Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development states that children are active and motivated learners and they organize what they learn from their experiences into schemes. He said children adapt to their environment through the processes of assimilation and accommodation and that their interaction with the physical environment and with other people is critical for cognitive development. The process of equilibrium promotes increasingly complex forms of thought and that children think in qualitatively distinct ways at different age levels. There are four stages to his theory: Sensorimotor (birth), Preoperational (2 years), Concrete Operations (6-7 years), and Formal Operations (11-12 years).
Development of Theory Piaget pioneered the clinical method, a procedure in which an adult probes a child’s reasoning about a task or problem, tailoring questions in light of what the child has previously said or done in the interview. Through these observations and interviews, Piaget was able to develop a theory of cognitive development of how children and adolescents think and learn. His theory has seven principles:
~Children are active and motivated learners. They have intrinsic motivation.
~Children organize what they learn from their experiences. Their process of learning is a very constructive process: they create (rather than simply absorb) their knowledge about the world. The things that children learn and can do are organized as schemes, groups of similar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment. Children’s schemes are largely behavioral in nature, but over time they become increasingly mental and abstract. Eventually, they integrate schemes into larger systems of mental process called operations.
~Children adapt to their environment through the process of assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation entails responding (either physically or mentally) to a new event in