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River point piaget

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  • 1. Running head: JEAN PIAGET 1 Jean Piaget Jody Marvin PSY 390 September 30, 2013 Amy Hennings
  • 2. JEAN PIAGET 2 Jean Piaget Children love talking to the Swiss genetic epistemologist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) because he listened to their incorrect explanations. With a child-like curiosity his concern with the nature of knowledge flourished. After discovering the importance of a child’s incorrect answer on the Binet Intelligence test, Piaget (1932) discovered the qualitative relevance of incorrect answers of children in various stages of development. As a result, Piaget initiated the clinical method with open-ended questions, paying special attention to a child’s answer of interest. Subsequently, his curiosity with qualitative age difference answers prompted his scientific search for the variables influencing the test performance of children (Huitt & Hammel, 2003). Equating into a revolutionary view of intelligence, Piaget began with a unique explanation of learning. Accordingly, the concept of equilibration provides a nativist component theorizing the basis of all intellectual growth. Specifically, the innate drive toward harmony between the internal and external environment develops in a more continual complex manner through Piaget’s two-step process: assimilation and accommodation (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). In short, limited cognitive representation depends on a changing cognitive structure. Equally important, Jean Piaget loved to study how children gain knowledge within their various cognitive and biological stages. For this purpose, people’s thoughts, experience, and cognitive processes always affect behavior within four major periods, or stages: sensorimotor (birth – 2), preoperational (2 – 7), concrete operational (7 – 12) and formal operational (12 – adult) (Browne, 2001)(Browne, 2001).As a result of Piaget’s devoted scientific research, an emerging progressive educational system blossomed with Piaget’s enthusiasm, for a child’s unique cognitive eagerness for expansion. Presently, child-centered programs such as Montessori and
  • 3. JEAN PIAGET 3 the Reggio Emilia Approach stress children’s development and growth resulting in a child’s individual pride and accomplishment with many literacy related tasks (Huitt & Hammel, 2003). According to Piaget, l development emerges from action. Specifically, individuals construct and reconstruct their knowledge of the world as a result of interactions with the environment. There are two major aspects of his theory: the process of coming to know and the stages we move through as we gradually acquire this ability. As a biologist, Piaget was interested in how an organism adapts to its environment (Piaget described as intelligence). Behavior (adaption to the environment is controlled through mental organizations called schemes that the individual uses to present schemes and the environment (equilibration) (Cicchetti & Toth, 2009). Piaget hypothesized that infants are born with schemes operating at birth that he called “reflexes.”. In other animals these reflexes control behavior throughout life. However, in human beings as the infant uses these reflexes to adapt to the environment, these reflexes are quickly replaced with constructed schemes. Schema refers to a general potential to perform a class of behaviors, and content describes the conditions that prevail during any particular manifestation of that general potential. Covert manifestations of a schema can be roughly be equated with thinking (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). As an illustration, responsible for more complex behaviors, schemes become increasingly more complex. As one’s structures become more complex, they are organized from general to specific in a hierarchical manner (Bae, 1999). Piaget described two processes used by the individual in its attempt to adapt: assimilation and accommodation. Both of these processes are used throughout life as the person increasingly adapts to the environment in a more complex manner. Assimilation is the process of using or transforming the environment to place in preexisting cognitive structures. Accommodation is the
  • 4. JEAN PIAGET 4 process of changing cognitive structures to accept something from the environment. Both processes are used simultaneously, and alternately throughout life. An example of assimilation would be when an infant uses a sucking scheme that was developed by sucking on a small bottle when attempting to such on a larger bottle. Subsequently, assimilation and accommodation are referred to as functional variants because they occur at all levels of intellectual development (Huitt & Hammel, 2003). More important, the driving force behind intellectual growth is Piaget’s concept of equilibration. When discrepancies between the environment and mental structures occur, one of two things happen. Either the perception of the environment can be changed in order for new information to be matched with existing structures through assimilation, or the cognitive structures themselves can change as a result of the interaction through assimilation. In either case the individual adapts to his or her environment by way of interaction. It is clear that Piaget believed that cognition is grounded in the interface between mind and environment. The result of the interplay is the achievement or working toward a balance between mental schemes and the requirements of the environment. Along with the driving force of equilibration, the duel mechanisms of assimilation and accommodation provide for slow but steady intellectual growth (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). Thereafter, the increased tendency to rely more on mental operations in adjusting to the environment as the cognitive structure becomes more articulated is an operation referred to as an interiorized action. It is an adaptive response that occurs mentally rather than overtly. In this case, rather than manipulating the environment directly, the child can do so mentally through the
