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Cognitive Theories of Development


Learning Objectives

In this lesson, you will learn to:

  • Describe what cognitive theory is
  • Identify the key concepts of Piaget's theory
  • Describe the stages of Piaget's theory of cognitive development

What is Cognitive Theory?

Cognitive theory is concerned with the development of a person's thought processes. It also looks at how these thought processes influence how we understand and interact with the world. The foremost cognitive thinker was Jean Piaget, who proposed an idea that seems obvious now, but helped revolutionize how we think about child development: Children think differently than adults.

Piaget then proposed a theory of cognitive development to account for the steps and sequence of children's intellectual development.

Your Task: Follow the links below to learn more about Piaget's stages of cognitive development.

As your read through the materials in this lesson, take note of some of the major milestones that happen at each stage of development. How does a child's thinking differ from the previous stage?

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