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Theory of Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is all about reasoning and learning, including the development of symbolic thoughts, memory, and problem-solving skills. We know that experiences impact growth and development and that the brain develops through time. A child’s acquisition of knowledge about the outside world is explained by the cognitive development theory put out by developmental psychologist Jean Piaget. Children of school age develop sophisticated mental abilities to help them succeed in school and beyond. The solid cognitive basic skills they acquired as children empower them to study as teenagers and adults. By fostering brain development, you lay a solid basis for academic and general success (Pakpahan & Saragih, 2022). It will conclude with advice on how you may ensure that every child realizes their potential. According to his explanation, interactions with the environment trigger the development process. There are four phases of cognitive development, according to Piaget.

The idea of cognitive development states that children’s intelligence develops as they age. For a child to develop cognitively, they need to build a mental model of the world in addition to acquiring new knowledge. According to Jean, when children develop intellectually, they go through various stages that are impacted by both their environmental variables and innate skills (Mcleod, 2022). A kid typically goes through the sensorimotor stage in the first two years of life. What distinguishes it is the child’s awareness of the contrasts between the environment and themselves. Then, they will use their senses to learn more about their environment and themselves. The second stage is the preoperational stage, which lasts from around two years old until approximately seven (Mcleod, 2022). During this phase, children conceptualize symbolically but do not yet use cognitive processes.

The concrete operational stage is the 3rd stage in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Between the ages of seven and eleven, roughly, is when logical and systematic thinking begins to emerge (Mcleod, 2022). Piaget considered the concrete stage to be a pivotal moment in a child’s cognitive development since it marks the beginning of operational cognition. The child has become old enough to use logical thinking. The formal operational stage begins at twelve and lasts into adulthood. Teenagers who have attained this stage may manipulate ideas in their minds without the need for physical manipulation to think abstractly.

According to Piaget, education ought to be stage-specific since teaching cannot alter the maturation process that determines children’s cognitive development. For instance, a child in the concrete operational stage shouldn’t be taught abstract concepts; instead, they should receive concrete support, such as help numbering pieces. The instructor’s aim should be to provide opportunities for these events by introducing new information and putting the students in settings that challenge their preconceived notions. Children pick up knowledge through adaptation and assimilation processes. This concept argues that children should be allowed to deal with the material and do their research rather than receiving prepackaged information.

Piaget has significantly impacted how educational policies and instructional methods are developed. For instance, the UK government’s evaluation of elementary education was heavily influenced by Piaget’s theory. Additionally, the Plowden Committee agreed to adopt several of Piaget’s concepts after looking at the shortcomings in schooling. Curricular flexibility, learning by experience, the value of play in children’s learning, Individual learning, using the environment, and the necessity of monitoring children’s development are among Jean Piaget’s main ideas (Mcleod, 2022). Piaget’s theories have had a significant impact on developmental psychology. He altered how people thought about children’s worlds and how they were studied.

Piaget is partly responsible for the change in relatively pleasurable and pain-free school days. Children were punished for failing to keep up with what the teacher taught them. Later, Piaget came up with the idea that children should be allowed to do their experiments and research (Peng, & Kievit, 2020). According to Piaget, teachers should only be concerned with providing the essential material and guidance for these experiments. He argues that the moment a child is taught something, he is prevented from inventing it by himself. Since Piaget’s theory is built on stages and biological growth, the concept of readiness is essential (Peng, & Kievit, 2020). Depending on the preparation, some material should be taught at certain times. According to Piaget’s theory, some subjects should not be taught to kids until the right developmental stage.

In conclusion, Piaget’s research changed how parents, teachers, and anybody else who works with kids view how kids respond to their environment. Piaget’s work, in particular, had a tremendous impact on how education was imparted in schools. We might involve children in mathematical games and activities from an early age if we want them to be strong at math and science. Perhaps most significantly, we no longer view brains as empty organs that must be filled with information but rather as flexible structures that continue to evolve until early adulthood. Later studies have also demonstrated that Jean Piaget’s ideas, particularly concerning early development, applied to kids from diverse regions. Despite criticism of parts of his techniques and research, Jean Piaget’s work established a pattern in studying kids’ behavior in their development and environment.


Pakpahan, F. H., & Saragih, M. (2022). Theory Of Cognitive Development By Jean Piaget. Journal of Applied Linguistics2(2), 55-60.

Robson, S. (2019). Theories of cognitive development: Learning to think and thinking to learn. Developing Thinking and Understanding in Young Children (pp. 19-49). Routledge.

Mcleod, S. (2022). Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development: Background and Key Concepts of Piaget’s Theory. Simply Psychology.

Peng, P., & Kievit, R. A. (2020). The development of academic achievement and cognitive abilities: A bidirectional perspective. Child Development Perspectives14(1), 15-20.


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