Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory

Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory


The theory was initially postulated by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Psychologist who majored on human development and lived between 1896 and 1980. The approach deals with how people gradually acquire knowledge, construct and utilize it. The motivation behind the theory was that kids are not merely small adults with limited knowledge; they talk and think differently. Again, Piaget believed that kids understand their surroundings, experience differences between their environmental discoveries and their existing knowledge, and after that adjusting their ideas properly


To Piaget, intelligence grows via a sequence of stages. Older people do not merely think faster than young ones. Instead, he attributes both quantitative and qualitative variations in thinking between the elderly and children. The developmental stages are the sensorimotor step (1-2 years), where children have inherent looking, feeling, crying and sucking reflexes. They develop their sensory-motor cells via communicating to their surrounding. The second step is known as the preoperational (2-6 years) and is characterized by the development of children language.  Preoperational kids are considered the center of egocentrism. The joint operation is the third step and entails the beginning of kids to think logically, solve some problems, and are aware of their environment. The formal preoperational is the last stage (11-adolescents), and it is the step at which children finish their development on intellect. They begin developing an interest in giving opinions.//



One of the elements of the developmental theory is that children develop sophisticated thinking ways as their years advance due to maturation. Secondly, people’s manner of dealing with and forming concepts changes right from childhood all the ideas to adolescence. This is well illustrated via the invariant functions and the cognitive structures.  Thirdly, cognitive development entails the processes concerning knowing and thinking, and thus it involves reasoning, interpreting, remembering, perceiving and language-use.


Piaget’s theory devalues cultural influence on the development of children’ cognitive skills.  He argues that a kid goes via many cognitive development stages and complete them on their own which may not be true since the sociocultural environment influences cognitive development in kids. He also underestimates the cognitive skills for kids by arguing that children are born skill-less (they obtain their intellect through mingling with the surrounding). This is off beam since some kids learn some skills at a tender age. Another pitfall with Piaget’s theory is that he did not utilize a scientific approach in his work. He just observed the behavior of his children to arrive at the universal developmental theory. It lacks empirical and analytical data.


First, it has a significant impact on the psychology of development. It prompted new approaches, methods, and concepts which affected research on childhood development. Again. Piaget theory became the overriding influence on the intellectual growth field; many studies quote his work. Thirdly, the theory established ‘child-centered method of learning.’ Piaget tried to impress that classroom activities for children should be geared at stimulating children learning.


Despite the shortcomings, Piaget theory significantly contributed to the developmental field of children. There are several tangible ways for tutors to bolster kids learning in the field. For instance, kids can get experience by seeing what their friends are doing. Piaget introduced new concepts and methods in psychology literature via his utilization of ‘clinical interview’ in understanding children’ intellectual development. In this way, the approach provided a credible way of facilitating child-teacher interaction.


Piaget theory is a masterpiece for directing developmental studies on children. Although it did not use analytical or empirical information, the method provides an understanding through which facilitation of a good teacher-children interaction can be fostered


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