PIAGET'S THEORY: KEY CONCEPTS (Process of Adaptation (Piaget regarded…
PIAGET'S THEORY: KEY CONCEPTS
Piaget developed a four-stage model of cognitive development, as follows:
Sensori-motor stage (0-2 years),
Pre-operational stage (2-7 years)
Concrete operational stage (7-12 years)
Formal operations stage (12+ years)
Cognitive, emotional and behavioural development is an ongoing process
Changes over life time occur as a result of inherited factors/life experiences
What happens in childhood helps shape who we become as adults
Invariants and Structures
He said that in order to learn and adapt throughout all of the stages, children would have to interact with the world and construct knowledge about their world. humans need to adapt their environment and actively seek knowledge by using mental representations.
- Structures that stay the same throughout development process, which assist in the discovery and understanding of knowledge. This refers to the process of adaptation and equilibrium.
- Structures that change and develop as knowledge is discovered. This includes schemas and operations.
Process of Adaptation
- children are born with innate schemas (organised knowledge to help guide action, often described as 'mental models' of the world), such as the sucking schema. These schemas provide the basis fro responses to objects and events, and are changed by experience; through assimilation and accommodation they develop into more complex schemas. The first schema a child develops is a body schema to help distinguish between themselves and other people/objects, and to aid their future learning.
- When a child is able to respond effectively to an aspect of their environment, the cognitive system is in equilibrium (a constant, stable internal state). Information that challenges our schemas throws us into a state of disequilibrium, which is the driving force for adaptation; we use accommodation to adapt our schemas and return to equilibrium.
- the process by which the child changes its schemas, and therefore behaviour, to cope with the environment; a child's understanding of the world is thought to change whenever they experience something for the first time.
- taking in new information or experiences and understanding these by fitting them into an existing schema
- a way of adapting to the environment through the process of modifying an existing schema to fit new information or new experiences
Piaget regarded assimilation and accommodation as usually occurring simultaneously - there's a continuous process of dealing with new experiences and at the same time adapting existing cognitive structures because of these experiences. Piaget believed that psychological development was the result of both inbuilt processes (nature) and experiences (nurture). He said that we have two sets of inherited characteristics that play a part in development
- He believed that humans posses important general inherited ways of thinking (cognitive processes) that enable children eventually to develop a sophisticated understanding of their world.
- According to Piaget, new-borns have primitive reflexes which are part of their specific biological inheritance and are the starting point for interacting with the world.