Jean Piaget Stage Theory Essay

Jean Piaget was a well-known developmental theorist. He attempted to answer the question “how doe knowledge evolve? ” He was interested in intelligence. Piaget viewed intelligence as the ability to adapt to all aspects of reality. He also believed that within a person’s lifetime, intelligence evolves through a series of qualitatively distinct stages. Jean Piaget believed that all children progress through four distinct stages and in the same order.

The first stage that Piaget believed that children go through is the Sensorimotor stage which lasts from birth to around the age of two. During this stage a child’s behavior is geared more towards sensory or motor effects. A child will also start to realize that an object still exists even though it has disappeared from their sight. The second stage in Piaget’s cognitive theory is the Pre-operational stage which starts around the age of two and ends at the age of six. During this stage children are more egocentric and have trouble seeing things from another person’s point of view.

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The third stage in Piaget’s theory is the Concrete operational stage which lasts from the age of six years to about twelve years of age. During this stage children can begin to understand things from another person’s perspective. They can begin to reason and make sense of things. The fourth stage in the theory is the Formal operational stage begins at the age of twelve and continues through adulthood. During this stage in development children are not as limited to concrete thinking and they can reason abstractly and logically.

Jean Piaget saw that children progressed through three stages that were crucial to children moving from one stage of development to another. These stages are assimilation, accommodation and equilibration (Siegler & Alibali, 2005). Assimilation refers to the way in which people transform incoming information so that it fits their existing was of thinking. For example, you have known your child to be a very sweet and kind child. So one day you see him playing with his friends and snatches a toy from the little boy’s hands.

It may seem out of character because you have never seen him do this before. If you use the process of assimilation, you will dismiss the behavior thinking that he saw someone else doing this same thing and that he does not mean to be impolite. The accommodation stage refers to the ways in which people adapt their thinking to new experiences. According to the text assimilation and accommodation mutually influences each other. One is never present without the other. Accommodation does not just take place in children or adults.

An example of accommodation could be when a child has learned not to like a certain group of people as a child but gets older and has to be around that same group of people in school and finds out that they are not as bad as they were supposed to be. He would have to adjust his way of thinking. Equilibration is the process by which children integrate their many particular pieces of knowledge of the world into a united whole. This process is the keystone of developmental change within Piaget’s system (Siegler & Alibali, 2005).

Equilibration is the force, which moves development along (McLeod, 2009). Piaget saw development as the formation of ever more stable equilibria between the child’s cognitive system and the external world. The characteristic limitation of the sensorimotor stage is thinking only by doing. The limitations of the preoperational stage is the child lack the concept of conservation. The limitations to the concrete operational stage is that operations are only carried out on concrete objects and limited to two characteristics at the same time (Piaget’s Developmental Stages).

Piaget’s Developmental Stages retrieved from castilio.fhsd,’s_develop_stages.htm Siegler, R.S., & Alibali, M.W. (2005). Children’s thinking 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.>Develop