Jean Piaget

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by sherman957
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Scientific Biographies

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Jean Piaget

Born: 1896 in Neuchâtel, Switzerland Lived through both world wars in neutral SwitzerlandDied: 1980Fields of Expertise: Developmental Psychology and Epistemology Incredibly intelligent: by the age of 15 he had already publish several articles on mollusks, later in life would create the Constructivist theory of education, would expand theory of mental development and identified itís stages.

•Applied mostly in education ◦Children learn best by exploring and finding out things

This theory can be related to other units such as memory and learning. When creating a schema, a child is using encoding. When a child recognizes a feature of a learned schema, it acts as a retrieval cue. Forming a schema is based mostly on explicit and semantic memory, since they are memorizing a series of facts. When a child applies a schema to other things that might fit into it, they generalize the stimuli. Discrimination only occurs when a child is reprimanded for mislabeling something that fits into a schema, they create another different schema, and can then discriminate among different stimuli. The child is rewarded when they correctly identify a schema, they are punished for mislabeling an object, and so they create different schemata

-Founder of the discipline of Genetic Epistemology (the study of the origin of knowledge)Theory states that knowledge is acquired from real life experiences and that such knowledge is more valid to us then that learned but not experienced.-Created The Piaget Theory of Cognitive Development and identified the four stages of cognitive development: The Sensorimotor, Preoperational, and Concrete operational and formal operational stages which detail the development of the human mind and itís ability from infancy where knowledge is acquired through sensory experiences and manipulating objects to deductive reasoning and abstract thinking in the final stage of his theory (formal operational stage). He also established the concept of schemata which are developed throughout the stages of cognitive development.

•Theory solely concerned with children •Schemas are basic building blocks of knowledge ◦Acquires knowledge about subject from parent ◦Disequilibrium is when new information is introduced that does not fit ◦Parent confirms knowledge, schema modified or new schema introduced Assimilation is using an existing schema to deal with new thing •Accommodation is changing an existing schema

Piaget helped disprove the fact that children are just small adults and demonstrated that childhood is a unique and pivotal time for human development. Piaget’s theories are continued to be of use in areas of psychology, sociology, education, and genetics. Piaget’s theory is used widely used in schools to plan out curriculums. Educators use his theory to provide a learning environment for children where the children can “construct their own knowledge and learn from experience”.

1.His Research Methods: •He rarely reported how he selected his subjects and how many participants he examined•He also used children from highly educated upper class population. By doing this, he made it hard for his findings to relate to a larger population. •He also overlooked cultural settings and social group affects.•He also failed to use operational definitions for measurement of child’s emotions, personality, and behavior2.Formal Operations: •Some psychologists believe that stage theories of development are not as valid. •One setback of using stage theories is that it fails to capture an individual’s situation. •Research has argued that a child does not automatically have to move to the next stage. 3.Underestimating Child’s Abilities: •Piaget underestimated children’s knowledge at young ages.

Jean Piaget



Main Ideas


Relationship to Other Units



Theories in Action

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