Back to: Childhood and Growing Up – Unit 5
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development Experiments
Cognitive development refers to the acquisition of thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. The theory of cognitive development was developed by Jean Piaget who is referred to as the father of cognitive development. He was a Swiss psychologist who examined the change in thought processes in children. Jean Piaget asserts,
“Cognitive development is a progressive reorganization of mental processes as a result of biological maturation and environmental experience.”
Strengths of Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
The strengths of Piaget’s cognitive development theory are as follows:
- The theory brings a new and fresh perspective to developmental psychology.
- The theory has brought a change in the way people view a child’s world.
- Piaget’s theory has encouraged more research in cognitive development.
- Piaget’s cognitive development theory has enabled people to get a better understanding of the changes in thinking process.
- Piaget’s theory has promoted a deeper understanding of children particularly in the field of education.
- Piaget’s theory has helped to enhance educational programs as well as instructional strategies for children.
- Communication has been facilitated due to Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.
Weaknesses of Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
The weaknesses of Piaget’s cognitive development theory are as follows:
- The theory faces some issues when it comes to formal operations.
- Many research studies dispute the theory stating that not all children develop from one stage to another.
- Few researchers state that development takes place in a continuous process and not in stages.
- Research shows that environmental factors can influence children’s formal development.
- Many findings state that Piaget’s theory is based on the observation of a few children and not the entire population.
- Piaget’s theory does not take the influence of social and cultural development on development into account.
- As opposed to Piaget’s theory, most research shows that language opportunities in children are facilitated by social interaction.
Piaget’s theory has one set of strengths and weaknesses and over the years, it has certainly sparked further research on the area.