Jean PiagetJean Piaget (August 9, 1896 - September 16, 1980) was a French Swiss developmental psychologist who is most well known for organizing cognitive development into a series of stages.
For example, he outlines four stages of cognitive development:
- Concrete Operational
- Formal Operational
- invariant sequence
- universal (not culturally specific)
- related to cognitive development. but...
- generalizable to other functions
- stages are logically organized wholes
- hierarchical nature of stage sequences (each successive stage incorporates elements of previous stages, but is more differentiated and integrated)
- stages represent qualitative differences inmodes of thinking, not merely quantitative differences
Although some of Piaget's ideas are similar to those of Lev Vygotsky, Piaget was apparently unaware of Vygotsky's work. Originally a marine biologist, with a specialization in the molluscs of Lake Geneva, he embarked on his studies of developmental biology when he observed the way his infant daughters came to grips with and then mastered the world around them.
Piaget's theories of psychological development have proved influential. Among others, the philosopher and social theorist Jürgen Habermas has incorporated them into his work, most notably in The Theory of Communicative Action.
See also: Lawrence Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development