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Jean Piaget grew up in a quiet region of French Switzerland His father was a professor and his mother was a Calvinist In 1918 Piaget earned a doctorate in zoology and started studying psychoanalysis In 1920 he moved to Paris to study childrens intelligence He was fascinated with the way a childs mind works He moved back to Switzerland to watch and observe children Piaget did not think of children as being wrong he thought of them as thinking in a different way wwwpathfindercomtime100scientistprofilepiagethtmlPiaget was a constructivist He believed that knowledge was not preformed and it was always being constructed and developed with interaction with reality wwwpathfindercomtime100scientistprofilepiagethtml He also found that a childs logic and ways of thinking are different from adults His research centered around one question how does knowledge grow The way he answered it was the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically embedded structures superseding one another by a process of inclusion of lower less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful ones up to adulthood wwwunigechpiagetbioghtml He called this study of the development of knowledge genetic epistemology He said that everyone no-matter how young or old has skills that help him or her gain knowledge He called these skills schemas wwwshipeducgboereepiagethtml Piaget had four basic stages in his developmental theory First is the sensorimotor stage This stage lasts from birth to about two years old The infant uses his five senses and his motor ability to understand the world and to develop skills or schemas Before the end of this stage the child is able to pretend and has mental representation of objects wwwshipeducgboereepiagethtml Piagets second stage was called the preoperational stage This lasts from about two to seven years old In this stage the child develops the use of symbols For example when a child sees the word dog he or she knows what that word stands for They also develop an understanding of the
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