Interaction of a Child with His Environment

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Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory (Focus: Interaction of a Child with his Environment) This essay is aimed at discussing Piaget’s theory of cognitive development with the main focus on how interactions of a child with its environment affect its cognitive development. There will be a brief introduction of the man Piaget, his career, and what led him to psychology of human development. The theory, the stages of developments and the concepts of the theory will be discussed. The theory will be compared with the view of his early years contemporary, Vygotsky. I will discuss how knowledge is acquired through the interaction of the child with its environment in detail and its implication on education. Criticism of this theory will be discussed and I will draw the conclusion. According to George Boeree in his “Personality Review” (Boeree, 2006), Jean Piaget was born in Switzerland in 1896, (Wadsworth, 1996) studied malacology (the branch of zoology that involves the study of molluscs) in the University of Neuchatel. His experience cut across working in psychology laboratory and a psychiatric clinic. And he also worked as a psychology and philosophy lecturer where he conducted a research on intelligence testing. This led him to ask the question “how does a child reasoned”, he plan to discover and explain the normal course of development and consequently became genetic epistemologist (somebody that studies the development of knowledge). From Piaget’s research, he found out that a child is an active constructor of his or her own knowledge in relation to his or her own environment. He postulated that “the child is a scientist; an explorer, an acquirer; he or she is the critically instrumental in constructing and organizing the world and his or her own development” (Wadsworth, 1996). His concerned is about how we acquire the concept of time, space, causality and
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