Jean Piaget’s life and work
Jean Piaget is known for his theory of cognitive development, which focuses on the changes he observed in children of various ages. The impact of this theory forever changed education. Answer the following five questions:
- What did Einstein say about Piaget’s theory?
- How old was Piaget when he published an article on the sighting of an albino sparrow?
- What was Piaget’s interested area of study?
- Name two other psychologists who studied with Piaget.
- Which aspect of Piaget’s theory has been challenged by recent research?
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PSYC 201 – Principles of Psychology
Jean Piaget’s life and work
What did Einstein say about Piaget’s theory?
The exact words that were used by Einstein to describe Piaget’s theory were, “so simple only a genius could have thought of it”. Einstein said these words when he came to know about the concept of Piaget that humans at different developmental stages think differently. I am referring to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development which has divided human development to four stages with different thinking logic being utilized. The theory in words seems really simple because it is not hard to understand that humans at different ages would differentiate when it comes to their cognitive levels and logical decision making. Therefore, Einstein was so touched that he said those words to describe the theory. Piaget had to talk to thousands of people of different ages to devise his theory.
How old was Piaget when he published an article on the sighting of an albino sparrow?
Piaget was an influential psychologist and psychologist. He happened to be an intelligent person from an early age. At the age of only 11, when he was a student at Neuchâtel Latin High School, he wrote his first scientific paper on albino sparrow (Vidal, 1994). . Till he reached to teen age, many of his papers were already published. His interest started in biology when he visited the local museum of natural history. He was interested to know about mollusks from that age and onward.
What was Piaget’s interested area of study?
The first area of Piaget interest was natural sciences, especially zoology. He wrote his first short paper about albino sparrow at the age of 11. He went on to study zoology and got a PHD in Zoology from the University of Neuchâtel in 1918. He was a fond of Binet’s work about human intellect and therefore, started to study human intellect as well (Cherry, 2018). He was also interested in knowing about how human beings acquire knowledge about their surroundings. Piaget highly contributed to the field of psychology by proposing theories related to human development. His theory about human cognitive development is one of its kind that opened the doors to understand the cognitive development of children.
Name two other psychologists who studied with Piaget.
While studying at the University of Neuchâtel in 1918, towards his PHD Degree, Piaget got an opportunity to study along Carl Jung and Paul Eugen Bleuler at the University of Zurich for a semester (“Jean Piaget”, 2018). This is where Piaget started to develop an interest in psychology because he was studying along the future great psychologists. Carl Jung was one of the greatest psychologist who proposed his own theory related to the functioning of different levels of the mind. Paul Eugen Bleuler was a famous psychiatrist who has great contributions toward understanding mental illnesses.
Which aspect of Piaget’s theory has been challenged by recent research?
There is no doubt that Piaget’s work has been instrumental towards studying the cognitive development of children. Having said that, later scientific research in the study of human development has challenged Piaget’s theory from time to time. Cognitive theory of child development has four concrete stages. According to Piaget, each stage has to take the exact time that he proposed in his theory. The recent research has questioned this rigidness and proposed that child at the same age might not have the same cognitive development capabilities. Some children might develop in different age range than others. Another criticism that has put on Piaget’s theory is that for cognitive development, you need biological development as well. Piaget seems to have ignore this factor.
Cherry, K. (2018). Jean Piaget’s Life and Contributions to Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/jean-piaget-biography-1896-1980-2795549
Jean Piaget. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/jean-piaget-9439915
Papert, S. (2000). Retrieved from http://www.papert.org/articles/Papertonpiaget.html
Vidal, F. (1994). Piaget before Piaget. Harvard University Press.