Honors LOTF Project

By Jorgie Ingram

"The current state of knowledge is a moment in history, changing just as rapidly as the state of knowledge in the past has ever changed and, in many instances, more rapidly."

Piaget - a breakthrough psychologist

Piaget was born and raised in Switzerland, where he grew and developed as a very curious and intelligent person. His parents greatly contributed to his studies and passion for them. HIs mother helped him develop an interest in sciences, and his father, a literature professor, helped develop his passion from a young age.

Jean Piaget's Achievements


- By the time he was a teen, his papers on mollusks were published.

- His readers considered him to be an expert on the topic.

- Received a Ph.D. in 1918 for natural sciences.

- In 1920, he worked in collaboration with Theodore Simon and Alfred Binet, studying abnormal psychology.

- Was the first to identify child brain development, which he called "schema"

- He is responsible for developing whole new theories on cognitive theory and developmental psychology.

- Recipient of Erasmus and Balzan prizes.


As Piaget gathered much of his drive from his family, he also gathered a lot of his studies from his own children. As he watched them grow up, he noticed similar things that happened in their development. He defined these as four different stages.

The Four Stages of Cognitive Development

There are four stages of a child's mind and physical development, which go hand in hand.

The Sensorimotor Stage

This is the first stage, and occurs from birth to two years old. The child develops object permanence and mostly do things for themselves (in the way that their drive is to satisfy their needs.) They don't yet understand that other people have thoughts and feelings as well.

The Preoperational Stage

This is the second stage, and goes from two years to six or seven years. During this stage, the child starts to think symbolically and use words and pictures to represent objects. AT this stage, children can't yet master conservation tasks.

The Concrete Operational Stage

This is the third stage. In this stage, the child begins to think more logically and deduce things more easily. The child really begins to realize that other people have thoughts and feelings, and becomes less egotistical. They have a powerful internal schema (a cognitive framework that helps process information) and are able to reverse thought processes.

The Formal Operational Stage

This is the final stage of cognitive development in children, and it usually finalizes on 12 years old. The child begins to understand abstract and complicated thought processes. They are able to understand and refer to ideas rather than real concepts, like feelings, theories, etc. They begin to develop their own morals as well as ideas.