  • 5. JEAN PIAGET 5 use of internal covert actions operations. Operations can be thought of as interiorized actions (Bae, 1999). Eventually Piaget differentiated three types of knowledge that must be present at all stages of cognitive development: physical, logical-mathematical, and social. Physical knowledge is gained through hands-on interaction with the environment. It deals directly with experience and perception of objects and is very concrete. This type of knowledge can be gained only from personal, direct contact with environmental elements (Browne, 2001). Logical –mathematical knowledge is an abstract reasoning that is applicable beyond physical interaction with multiple objects in multiple settings in order for mental structures to be modified and created. Here, it is the manipulation of objects in different patterns and contexts that provides for generalizations and abstractions to be created. Likewise, social knowledge can be gained only through interaction with others. This type of knowledge is culture specific and its acquisition is based on actions rather than physical perceptions of objects (DeVries & Zan, 1994). These types of knowledge are at work at all stages of cognitive development and are not necessarily hierarchical, as are Piaget’s proposed stages of development (Huitt & Hammel, 2003). The first stage suggested by Piaget is the sensorimotor stage. In general, this stage lasts from birth to about two. . At this point, intelligence is based on physical and motor activity, but excludes the use of symbols. One important milestone is the development of object performance. Beginning at about seven months infants start to understand the concept that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be seen (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). The second stage, labeled pre-operational, lasts from about two until approximately seven. It is marked by the demonstration of intelligence through the use of symbols, especially the
  • 6. JEAN PIAGET maturation of language. Children in this stage can represent objects and events mentally. Additionally, memory and imagination are developed, but thinking is done in a nonlogical, nonreversible manner. Egocentric thinking predominates (Browne, 2001). Again, expanding on Erickson’s thoughts of cognitive development, Piaget offered his third stage (Concrete Operational Period) for elementary and early adolescence. In this stage (characterized by seven types of conservation: number, length, mass, weight, area, volume), intelligence is demonstrated through logical and systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects (Browne, 2001). Operarational thinking develops mental actions that are reversible. Egocentric thoughts diminish. The child becomes aware of social equality and reciprocity that carries with it the concepts of fairness, justice, and exact compensation for damage done in punishment (Olsen & Hergenhahn, 2013). Last, Piaget’s final stage of cognitive development (Formal Operational Period) continues throughout life. In this stage, intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts. This is the point where the adolescent is can affectively adapt to a variety of problems, and where he or she has the capacity to think and reason beyond his or her own realistic beliefs. Adolescents can use an imaginary audience as an internal sounding board to try mentally various behaviors and attitudes, which allows them to analyze their in spite of processes to gain insight into themselves and the behaviors and intentions of others (Huitt & Hammel, 2003). Many pre-school and primary programs are modeled on Piaget’s theory, which provides part of the foundation for constructivist learning. Discovery learning and supporting the developing interests for the child are two primary instructional techniques. It is recommended that parents 6
  • 7. JEAN PIAGET 7 and teachers challenge the child’s abilities, but not present material or information far beyond the child’s level. Additionally, teachers use a wide variety of concrete experiences to help the child learn. As an illustration, Piaget believes that teachers could have a greater impact on their students implementing mildly challenging experiences for the learner so the dual process of assimilation and accommodation can provide intellectual growth. Continue intellectual development by carefully designing lessons to induce cognitive disequilibrium (DeVries & Zan, 1994). Jean Piaget was the outstanding developmental psychologist of the 20th century. The results of his work have appeared in close to 100 books, and thousands of research articles and book chapters. The impact of his work upon social science and his contribution to our knowledge of human development are enormous. His work alone has contributed to the rapid growth of developmental and experimental child psychology (DeVries & Zan, 1994). Increasingly, in education his work has an impact upon the curriculum and educational practice, all of which as of the present time reflect Piaget's concept of mental development. At the heart of that contribution are two basic conceptions. One of these is, that human intelligence always grows in a series of stages which are related to age and which cannot be hurried. The other is that human knowledge is always a creation (Cicchetti & Toth, 2009). Knowledge always reflects both the child's mental activity and information coming from the environment. Knowledge is never simply a copy of the external world, nor simply a projection of our inner world. Learning about the world is a creative activity, and all knowledge is a creation. Recent curricular reforms and elementary math, reading, and writing programs are beginning to take account of the creative role of children in the learning process. Unfortunately, however, much of
  • 8. JEAN PIAGET our contemporary educational system is still grounded on obsolete learning theories. It will be the next century before we fully realize the magnificent legacy of Jean Piaget (Browne, 2001). 8
  • 9. JEAN PIAGET 9 References Bae, Y. (1999). Human devekopment:Theories and learning futures. Futuristics, 3(4), pp. 12-33. Browne, T. (2001). Human development theories. Futuristic 25, pp. 50-71. Cicchetti, D., & Toth, S. L. (2009). The past schievements and future promises of developmental psychopathology: the coming of age of a discipline. The Jouranl of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 50(1-2), 16-25. DeVries, R., & Zan, B. (1994). Moral children: Constructing a Constructivist atmosphere in early education. New York, NY: Teachers College Press. Huitt, W., & Hammel, J. (2003). Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Olsen, M., & Hergenhahn, B. (2013). An introduction to theories of learning (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Trevor, B. (2001). Human development theories. Futuristics 25, 1(2), pp. 50-71.