Piaget’s stages - Growth & Change

30-Second Psychology: The 50 Most Thought-provoking Psychology Theories, Each Explained in Half a Minute - Christian Jarrett 2011

Piaget’s stages
Growth & Change

As an epistemologist (someone who studies the nature of knowledge), Piaget was interested in how knowledge develops in humans, and regarded intelligence as the means by which we adapt to the environment. He believed that a child’s understanding of reality is constructed through continuous interaction with the world, and that knowledge is organized into schemas — the basic building blocks of intelligent behaviour — which become increasingly complex as the child grows. Piaget suggested that knowledge develops in stages. In the sensori-motor stage (0—2 years), the child ’thinks’ by perceiving objects and acting upon them. Towards the end of this stage, the child will search for hidden objects — ’out of sight’ is no longer ’out of mind’. The pre-operational stage (2—7 years) is defined largely by the development and use of mental images, symbols and language. The child is egocentric, or self-centred, and cannot understand that others might see things differently. During the concrete operational stage (7—11 years), the child becomes less self-centred and can think logically, but still needs to manipulate objects in order to do so. The formal operational stage (11—15 years) is marked by the ability to manipulate ideas and to think hypothetically about situations not yet experienced.

3-SECOND PSYCHE

Children are little scientists constructing their own understanding of the world, and their mistakes are the best indicators of how they think.

3-MINUTE ANALYSIS

Piaget was hugely influential, but his ideas have been heavily criticized. One major criticism is that he ignored the role of social factors in the development of knowledge. Another is that he did not use standardized methods — he started by asking children the same set of questions, but then tailored later questions according to the answers they gave. Furthermore, he did not use statistics to analyze his results, and did not account for individual differences.

RELATED THEORIES

VYGOTSKY’S ZONE

KOHLBERG’S MORAL STAGES

3-SECOND BIOGRAPHY

JEAN PIAGET

1896—1980

30-SECOND TEXT

Moheb Costandi

Image

Piaget believed that the child’s mind develops, brick by brick, through discrete stages.