Jean Piaget

This paper revolves around developmental psychologist Jean Piaget and his work.

While swaying from the personal to the professional sides of the Swiss
psychologist, the research touches on key influences that inspired young Piaget
to become such a driven and well respected psychologist. However, the most
extensive part of this paper is the explanation of his cognitive development
theory and how it evolved. The three main pieces to Piaget`s puzzle of cognitive
development that are discussed are schemes, assimilation and accommodation, and
the stages of cognitive growth. In addition to the material on the man and his
theory, there is the most important component of the paper, the ways Piaget and
his work molded the future. Piaget 3 Introduction Now known as one of the
trailblazers of developmental psychology, Jean Piaget initially worked in a wide
range of fields. Early in his career Piaget studied the human biological
processes. These processes intrigued Piaget so much that he began to study the
realm of human knowledge. From this study he was determined to uncover the
secrets of cognitive growth in humans. Jean Piaget`s research on the growth of
the human mind eventually lead to the formation of the cognitive development
theory which consists of three main components: schemes, assimilation and
accommodation, and the stage model. The theory is best known for Piaget`s
construction of the discontinuous stage model which was based on his study of
children and how the processes and products of their minds develop over time.

According to this stage model, there are four levels of cognitive growth:
sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational.

While a substantial amount of psychologists presently choose to adhere to the
constructs of the information processing approach, Piaget`s ground breaking
cognitive development view is still a valuable asset to the branch of
developmental psychology. Whether or not Piaget uncovered any answers to the
mysteries of human knowledge is disputable, but one belief that few dispute is
that Jean Piaget did indeed lay a strong foundation for future developmental
psychologists. Table of Contents Abstract 2 Introduction 3 Historical Background

4 Theoretical Construct 7 Impact on Society 12 Reference List 13 Piaget 4

Historical Background In 1896 the summer in Switzerland was just an ordinary,
uneventful three months. However, during this ordinary and uneventful span of
time, a child was born who would become an extraordinary developmental
psychologist and fulfill the future with ground breaking events in the field of
cognitive psychology. He was the son of an intelligent man and a stern, smart
religious woman, and godchild of respected epistemologist Samuel Cornut. With
such scholarly surroundings, there is little surprise that Jean Piaget developed
into such an intelligent individual. At age eleven, young Piaget wrote a paper
on albino sparrows and got it published. This publishing provided him with the
opportunity to meet a man who would turn out to be very influential, Paul Godet,
the curator at the local museum. Young Piaget also benefited highly from his
prestigious high school in Neuchatel, along with the aforementioned godfather

Samuel Cornut who introduced him to one of the two fields he would grow to love,
epistemology, and most of all Jean Piaget`s parents who not only instilled an
academia home environment but also provided a solid religious background.

Another big moment came in the form of a book. Piaget names Henri Bergson`s L`Evolution

Creatrice as the most influential piece of writing he has ever read in his adult
life. He had this to say about it, reading Bergson was for me a revelation . ..
close to ecstasy, (Cohen, 1983). Piaget 5 From this book Piaget developed a
desire for biology to go along with his existing interest in philosophy,
epistemology to be exact. Piaget stated in his first two books that he had
ambitions of constructing a structure that addressed the basic questions of
epistemology. However, according to Cohen (1983), Piaget`s strong initial
interest in philosophy declined somewhat when he discovered that the
philosophers did not really know any factual answers to questions that have
plagued humanity. Piaget now became equally interested in biology and
epistemology. This dual interest attracted him to psychology, yet he still was
unsure of what direction he should take in his career. It was not until Piaget
traveled to Paris to hear his favorite writer of the time, Bergson, that he
began to get an idea of what he wanted to do. There Piaget met James M. Baldwin
who would motivate him and teach him, the importance of imitation and of
reversible operations, (Cohen, 1983). Both of these qualities would play a
key role in the formation of Piaget`s development theory. However, Piaget`s