Cognitive Development Theory by John Piaget_Socatre, Jenny Beth B.


Following his children's development in understanding the world around them, Jean Piaget (1896–1980) created a four-stage model of how the mind processes new information. 

He proposed that children go through four stages, all of which occur in the same order. 

We will become familiar with how human beings develop intellectually through the idea of Piaget's theory.

In this instance, the four stages of cognitive development proposed by biologist and psychologist Gean Piaget are given the most attention. For more information, go directly to the task of the web quest.



Until recently, it was thought that infants lacked the capacity for complex thought or concept formation and remained mentally immature until they started to speak. It is now understood that newborns are interested in exploring their environment and are aware of their surroundings from the moment they are born. Babies start actively learning the moment they are born. They collect, categorize, and analyze the information they are exposed to, using it to hone their perceptual and critical-thinking abilities.

Cognitive development is the process by which a person perceives, thinks, and develops an understanding of his or her environment through the interaction of hereditary and learned elements. Information processing, intelligence, reasoning, language development, and memory are some of the domains of cognitive development.

Piaget's cognitive development theory

French psychologist Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development is the most well-known (1896–1980). In contrast to the behaviorists' laboratory experiments, Piaget's theory was developed over many years through extensive observation of children, including his own, in their natural settings. It was first published in 1952. Despite his interest in children's responses to their surroundings, Piaget advocated for a more active role for them than learning theory suggested. He thought that a child's knowledge was made up of schemas, which are fundamental knowledge chunks that are used to categorize previous experiences and form the foundation for understanding brand-new ones.

Schemas are continually being modified by two complementary processes that Piaget termed assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is process of taking in new information by incorporating it into an existing schema. In other words, people assimilate new experiences by relating them to things they already know. while accommodation is what happens when the schema itself changes to accommodate new knowledge. According to Piaget, cognitive development involves an ongoing attempt to achieve a balance between assimilation and accommodation that he termed equilibration.

 Four distinct, universal stages, each characterized by increasingly sophisticated and abstract levels of thought. These stages always occur in the same order, and each builds on what was learned in the previous stage. They are as follows:

  1. Sensorimotor stage : In this period, which has six sub-stages, intelligence is demonstrated through motor activity without the use of symbols. Knowledge of the world is limited, but developing, because it is based on physical interaction and experiences. Children acquire object permanence at about seven months of age. Physical development allows the child to begin developing new intellectual abilities. Some symbolicabilities are developed at the end of this stage.
  2. Pre-operational stage: In this period, which has two sub stages, intelligence is demonstrated through the use of symbols, language use matures, and memory and imagination are developed, but thinking is done in a non-logical, non-reversible manner. Egocentric thinking predominates.
  3. Concrete operational stage: In this stage, characterized by seven types of conservation, intelligence is demonstrated through logical and systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects. Operational thinking develops . Egocentric thought diminishes.
  4. Formal operational stage: In this stage, intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts. Early in the period there is a return to egocentric thought. Only 35 percent of high school graduates in inderstralized countries obtain formal operations; many people do not think formally during adulthood.


  1. Infancy:  Soon after  born, infants begin learning to use their senses to explore the world around them. Most newborns can focus on and follow moving objects, distinguish the pitch and volume of sound, see all colors and distinguish their hue and brightness, and start anticipating events, such as sucking at the sight of a nipple. By three months old, infants can recognize faces; imitate the facial expressions of others, such as smiling and frowning; and respond to familiar sounds.
  2. At six months of age, babies are just beginning to understand how the world around them works. They imitate sounds, enjoy hearing their own voice, recognize parents, fear strangers, distinguish between animate and inanimate objects, and base distance on the size of an object. They also realize that if they drop an object, they can pick it up again. At four to seven months, babies can recognize their names.
  3. By nine months, infants can imitate gestures and actions, experiment with the physical properties of objects, understand simple words such as "no," and understand that an object still exists even when they cannot see it. They also begin to test parental responses to their behavior, such as throwing food on the floor. They remember the reaction and test the parents again to see if they get the same reaction.
  4. At 12 months of age, babies can follow a fast moving object; can speak two to fours words, including "mama" and "papa"; imitate animal sounds; associate names with objects; develop attachments to objects, such as a toy or blanket; and experience separation when away from their parents. By 18 months of age, babies are able to understand about 10–50 words; identify body parts; feel a sense of ownership by using the word "my" with certain people or objects; and can follow directions that involve two different tasks, such as picking up toys and putting them in a box.
  5. Toddler Hood: From 18 months to three years of age, toddlers have reached the "sensorimotor" stage of Piaget's theory of cognitive development that involves rudimentary thought. For instance, they understand the permanence of objects and people, visually follow the displacement of objects, and begin to use instruments and tools. Toddlers start to strive for more independence, which can present challenges to parents concerned for their Safety they also understand discipline and what behavior is appropriate and inappropriate, and they understand the concepts of words like "please" and "thank you."
  6. Preschool: Preschoolers, ages three to six, should be at the "pre-operational" stage of Piaget's cognitive development theory, meaning they are using their imagery and memory skills. They should be conditioned to learning and memorizing, and their view of the world is normally very self-centered. Preschoolers usually have also developed their social interaction skills, such as playing and cooperating with other children their own age. It is normal for preschoolers to test the limits of their cognitive abilities, and they learn negative concepts and actions, such as talking back to adults, LYING , and bullying. Other cognitive development in preschoolers are developing an increased attention span, learning to read, and developing structured routines, such as doing household chores.
  7. School age: Younger school-age children, six to 12 years old, should be at the "concrete operations" stage of Piaget's cognitive development theory, characterized by the ability to use logical and coherent actions in thinking and solving problems. They understand the concepts of permanence and conservation by learning that volume, weight, and numbers may remain constant despite changes in outward appearance. These children should be able to build on past experiences, using them to explain why some things happen. Their attention span should increase with age, from being able to focus on a task for about 15 minutes at age six to an hour by age nine.

The following are main teaching implications drawn from Piaget as the psychologist and the great biologist

  • A focus on the process of children’s thinking, not just its products.In addition to checking the correctness of children’s answers, teachers must understand the processes children use to get to the answer. Appropriate learning experiences build on children’s current level of cognitive functioning, and only when teachers appreciate children’s methods of arriving at particular conclusions are they in a position to provide such experiences.
  • Recognition of the crucial role of children’s self-initiated, active involvement in learning activities. In a Piaget classroom the presentation of ready-made knowledge is deemphasized, and children are encouraged to discover for themselves through spontaneous interaction with the environment. Therefore, instead of teaching didactically, teachers provide a rich variety of activities that permit children to act directly on the physical world.

To show the intergration of jean peaget theory with curriculum.

  Cognitive theory has major impact on the theory and practice of education . First, the theories focused attention on the idea of developmentally appropriate education an education with environments, curriculum, materials, and instruction that are suitable for students in terms of their physical and cognitive abilities and their social and emotional needs.