Jean Piaget Essay


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:

  1. What did Einstein say about Piaget’s theory?
  2. How old was Piaget when he published an article on the sighting of an albino sparrow?
  3. What was Piaget’s interested area of study?
  4. Name two other psychologists who studied with Piaget.
  5. Which aspect of Piaget’s theory has been challenged by recent research?

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What did Einstein say about Piaget’s theory?

Though scientific advances have been challenging the basic observations of Piaget’s theory, then fundamental concept of the theory, i.e. children and adults have different thought patterns remains intact. Einstein was really amazed by this simple notion and once he described it as “so simple that only a genius could have thought of it” (Simpson, 2016). This view of Einsteing is in fact really true. What Piaget has done is make his theory simple to understand. He made observations on his own children when he was driving his theory which might provide it a kind of validity among children, though we cannot say that sample of the subjects is enough. Piaget also researched about how children differentiated from adults when they were asked about the concept of time. This gave Einstein a better view of how the general and special theory of relativity would be understood by different age groups.

How old was Piaget when he published an article on the sighting of an albino sparrow?

It is amazing to know that Piaget’s age at the time of publishing the article about Albino was just 11 years. Usually this is an age where children are busy in making peer bonds. When the article was published, it was well received among the literary community and everyone thought it to be written by an expert writer. Jean Piaget was interested in biology and pursued an educational career in it. He did his PHD research on Mollusks and completed his degree in 1918. His interest in biology might have triggered his interest in finding out how the human mind functions which might have led him to start to observe children behavior and finally present a theory in child psychology.

What was Piaget’s interested area of study?

Piaget’s father was a professor in Medieval Literature. This may have played an important role in him choosing a career in the education field. From his early age, he seemed attracted towards learning about natural phenomenon and engaged in scientific research. At first, he was interested in the biology filed and did his PHD in biology. After that, he went to France where he started to work along Binet, whose work on developing intelligence scale for children and adults is widely acclaimed. While working with Binet, Piaget started to take interest in the cognitive development of children. And this led him to develop his theory called Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. The fundamental contribution that Piaget made through his work is that he helped in differentiating the understanding of adult and children cognitive development. Before his theory, there was no clear distinction between them.  This theory helped in understanding why children of different ages would have different understanding of their immediate environment and would be different from Adults.

Name two other psychologists who studied with Piaget.

As earlier mentioned, Piaget studied alongside Binet who is the founder of Binet Intelligence Scale. This is where Piaget had an opportunity to work with school children and try and understand their cognitive development. Piaget’s wife, Valentine Chatenay was also his former student. Another of his renounced student was Bärbel Inhelder with whom Piaget worked uptill Piaget’s death.

Which aspect of Piaget’s theory has been challenged by recent research?

There have been mush criticism of Piaget’s theory over the last few decades and due to new scientific tools and research. One or the criticism is that he did not care for individual differences among children while they develop cognitively. For example children may have different memory spans. Modern cognitive psychologist are of the view that Piaget was not able to distinguish between competence and performance nor was he able to understand the age at which children are able to understand different tasks (Jefferson, 2015).



Jefferson, M. (2015). What aspects of the theory still have value?        major-challenges-to-piaget-s-theory-of-cognitive-development-what-aspects-of-the-   theory-still-have-value.html [Accessed 8 Dec. 2018].

Simpson, J. (2016). Jean Piaget’s Four-Stage Theory: How Children Acquire Knowledge –            PsyBlog. [online] PsyBlog. Available at:      four-stage-theory-how.php [Accessed 8 Dec. 2018].