Education Headline Roundup
This week in education headlines:
- Ohio public education system restructuring can proceed while lawsuits are pending.
- Reading Recovery Council of North America sues Ohio over ban on “three-cueing” approach to literacy acquisition.
- China’s new patriotic education law aims to step up patriotic education in schools, universities, and religious institutions.
Jean Piaget: Theories of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget (1896-1980) was a Swiss developmental psychologist who is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the field of child psychology. He is best known for his theory of cognitive development, which proposes that children progress through four distinct stages as they grow and learn. Piaget’s work has had a profound influence on our understanding of how children think and learn, and his theories are still widely discussed in education, psychology, and child development today.
Piaget’s theory of “genetic epistemology” elaborates upon the idea that children actively construct their own knowledge of the world on top of hereditary cognitive structures. He believed that children learn through two main processes: assimilation and accommodation. (Assimilation is the process of incorporating new information into existing knowledge structures. Accommodation is the process of adjusting existing knowledge structures to fit new information.) Piaget proposed that children progress through four distinct stages of cognitive development:
- Sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2)
- Preoperational stage (ages 2-7)
- Concrete operational stage (ages 7-11)
- Formal operational stage (ages 11 and beyond
Piaget’s work has had a lasting impact on our understanding of child development despite weathering a number of criticisms (including methodological concerns emerging from the fact that his own children served as subjects of his clinical observations!). Piaget’s lasting influence can be observed in constructivist classrooms, approaches to inquiry-based learning, and developmental assessments.
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