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Jean Piaget’s Theory Of Cognitive Development

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Discuss about the Jean Piaget’s Theory Of Cognitive Development.


Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development states a fact that every individual moves through a procedure of distinct four different stages of cognitive as well as mental development. It mainly depends upon the understanding about how different individuals gain knowledge and focuses upon the concept about how natural intelligence is asquired by children (Demetriou et al., 2016). He also was of the opinion that they take a very important part  in process of learning by the process of making observations and also learning about the world. With their through interaction with r world, they continuously develop new knowledge, enhance their existing knowledge and also link with the  previously held ideas for accommodation of  new information.

Out of the four stages, the main stage that needs to be discussed in relation with the case study is the sensorimotor stage that usually prevail form birth to two years old. Some of the important characteristics of this stage are that the toddler develops knowledge about the world through their movements and sensations (Saxe, 2015). Their basic actions to know the world mainly include sucking, looking, grasping as well as listening. They believe that things alwyas exist even when they are unable to visualize them. They consider them to be separate beings form the people who surrounds them and the objects around them.

The changes that occur during this time involve a dramatic phase of learning and growth where children undertake interaction with the environment which helps them to gain new discoveries learning with working systems of the world. Children develop physical actions like crawling, walking and different aspects of their language form the surrounding people (Bjourklund & Causey, 2017). This language development then continues to even the preoperational stage hat extends from 2 to 7 years. At this stage, they start to learn and dvelop the capability to think symbolically. They also learn to connect words as well as pictures for representation of the objects.

A number of important factors can be identified which had impacted the development of speech and language for the infant if the case study. His mother has stated that he only speaks one or two times and most of the time he is blabbering which means he is trying his best to communicate with the surrounding people. The main cause of his ill development of speech is the lack of spending of proper time with adults which in this case is his mother as well as other family members (Barrouillet, 2015). As his mother is mostly at work, jack is having difficulty in cognitive development as well. Researchers state that toddler infer the communicative intent of the speaker. They then thereby use that information to guide the language learning. They infer from the adult’s excited tone of voice of the adult. Moreover another reason also stated by researchers is that they have seen that verbal environment influences language learning and therefore children form one age to age three from highly verbal professional families hear three times more words than low verbal families which increases the child’s chances of proper speech development. As Jack’s mother used to stay away for work over a large period of time, he had very few chances of active interaction with an adult and therefore he got very few scope of developing the cognitive skill of language development. Many literatures also suggest that frequency affects rate of learning. Children who come to hear unusually high proportion of examples of language form learn the form faster than children who receive ordinary input (Sieglar, 2016). As he spends a good amount of time with budding children, he tends to pick up their words which might not be as appropriate as that of adults. As jack spends a lot of time with small children of his age, he may develop this blabbering habit rather than clear words. His scope to learn new things from the environment is very high and therefore his mother should make sure that his environment is modified in a way which provided him the best scopes to learn speech and language. All these would be stated to the mother of Jack after fixing up of a meeting with her. The nurse should also encourage the mother to spend more time with her son so that he can develop the speech perfectly and allocate a speech therapist if it becomes too late for the issue.


Another important theory which unlike Piaget’s theory (mainly referring to the cognitive development of children) helps to provide light on the psychosocial development of the children is called the Erikson’s theory.  He mainly proposed a psychoanalytic theory of psychosocial development which mainly comprises of eight important stages that range from infancy to adulthood. During each of the stages the person experiences a psychosocial crisis which results in either positive or negative experiences for their personality development (Parkey et al., 2014). Out of the eight stages, the main stage which needs to be discussed in accordance with the case study is the second stage that prevails in individuals from one and half years to that of three years. This stage is called the autonomy versus shame and doubt. With the advancing days, the child develops physically and becomes more mobile. They start to assert their independence by walking away from their mother, picking up toys they like, making choices about what they like to eat or wear. They gradually discover skills and abilities such a putting on clothes, playing with toys, loving their favorite person.  Such skills mainly provide an illustration of the growing sense of autonomy and independence in the children. At this stage children should be allowed by their parents to explore their abilities at the same time developing an encouraging environment for tolerating failures. At this stage, the parents should maintain a delicate balance (Cote, 2014). They should not do everything for the child and at the same time they would not criticize the child for failures and accidents. In these situations, the child should be encouraged as well as supported and guided by the parents in every activity. These would make them independent and be more confident and help him secure their own ability to survive in the world.

It has been seen that Jack’s mother, although concerned about Jack’s developmental of toilet habits, does not have any idea of approach in developing the aid habit among her son. With the growing of Jack over the years, it might have happened that his mother being away from his form such a tender age had impacted him in his psychosocial development. Although, it is true that many children pick up the toileting habits involuntarily by connecting hw wetting of their diapers with the reactions of their parents or try to connect the events of their toileting by their parents taking them to the washroom (Darling-Fisher & Leidy, 2015). Often children gradually learn to connect these options and develop an independence where they can themselves carry on the activities and are parsed by their parents. However no such things have occurred in case of Jack, as his mother have not been knowledgeable enough to infuse such independent in her son which have resulted his son in a confused state of mind. He had not being able to be enough independent. His mother without punishing him, should guide him every time by properly making him understand the activities he should take when he feels any such sensation of toileting. Rather than this, she had left the entire incident on the child and is now tensed and is unable to gain proper ways to overcome this situation. Therefore, the nurse should fix up an education class for the mother where she would be educated about alterations required in her behaviour to make her child responsive. Proper behaviour required by the parents to uptake to influence their sons to develop toileting habits should be provided her verbally and also in the form of easy brochures (Sacco, 2013). These would help her son to overcome the barriers and develop toileting habits successfully.

The theories of Piaget as well as that of Erikson have contributed a lot in understanding the cognitive development stages as well as the psychosocial developmental stages which affect children at a tender age of three. These theories act as framework which helps in judging the capability of any children according to his age and also helps in developing an understanding about how children can develop in a better way if parents work accordingly to the theories. In the case study, a three year child namely Jack has poor toileting habits and poor developmental stages which are making his mother quite tensed. Therefore, the nurse should provide them with correct guidelines so that she can help her son to overcome barriers and develop proper skills and habits.



Barrouillet, P. (2015). Theories of cognitive development: From Piaget to today.

Bjorklund, D. F., & Causey, K. B. (2017). Children's thinking: Cognitive development and individual differences. SAGE Publications.

Côté, J. E. (2014). The dangerous myth of emerging adulthood: An evidence-based critique of a flawed developmental theory. Applied Developmental Science, 18(4), 177-188.

Darling-Fisher, C., & Leidy, N. (2015). The Modified Erikson Psychosocial Stage Inventory.

Demetriou, A., Shayer, M., & Efklides, A. (Eds.). (2016). Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development: Implications and applications for education. Routledge.

Mooney, C. G. (2013). Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget & Vygotsky. Redleaf Press.

Parkay, F. W., Anctil, E. J., & Hass, G. (2014). Curriculum leadership: Readings for developing quality educational programs. Prentice Hall.

Sacco, R. G. (2013). Re-envisaging the eight developmental stages of Erik Erikson: The Fibonacci life-chart method (FLCM). Journal of Educational and Developmental Psychology, 3(1), 140.

Saxe, G. B. (2015). Culture and cognitive development: Studies in mathematical understanding. Psychology Press.

Siegler, R. S. (2016). Continuity and change in the field of cognitive development and in the perspectives of one cognitive developmentalist. Child Development Perspectives, 10(2), 128-133.


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