Jean Piaget
Intellectual Development
EDUC 4103 10/14/2008
By:Yupin Wong, Rachel Cooper, Julia Welsh, and Breanna Carnes
 Jean Piaget was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, on August 9,
 He was the oldest child of Arthur Piaget, professor of
medieval literature at the University, and of Rebecca Jackson.
 In his early years, he studied about mollusks and he love
 Eventually, Piaget changed his study from mollusks to the
study of philosophy.
Biography Continued…
 After high school, he attended the University of Neuchatel,
where he eventually obtained his Doctorate in Science in
 During university, he had two philosophical essays
published, which were important to the general
orientation of his thinking
 He worked for a year at psychology labs in Zurich and at
Bleuler’s famous psychiatric clinic.
 After a semester at the University of Zurich where he
developed an interest for psychoanalysis, he left
Switzerland for France.
 In 1919, he taught psychology and
philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. Here
he did research intelligence testing.
 In 1921, he became director of studies at
the J.J. Rousseau Institute in Geneva.
 In 1923, he married Valentine Chatenay and
had three children, whose intellectual
development from infancy to language as
studied by Piaget.
 He died in Geneva on September 16, 1980
Piaget’s Key Concepts
 Schema/Scheme: A representation in the mind of a
set of ideas or actions which go together
 Assimilation: The process of taking in information into
our previously existing schemas.
 Accommodation: Involves altering existing ideas or
schemas as a result of new information or new
 Equilibration: A mechanism that assists children in
achieving a balance between assimilation and
Central Tenets of Theory
 Piaget proposed that children’s thinking does not
develop completely smoothly
 Instead there are certain points at which it takes off
and progresses into completely new areas and abilities.
 In his view, early cognitive development involves
processes based upon actions which later progress into
changes in mental operations.
 Piaget’s theory is based on the idea that the
developing child builds cognitive structures
(networked concepts for understanding and
responding to physical experiences within his
or her environment)
 Jean Piaget formulated four stages of
intellectual-cognitive development and the
process by which children progress through
 During all development stages, the child
experiences his or her environment using
what ever mental maps he or she has
consulted so far.
Sensorimotor Stage (Infancy):
 In this periods intelligence is demonstrated through
motor activity, without the use of symbols.
 Knowledge of the world is developing but limited
because of how it is based on physical interactions and
Pre-operational stage (Toddler and Early
 Intelligence is demonstrated through the use of symbols,
language use matures, and memory and imagination are
developed in this period. Egocentric thinking predominates.
Concrete operational stage (Elementary and
early adolescence):
 In this stage intelligence is demonstrated through logical and
systematic manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects.
 Operational thinking develops and egocentric thought
Formal operational stage (Adolescence and
 Intelligence is demonstrated through the logical use of symbols
related to abstract concepts (conceptual reasoning). Early in
the period egocentric thought revisits.
Stages of Cognitive Development Continued
 These stages form what Piaget called an invariant
developmental sequence.
 He believed that children progress through the stages in
exactly the order in which they are listed.
 They cannot skip any of these stages because each succeeding
stage builds on the previous one and correspond to a more
intricate way of thinking.
Applications of Theory in the
 Jean Piaget’s theories are imbedded into the school
system in the sense that the curriculum is based on his
stage theory.
 The curriculum is designed to teach students at the first
stage and progressively teach new learning to change
the schemas in order to move students through each
 The teacher starts at the basics introducing a new sublet
and once the knowledge of that subject is mastered, they
would create a schema.
 To transition to the next stage, or a new learning
method, the teacher would demonstrate how the
student will change, modify or adapt their schema to
the new method in order for new learning to take
 When children enter the school they are generally at
the preoperational stage. Teachers must recognize that
they cannot learn concrete-operational strategies until
the students have mastered the preoperational schemas
 In other words, students must start at the basic first
stage and master it before they can progress well to
higher stages.
Students with exceptionalities
 Students with exceptional needs do not move
through these stages as fast as or much faster than
other students.
 The expatiation for this is the students with special
needs do not develop the same as other students,
they do not adapt to their environment in the same
 Teachers and parents should always s challenge the
child's ablates with out presenting information that is
too far advanced for the student.
Students with exceptionalities
 Some students with special needs need to have the same
processes and information repeated several times and
some fly through it and are left bored.
 These different methods are perfectly fine according to
Piaget’s theories since they are still moving through the
same stages.
 Teachers can cause manipulatives, have this students
work in groups. With educational assistants, take them
on field trips, and other activates to help with the
students learning.
Jane has learned to feed herself with a spoon. When her
mother gives her a fork, she immediately begins to feed
herself. Jane has __________ the fork into her schema for
a) accommodated
2. A schema is a...
a) Category of knowledge that allows us to interpret and
understand the world.
b)Process of taking in new information.
c)Process of balancing old knowledge and new information.
d)None of the above
3. Jean Piaget was a _____________.
a) Child psychologist
b)Developmental psychologist
d) Genetic epistemologist
4. The ability to think abstractly and systematically solve
problems emerges during the ___________.
a) concrete operational stage
b)sensorimotor stage
c) formal operational stage
d)preoperational stage
Work Cited
 ATHERTON J S (2005) Learning and Teaching: Piaget’s
developmental theory
Accessed: 3 Oct. 2008.
 Citation: Huitt, W., & Hummel, J. (2003). Piaget’s theory of
cognitive development. Educational Psychology interactive.
Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University, Retrieved 3 Oct. 2008
from []
 A Brief Biography of Jean Piaget. 26 Nov. 2007. Jean Piaget
Society. Accessed 3 Oct. 2008.
 Shaffer, David R, et al. Developmental Psychology Children and
Adolescence. Canada: Thomas Nelson, 2002.

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