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Kendra Cherry

Jean Piaget and Cognitive Development

By March 2, 2007

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If you're taking a child development class this term, you will likely spend a great deal of time discussing the cognitive development of children. The foremost cognitive theorist was Jean Piaget, who proposed an idea that may seem obvious today, but it helped revolutionize the way we think about child development. Children are not simply blank slates to be filled with knowledge; they are "little scientists," actively constructing their own theories about the world, testing these theories, and adjusting to new information.

Piaget's conclusion that children think differently than adults had an impact on both psychology and education, inspiring Albert Einstein to describe the discovery as something "so simple that only a genius could have thought of it." You can learn more about Piagetís theory in this article on the stages of cognitive development or put your knowledge to the test in this cognitive development quiz. Good luck!

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