Jean Piaget
  • Organization – ongoing process of arranging information and experience into mental systems or categories
  • Schemes – mental systems of categories and experiences
  • Adaptation – adjustment to the environment
  • Equilibration – search for mental balance between cognitive schemes and information from the environment
  • Operations – actions a person carries out by thinking them through instead of literally performing the actions
  • Four stages of cognitive development
    • Sensorimotor – 0-2 years – involves the senses and motor activity
    • Preoperational – 2-7 years – stage before a child masters logical mental operations
    • Concrete operational – 7-11 years – mental tasks tied to concrete objects and situations
    • Formal operational – 11-adult – mental tasks involving abstract thinking and coordination of a number of variables


  • Goal of education should be to help children learn how to learn
  • Importance of developmentally appropriate education
  • Individuals construct their own understandings
  • Value of play