Theorist Essay

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget was a theorist that looked at children's cognitive development.   He made a study of cognitive development, and this included a theory of cognitive development, detailed observational studies of cognition in children and a series of simple tests to reveal different cognitive abilities.
According to Piaget children are born with a basic mental structure on which all learning and knowledge is based.   He showed that young children think in different ways compared to adults.  
There are three basic components to Piaget's theory, these include:
  1. Schemas – building blocks of knowledge.
  2. Equilibrium, assimilation, accomodation – adaptation processes that enable the transition from one stage to another.
  3. Stages of development – sensroimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational.

Jean Piaget showed interest in how children learnt and how they thought.   He studied children from infants to adolescence. He carried out many investigations using naturalistic observation where he made detailed observation of the child charting their development. He also used clinical interviews and observations of older children who could hold conversations and understand questions.
Piaget believed that children go through four stages of cognitive development and this development changes as the child matures. Each child goes through all four stages of development in the same order but all progress at different rates.   Features of Piaget's theory have been applied to eduacation and learning by later researchers giving the idea that children learn best through doing and actively exploring.   It is said that classroom learning should be child centred and accomplished through active discovery learning.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freuds theory was based on pyschosexual development and how personality develops during childhood.   Freud believed that personality develops through a series of childhood stages in which the pleasure...