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Introduction of Jean Piaget
• Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) was employed
at the Binet Institute in the 1920s,
• where his job was to develop French
versions of questions on English
• Piaget (1936) described his work as
genetic epistemology (i.e. the origins of
• Genetics is the scientific study of where
things come from (their origins).
• Epistemology is concerned with the basic
categories of thinking, that is to say, the
framework or structural properties of
• Piaget (1936) was the first psychologist to
make a systematic study of cognitive
• His contributions include a theory of child
• detailed observational studies of cognition
in children, and
• a series of simple but ingenious tests to
reveal different cognitive abilities.
• Before Piaget’s work, the common
assumption in psychology was that
children are merely less competent
thinkers than adults.
• Piaget showed that young children think in
strikingly different ways compared to
• According to Piaget, children are born with
a very basic mental structure (genetically
inherited and evolved) on which all
subsequent learning and knowledge is
Piaget's Theory Differs From
• It is concerned with children, rather than
• It focuses on development, rather than
• so it does not address learning of
information or specific behaviors.
• It proposes discrete stages of
• marked by qualitative differences, rather
than a gradual increase in number and
complexity of behaviors, concepts, ideas,
• (building blocks of knowledge).
• Adaptation processes that enable the
transition from one stage to another
• assimilation and
• Schema are the patterns of behavior that
children show in dealing with objects in
• It is simple in children but complex in
• Assimilation takes place when the
organism uses object in the environment
in the course of its activity
• It occurs when the new is drawn into old
behavior pattern and becomes part of the
child’s inner organization.
• For example
• When something new is perceived that
resembles the old or already familiar
object, it is used as would be the old
• It is however necessary the t the object or
event to be assimilated must fit an existing
• Accommodation refers to adjusting the old
pattern to account for the new one.
• Hence new activities are added to the
infants previously learnt pattern and these
are modified to accommodate them.
• Piaget say that when the organism fails to
handle the new situation with the help of
the previously learnt pattern of behavior
some sort of in equilibrium or imbalance is
• However the individual tries to reduce
• He does so by focusing his attention on
the stimuli that has caused the imbalance.
• He develops new schemes or adopts old
ones until the equilibrium is restored
• This process of restoring balance is called
Sensorimotor stage (birth-2year)
• It involves senses and motor activities
• Object permanency “out of sight out of
• Self and the world
• Curiosity towards environment
Pre-operational Stage (2-7y)
• Semiotic function
• Ability to work with pictures, gestures,
words and symbols
• As for real bicycle a picture of bicycle
• Development of language by enlarging
• Difficulty in conservation
• As a thinner but longer glass has more
water than wider glass
• Children assumes that every one shares
their feelings, reactions and perspective.
• Means if he fears of dog, means everyone
have fear same.
• Children believes that each and everything
which moves by itself is alive until it
damages or broken
The concrete operational stage
• Principle of conservation
• Kids at this point of development begin to
think more logically, but their thinking can
also be very rigid.
• They tend to struggle with abstract and
• At this point, children also become less
egocentric and begin to think about how
other people might think and feel.
• Kids in the concrete operational stage also
begin to understand that their thoughts are
unique to them and that not everyone else
necessarily shares their thoughts, feelings,
• Child can divide things into different sets
or sub sets and considering their
• It requires children to reason about
relations between classes.
• The ability to logically combine relations to
understand certain conclusions
The formal operational stage
• Abstract thinking
• The abstract quality of formal operational
thinking is evident in verbal problem
• Ideal & imaginative thinking
• Ability to idealize and
• imagine possibilities
• Is the heightened self consciousness that
is reflected in adolescent beliefs that
others are as interested in them as they
• A sense of personal uniqueness.
• Desire to be noticed, visible and on stage.
• Tends to think that they are invulnerable.