Child Psychology: Theories of Development by J. Piaget

Child development has become an issue of concern and relies mainly on the quality of development given to a child by either the parent, or the society. Parents have to take a great role in monitoring and maintaining standards of children. Psychologically, parent involvement in various children’s development aspects is mainly effective in fostering achievement and effective gains at all levels (Oxford R 36).

However, through theories of development involved in concepts and applications by William Crain to a Montessori classroom there are various theorists such as jean Piaget ‘sin the area of development psychology. That is, from 1896 to the year 1980 during the 20th Century. He was mostly concerned in the biological influences and development. Effectively, Jean Piaget was interested in how children think while working in a certain test lab in Paris by the name Binet’s IQ (Taylor 259). Piaget noticed that young children’s answers were qualitatively special than older children. Through applying this into a Montessori classroom, Piaget suggested the qualitative answers that the young children gave were not dumber but instead, they answered the questions in a different way than their older peers, the reason being they think in a different way. Moreover, in a classroom situation Piaget showed that through a quantitative position these young children, as they got older, develop and have more experience, they would particularly get smarter. In addition, this theory shows two major aspects that is; the development of coming to know and the stages we move through as we regularly attain this capability (Smith 259).

In concern to this theorist’s theory applied to a Montessori classroom there is the process of cognitive development in a child psychology where as a biologist, Piaget paid attention in how an organism adapts to its environment. Through adaptation to the environment, this behaviour was prescribed through mental institutions by the name schemes, which the individual uses to present the world and allocate achievement. Effectively, these adaptations are geared by a biological drive to acquire balance in various schemes and the environment.

Jean Piaget hypothesized that infants are born with schemes operating at birth that he named as reflexes (Youniss 375). Appling this concept in other animals, these reflexes control their behaviour throughout their life. Nonetheless, in human beings as the child uses those various reflexes to familiarize to the environment, these reflexes rapidly replace with constructed schemes. Through this rapid adaptation, Piaget described two processes used by various individuals through its effort. These are assimilation and accommodation of which both of these processes are used in life as the person gradually adapts to the environment in a more compound method.

In describing these two processes and relating them to a Montessori classroom, assimilation is the procedure of using or transforming the environment so that it is positioned in cognitive structures. The other process, accommodation in relation to a Montessori classroom, is the procedure of altering cognitive structure in order to recognize something from the environment (Oxford 43).. These two processes relate at the same time and alternatively throughout the life. Application of this in Montessori classroom assimilation is classified in an example when a child uses a sucking scheme that was improved by sucking on a small bottle when attempting to suck on a larger bottle. In comparison, there is also an example that is applied on Montessori classroom concerning accommodation when the child needs to adjust to a sucking scheme improved by sucking a concession to one that would be victorious for sucking on a bottle (Smith 260). However, when schemes turn to become more complicated they are hence termed as structures and as these individual structures turn to become more complex, they are organized from general to specific.

Considering theories of development in child psychology, there are four stages of cognitive development that Jean Piaget identifies. The first one is sensor motor stage; here, intelligence is established through motor action without the use of symbols, information of the world is particularly partial although developing, the reason being that it is based on physical experiences. Moreover, physical development allows the child to start developing new rational abilities. Relatively, some representative abilities are developed at the end of this stage.

The second stage is pre-operational stage where intelligence is demonstrated using symbols, language use matures and memory and imagination are developed, except that this thinking is done in a non-reversible method. The third stage is a concrete operational stage. Here, intelligence is demonstrated through the reasonable and regular treatment of symbols related to existing objects. The fourth and the last one is formal operational stage and here intelligence is demonstrated through the existing use of symbols related to conceptual concepts (Beilen 193). In the beginning of this period, there is a return to insensitive thought. However, William Crain can apply this stage to a Montessori classroom with relation to this theorist Jean Piaget with consideration to theories of development, concepts and applications.

Through applying Piaget theory in a Montessori classroom, many pre-schools and primary programs are modeled, which partly gives part of the foundation for constructivist learning. Relating to child development detection learning and supporting the developing interests of the child are two primary instructional techniques. Through these theories, it is suggested that parents and teachers challenge the child’s abilities, other than non-current material or information that is far much past the child’s level. It is also suggested that teachers use a broad variety of actual experience to help the child learn (Beilen 196).

