Jean Piaget was a Swiss Constructionist psychologist who lived from 1896-1980. His cognitive developmental theory was formed primarily from observing his own children. He believed children learn the most when they interact with their enviornment.

His developmental theory states that children develop at different rates, gradually, and in an orderly fashion.
Here are the stages of development according to Piaget:
-Sensorimotor stage: from birth to age 2. Children experience the world through movement and senses
-Preoperational stage: from ages 2 to 7 (magical thinking predominates. Acquisition of motor skills). Egocentrism begins strongly and then weakens. Children cannot conserve or use logical thinking.
-Concrete operational stage: from ages 7 to 11 (children begin to think logically but are very concrete in their thinking). Children can now conserve and think logically but only with practical aids. They are no longer egocentric.
-Formal operational stage: from age 11-16 and onwards (development of abstract reasoning). Children develop abstract thought and can easily conserve and think logically in their mind.
Critique: Not everyone agrees with Piaget's theory. For example, another famous psychologist, Vygotsky, believed in the influence of culture on development.
To sum up Piaget would be to explain the experiential aspect of learning, that students learn when they are engaged with their enviornment.This occurs through active participation and problem solving, not through rote memorization. Another key facet to remember about Piaget's theory is his belief that development is orderly. Children must "master" one stage before they move on to more advanced development.
Piaget's theories have implications for this class as we examine appropriate ways to infuse technology into our clasroom. As professional educators, we should consider student's level of development as we incorporate interactive technologies.

Professor Anita Miller's Education 520 Class Notes

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