plowden report(1967)