Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory Wafa Nurdin

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Do children perceive, think, and understand the world the way adults do? Jean Piaget asked himself the same question while working at Alfred Binet's laboratory. He noticed that children of the same age tended to give the same wrong answers suggesting that they shared a common way of thinking. He interviewed and observed numerous children over several years and concluded that the child's mind is not a miniature version of the adult's. Through his research, Piaget developed his cognitive development theory. He proposed that all human beings proceed through a series of orderly and predictable stages of cognitive development at about the same age. Moreover, a prior stage must be completed to progress to the next phase and that children proceed from concrete to more abstract thoughts as they grow older. They start from the sensorimotor stage from birth to age 2, then onward to the preoperational stage from 2-7, the concrete operational stage from 7-11, and finally the formal operational stage from adolescence and adulthood until death.

This theory is the most accurate hypothesis in explaining how human beings develop into complete selves because it is what the western education system is based upon. Seeing that intellectuality is valued so much, this theory is used as a guide and a base in which children grow academically throughout life.

The western world has thoroughly embraced Piaget's theory and hypothesis, so much so, that the whole educational system is based upon the stages he outlined for the mind capacity. Having one of the most practical theories, Piaget actually states the potential that a child should have at a certain age. As a child first enters the classroom, his/her senses are bombarded with the numerous stimuli that are around them. From then on, they are expected to grow and to comprehend the...