Jean Piaget Proposed a Step-Wise Sequence of Mental Development During Childhood. Provide an Overview of Piaget’s Core Ideas, Discussing the Evidence for and Against These Ideas.

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Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who dedicated 50 years of his life to exploring the thought processes and cognitive development of children. Throughout his research he developed a step-wise sequence of mental development of children with the first stage beginning at birth and the final stage beginning between 11 and 12 years of age. His theory revolutionised thinking toward cognitive development, however over the years some new evidence has emerged that argues against some of Piaget’s theory (Passer & Smith, 2013). This essay will provide an overview of the principles that are fundamental to Piaget’s theory which he defined as schemas, assimilation and accommodation. It will then briefly describe Piaget’s theory by providing an overview of the four stages of cognitive development which include sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational, before presenting two of the most common criticisms of his theory. Finally the essay will conclude with a brief summary of the points discussed. Prior to the development of his theory, Piaget worked for Albert Binet, a psychologist who was working to test the intelligence of both adults and children. During this time Piaget’s role was to conduct tests on children. His interest in children’s cognitive processes developed when he started to notice that children of similar ages made the same kinds of mistakes on test questions. After in depth research, Piaget developed the stages of cognitive development theory. This revolved around the idea that unlike adults, thinking and mental development of children changes qualitatively with age (Passer & Smith, 2013). In order to understand Piaget’s theory, it is important to understand its fundamental principles. The first, Piaget referred to using the term ‘schema’. This describes the mental framework that individuals use to interact with and
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