1 Piaget’s Developmental Stages & Constructivist Theory EDUC 613Brittany Monfette & Kim Hamilton
2 Jean Piaget ( )Jean Piaget was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on August 9, He died in Geneva on September 16, 1980.He obtained a Ph.D. in natural sciences at the University of Neuchâtel.At the University of Zürich, he developed an interest for psychoanalysis.Piaget used his own three children to analyze their intellectual development from infancy to language.The goal of his research in developmental psychology and genetic epistemology was “How does knowledge grow?” “His answer is that 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. Therefore, children's logic and modes of thinking are initially entirely different from those of adults” Jean Piaget Society-Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development (2007). A Brief Biography of Jean Piaget.Retrieved from: .
3 Piaget’s Cognitive Stages of Development & Constructive Learning Theory Piaget’s theory of cognitive development describes a child’s ability to learn at different ages in childhood based on logical development.Piaget believes that the four main periods of development occur during the evolution of a child’s mind. The four stages are: Sensorimotor Stage, Pre-operational Stage, Concrete Operational Stage, Concrete Operational Stage and the Formal Operational Stage.Piaget’s main focus of constructivism focuses on how the individual constructs knowledge. Piaget proposes that humans cannot be given information that can be instantly understood. They need to construct their own knowledge.Piaget states that “the development of a person’s intelligence is forged through adaptation and organization” (Ultanir, (2012), p.202). Adaptation is the process of accommodation and assimilation. Accommodation is when a child has to change their schema to “accommodate” new information or knowledge and assimilation occurs when a child brings new knowledge to their own schema. This adjustment process occurs when a child is processing new information to fit into an existing memory.Recognizing that this process occurs within each individual student at a different rate helps teachers to facilitate learning.Ultanir. E. (July 2012). An epistemological glance at the constructivist approach: Constructivist learning in Dewey, Piaget, and Montessori. International Journal of Instruction 5(2),
4 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Sensorimotor StageAges 0-2ClassroomApplicationChild demonstrates:SuckingGraspingUsing simple reflexesDevelop meaning through their sensesProvide:Physical movement activities involving songs, chantsA sensory table that contain such as water, rice, beans, sandReading and talking about storiesOpportunities to classify objects according to their attributes-discovering likes and differences
5 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Preoperational StageAges 2-6ClassroomApplicationChild demonstrates:Using numbers to represent quantity.Using simple words to represent real objects and people.Concrete thinking, not yet logicalTeachers provide:Counting and organizing objects with similar attributesActivities that introduce letters of the alphabet- sounds-wordsRole playing activities
6 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Concrete Operational StageAges 7-11ClassroomApplicationChild demonstrates:Logical thinkingRecognition of other’s view pointsMoving towards abstract thinkingTeachers provide:Focus on the process of thinking and students explain how they come to an answerInteractions in environment to gain meaningOpen-ended questionsStories that compare similarities to their own livesVisual aidsSimple science experiments
7 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Formal Operational StageAges 11-AdultClassroomApplicationChild demonstrates:Highest level of thinkingAbstract thoughtCombining and classifying objects in more sophisticated waysHigher order reasoningManipulation of ideas in their headTeachers provide:More sophisticated visual aids such as graphs and chartsOpen ended problems to allow for student explanationCooperative learning experiences where students listen and solve problemsTime to discuss social issuesMorrow,L.M.(2009). Literacy Development in the Early Years. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.Cohen, L., Kim, Y.M. (Fen/Mar, 1999). Piaget’s equilibrium theory and the young gifted child: A balancing act. Roeper Review. (21)3,
8 Stages of Development Videos Sensorimotor period (0-2)Preoperational period (2-7)Concrete operational (7 – 11)Formal Operational (11-adult)
9 Cognitive Constructivism “ Cognitive Constructivism is a learning or meaning making theory that offers an explanation of the nature of knowledge and how human beings learn” (Ultanir,2012,p.195).
10 Cognitive Constructivism What it looks like in the classroom.What it does NOT look like in the classroom.Student centered.Student is a “thinker.”Builds on learner’s background knowledge and previous experience.Teacher is the co-explorer.Teachers encourage learners to formulate their own questions based on their own ideas and opinions to draw conclusions.It is “knowing” as a process.Knowledge is constructed.Teacher centered.Knowledge as a product.Skills in isolation.Morrow,L.M.(2009). Literacy Development in the Early Years. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.
11 ReferencesCohen, L., Kim, Y.M. (Fen/Mar, 1999). Piaget’s equilibrium theory and the young gifted child: A balancing act. Roeper Review. (21)3,Morrow,L.M.(2009). Literacy Development in the Early Years. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.Ultanir. E. (July 2012). An epistemological glance at the constructivist approach: Constructivist learning in Dewey, Piaget, and Montessori. International Journal of Instruction 5(2),