theories of Piaget_s cognitive development

What Is Cognitive Development

– Cognitive development means how knowledge is acquired and developed through successive stages and at various age levels.
– The theory is also called ” genetic epistemology “

The cognitive development theory is primarily based on the development of human intelligence. The central idea of the theory is that children actively construct their very own cognition or knowledge as an end result of their independent explorations.

About Jean Piaget( 1896-1980)

– He Was born in 1896 and died in 1980. He belongs to Switzerland.
– He was a biologist, educationist and psychologist.
– At the age of 10 years he published an article on a bird called “Albion sparrow ” and at the age of 14 years, he started a monograph on animal molluscs.
– At the age of 21, he got a doctorate degree in zoology under the influence of Sigmond friend and bunnet.
– Piaget was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development.

Read Also – Psychosocial theory of development – Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development

Basic Components

There are 3 basic components in Piaget’s theory.

1- Schemas ( building blocks of knowledge )
2- Adaptation process.
that enable the transition from one stage to another stage. ( Assimilation, accommodation and equilibrium )
3- Stage of development.
i- Sensorimotor
ii- Pre-operational
iii- Concrete operational
iv- Formal operational

1- Schemas

The word schema means building blocks of knowledge.
“Schemas” are patterns of behaviour that children exhibit in dealing with objects in space.
It is categories of knowledge that helps us to interpret and understand the world.
In Piaget’s view a schema includes both a category of knowledge and the process of obtaining that knowledge.
Basic mental structure into which the information one receives from the environment is organized.
A schema is stabilized activity organized to gather & interpret information about objects in the world.
Schema meant by ” structure ” during the sensorimotor stage.

Cognitive Development Theories

2- Adaptation Processes

It enables the transition from one stage to another stage. ( Assimilation, accommodation, equilibration )

Cognitive Development Theories


Which is using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation.
Assimilation is the application of previous concepts to new concepts.
Through assimilation, we take in new information or experiences and incorporate them into our existing ideas.

Accommodation ( Adjustment):

Accommodation refers to adjusting the old pattern to account for the new one.
Hence, new activities are added to the infants previously learnt pattern and these are modified to accommodate them.
When the existing schema (knowledge) does not work and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.

Equilibration (Balance):

Piaget says that when the organism fails to handle the new situation with the help of the previously learnt pattern of behaviour, some sort of equilibrium or imbalance is created. However, the individual tries to reduce such inbalance this process of restoring balance is called equilibration.

Cognitive Development Theories

3- Stages of Development

Piaget proposed 4 stages of development which reflect the increasing sophistication of children`s thoughts.
i- Sensorimotor stage ( Birth to age 2)
ii- Pre-operational stage ( From age 2 to 7)
iii- Concrete operational stage ( From age 7 to 11)
iv- Formal operational stage (age 11 to adolescence & adulthood)

i- Sensorimotor Stage

– The period of the sensorimotor stage covers the period of birth until 18 to 24 months.
– During this period, the infants experience the word and gain knowledge through their senses and motor movements.
– The infant learns more about the environment through looking, sucking, grasping and listening.
– The main achievement during this stage is object performance knowledge that an object still exists, even if it is hidden

ii- Pre-operational stages

During the early preoperational period, between 2 and 3 years old, your baby will begin to understand that words and objects are symbols for some thing else. Watch how excited they become when they say “Mommy” and see you melting.

iii- Concrete operational stage

The concrete operational stage usually starts when your child hits 7 years old and lasts till they reach 11.

At this stage, they can go one step further. They understand that there are sub-classes within a group, like yellow and red flowers or animals that fly and animals that swim.

iv- Formal operational stage

The formal operational stage is the fourth and last stage of Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. It starts at approximately age 12 and lasts into adulthood . At this point in development, thinking turns much more sophisticated and advanced. Kids can assume abstract and theoretical ideas and use logic to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Skills such as logical thought, deductive reasoning, and systematic planning additionally emerge during this stage


a- Reflexes ( 0-1) month: During this sub-stage understand the environment through sucking and looking.
b- Primary circular reactions( 1-4 months): This substage involves coordinating sensation and new schemas.
c- Secondary circular reactions( 4-8 months): During this stage, the child will purposefully pick up a toy in order to put it in his or her mouth.
d- Coordination of reactions ( 8- 12 months): At this stage, the child starts to show clearly intentional actions and understanding of some situations.
e- Tertiary circular reactions( 12- 18 months): In this sub-stage, the children are trial-and-error experimentation and try out different sounds or actions.
f- Early representational thought( 18-24 months): During the sub-stage, children begin to develop symbols to represent events or objects in the world.

Object performance:

According to Piaget at the sensorimotor stage of development object performance is children understanding that objects continue to exist even though they cant be heard.

i- Pre-Operational Stage:

– This stage begins around age 2 years, as children start to talk and lasts until approximately age 7 years.
– During this stage, children being to engage in symbolic play and learn to manipulate symbols.

ii- Ego-Centricism:

The stage is marked by ego-centrism. His attitude is “I am, I and you, are you and how can you “.

Animism: During this period the children regard everything to be alive unless it is broken or damaged. He reserves life for animals and plants or animals alone.

iii- Concrete Operational Stage:

The period of concrete operational stage covers the period of age 7 to 11 years.
In this stage of development children are characterised by the development of logical thought.
Children also begin to understand the principle of conservation during this stage.
One of the most important developments in this stage is an understanding of reversibility.
In this stage children are also marked by a decrease in egocentrism.
One of the characteristics of the stage is the ability to focus on many parts of a problem.
During this stage children also have the ability to sequence numbers or weight.

iv- Formal Operational Stage:

– This stage starts from the age of 11 years to adolescence and adulthood period.
– During this stage the child develops the ability of thinking and reason about objects which are beyond the immediate world. Thought the problems are systematically solved.
– In this stage, children learn by mistake.
– During this stage children tend to think very concretely and specifically.
– In this stage children become capable of thinking about abstract and hypothetical ideas.


Researchers have made an amazing contribution to school psychology. One of these was Jean Piaget and his theory of cognitive development. Jean Piaget was a biologist, philosopher, psychologist and educationist who is regarded as one of the most important child development. He was interested in knowledge and how children come to know their world. This was one of the main reasons why he proposed this theory.

However, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is a valuable and helpful guide for the teacher in order to use in the classroom. With the help of this theory, the teacher will be aware to create effective lesson plains.[…]

Psychosocial theory of development – Erikson’s 8 Stages of Development


             Concept and Scope of Education | Agencies of Education

Concept and Scope of Education | Agencies of Education

Concept and Scope of Education | Agencies of Education

Concept of Growth, Development and Maturation

By Biju Samal

Biju Samal, The Author, And Co-Founder Of Wide Education, "wide education" aims to be aware within a strong and positive framework and entertain the world, Hear providing quality content and also entertain You.

Vanessa Lachey: co-founded a workout program “P.volve” Mark Zuckerberg’s 3 Kids: Everything To Know Lori Harvey Brand Collaboration Support By Marjorie Harvey Michael B Jordan Propose Lori Harvey For Public Lori Harvey’s Best Style Moments The Years 2023