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This essay shall examine the contribution of Jean Piaget to our understanding of child development Until the mid 1900s psychologists had no useful theory for explaining how childrens minds change as they age Psychologists interested in this field either has to study it in relation to behaviourism which emphasises that children merely receive information from the environment or in relation to the IQ testing approach which emphasises individual differences in childrens development However developmental psychologist Jean Piaget born in Switzerland in 1896 changed the way we think about childrens minds When Piagets theories were introduced psychologists the world over embraced his idea that children actively construct their cognitive world as they go through a series of stages Piagets theory of cognitive development shall bee discussed in this essay in light of its various processes and the four stages of cognitive development - Sensorimotor stage Preoperational stage Concrete Operational stage and Formal Operational stage Piaget believed that children actively construct their cognitive world Schemas are used in order to make sense of what they experience An example of a schema at an early age would be sucking and later more complex schemas might include licking blowing and crawling Piaget had an interest in schemas as they help in organizing and making sense out of current experience Piaget believed that the processes assimilation and accommodation are responsible for how people use and adapt their schemas Assimilation occurs when individuals incorporate new information into existing knowledge Calling the milkman daddy may be an example of assimilation as the child adjusts by perceiving something unfamiliar as familiar Accommodation occurs when individuals adjust their schemas to new information In the above example accommodation is used to balance assimilation when the child adjusts his or her behaviour and the milkman will be called milkman Accommodation and assimilation interplay throughout the lifespan Assimilation gets ahead of accommodation and then accommodation catches up to form temporarily the ideal equilibrium Another important
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