Jean Piaget was born on 9th August 1896 in Switzerland. His father Arthur was a medieval prose tutor and displayed an obsessive commitment to his lessons. As such, Piaget emulated this trait when he was still young. At ten years, Piaget became fascinated with mollusks that attracted him to the local museum of natural antiquity. While there, he would stare at samplings for a substantial time. Piaget attended Neuchatel Latin High School at eleven years and transcribed a short scientific content on the albino sparrow. As a teenager, his articles on mollusks were already extensively issued. Those who read his works were not aware of his age and thus viewed him as a proficient on the matter (Kohler, 2014).Piaget proceeded to study zoology after high school at the University of Neuchatel. He was awarded his Ph.D. in natural sciences in 1918. On the same year, he undertook research in psychology for one semester at the University of Zurich guided by Paul Eugen and Carl Jung. It was at this time that he developed a more significant attention in psychoanalysis. In the next year, he reviewed abnormal psychology at the Sobornne in Paris (Barrouillet, 2015).
Piaget's progressive work can be depicted to have begun in 1920 when he started working as a team with Theodore Simon at the Alfred Binet Laboratory in Paris. He appraised the results of steady logical examinations that had been deliberated by Simon. The tests were intended to assess the intellect of a child and formulate networks between his or her age and the extent of his errors. When undertaking this evaluation, Piaget developed an interest in matters of the way children learn. He then concluded that the tests were too severe and conducted a revised account where he gave children the opportunity to describe the rationality of their wrong answers. When going through the explanations given by the children, he apprehended that the reasoning capability of children was not faulty. Lack of experiences in some areas by children meant that they rationally employed their imagination. Moreover, Piaget established that certain familiarity should not be associated with understanding or aptitude (Carey, Zaitchik & Bascandziev, 2015).
Piaget's six-decade career in child psychology led him to identify the four mental development stages. The first stage is referred to as sensorimotor that begins from birth to two years. During this stage, the child exhibits certain features that include motor action but without the utilization of symbols (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). As such, they learn everything based on either involvements or trial and error. In this stage, the primary goal is to develop a comprehension of object stability, meaning, being aware that an object still exists despite it not being seen or being hidden (Barrouillet, 2015).
The second developmental stage according to Piaget is preoperational that begins from two to seven years. During this stage, children can think about things metaphorically, and their use of language becomes more mature. Additionally, they develop memory and imagination that gives them an opportunity to comprehend the difference between the past and future. However, it is critical to note that at this stage, children's intellectual is grounded on perception and thus not entirely consistent. They are still not able to comprehend more multifaceted notions such as appraisal and time among others (Kohler, 2014).
Concrete operational is the third stage according to Piaget and runs from seven to eleven years. During this time, children can exhibit coherent and actual reasoning. Their thinking also becomes less egocentric, and they become gradually conscious of peripheral proceedings. Children at this stage also begin to realize that people have unique thoughts and feelings that may not be a part of reality or even shared. Formal operational is the last stage according to Piaget that begins at eleven years onwards. They can utilize symbols related to intellectual theories sensibly (Barrouillet, 2015). Also, they can think about multiple variables in systematic ways and develop hypotheses. They can further ponder on abstract associations and concepts like justice. According to Piaget, the formal operation is the final stage of cognitive development and intellectual development in adults relies on the knowledge accumulation (Carey, Zaitchik & Bascandziev, 2015).
Piaget denoted to his collective philosophies on the development of children as hereditary epistemology. He further depended on the notion of schemas, which is termed as cognitive arrangements and backgrounds through which we comprehend the biosphere to also assist in explaining his developmental theories (Kohler, 2014). Therefore, Piaget is accountable for developing new scientific study fields and has a significant effect on the sections of cognitive philosophy and developmental psychology. It is crucial to note that his concepts were not outside appraisal since some scholars stated that his effort did not consider the sociocultural differences among children. Also, tests proved that not all the adults as depicted by Piaget to have gone through the fourth stage had actually completed it successfully (Barrouillet, 2015).
Piaget received of a collection of honorary degrees and tributes and is the writer of more than fifty books and numerous papers. He had an immense passion for the continuing search of scientific information. Jean Piaget died on 16th September 1980 due to strange reasons in Geneva, Switzerland at eighty-four years (Kohler, 2014).
Barrouillet, P. (2015). Theories of cognitive development: From Piaget to today.
Carey, S., Zaitchik, D., & Bascandziev, I. (2015). Theories of development: In dialog with Jean Piaget. Developmental Review, 38, 36-54.
Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2018). Precis of Beyond modularity: A developmental perspective on cognitive science. In Thinking Developmentally from Constructivism to Neuroconstructivism(pp. 64-94). Routledge.
Kohler, R. (2014). Jean Piaget. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2010). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
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