Effectively, Piaget’s research methods were expressive, while some of his thoughts have been supported through more association and investigational methodologies. Statistics form cross – sectional studies of children and their development seem to support stages of cognitive development. However, information form comparable cross-sectional studies of adolescents do not bear the affirmation that all individuals will time to time move to the next cognitive stage as they biologically mature. This information from adolescent population shows that only a few of high school seniors attain the cognitive development stage of proper operations. Moreover, in formal operations, it shows that maturation develops the foundation other than a special situation necessary for most adolescents and adults to attain this stage (Oxford R 46). All this pertains to Piaget theory and can be applied in Montessori classroom in consideration to child development.

In perspective, there is an overview of Jean Piaget and his theory in relation to application of his theory to a Montessori class where he conducted a program of naturalistic research that has internally affected our understanding of child development. Considerably, Piaget named his common speculative framework as genetic epistemology the reason being that he was mainly interested in how knowledge development in human organisms (Youniss 378). In relation to theories of development, concepts and application by William Crain to a Montessori classroom, Piaget had a background in both biology and philosophy. Both of these disciplines and concepts influenced his theories and research of child development.

However, the concept of cognitive structure is essential to Jean Piaget’s theory applied to a Montessori classroom. Apparently, cognitive structures are patterns of physical or mental accomplishment that underlie specific acts of aptitude and match up to stages of child development. In relation to child development through theories of development in Piaget’s theory, cognitive structure is similar to other constructivist perspectives of learning (Beilen 200).

Through application, Piaget explored the implications of his theory to all aspects of cognition, intelligence and moral development, which can be well applied in a Montessori classroom with concern to child development pertaining to theories of development. Moreover, various Piaget’s experiments paved attention on the development of statistical and logical concepts. Generally, the theory has been applied extensively to teaching practice like here it is applied in child development and in addition curriculum design in elementary education of which Piaget’s ideas have been very influential on various individuals (Oxford R 56). Applying Piaget’s theory has domino effects in particular recommendations for a given stage of cognitive development.

There are various principles that relate to this cognitive development based on Piaget’s theory that can also be applied in Montessori classroom in child’s development. At first children will present different explanations for certainty at different stages of cognitive development. Secondly, cognitive development is facilitated on condition that behaviour or situation are fit into place of learners and require adaptation. The other principle pertaining to this is that learning materials and activities are supposed to involve the suitable level of gear or mental operations for a child of a certain age. In addition, one should avoid asking students to carry out tasks that are clear of their current cognitive capabilities. The last principle involves using teaching methods that aggressively engage students and present challenges (Smith 263).

Jean Piaget was influenced by Montessori’s achievement at the Casadei Bambini, where the main influence was her method that extended very fast. Generally, Piaget a director of the modified Montessori school in Geneva did some of the interpretation for his first book. However, the double reading of genetic constructivism, in addition to more particularly its description of the developmental stages of aptitude and scientific knowledge were the subject of very different readings relating on the type of conception, affirmed or not, that each reader had of culture of which is undisputable the main goal of any education endeavor (Oxford R 56).

Jean Piaget who was then termed as a psychologist has left on indisputable stamp on educational practices where early childhood education is concerned. Piaget, also termed as the educational politician has conclusively contributed to the encouragement of movements for the international coordination of education. He was also termed as the epistemologist, influences the educational task in fields he never thought. We have patent indication of the wealth of theoretical implications and concrete suggestions that his work still offers to educators (Beilen 204).


Beilen, H. (1992). Piaget’s enduring contribution to developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 28, 191-204.

Oxford, R. (1997). Constructivism: shape-shifting, substance, and teacher education applications. Peabody Journal of Education, 72, 35-66.

Smith, L. (1996). With knowledge in mind: novel transformation of the learner or transformation of novel knowledge. Human Development, 39, 257-263.

Taylor, J. (1996). Piagetian perspectives on understanding children’s understanding. Childhood Education, 72, 258-259

Youniss, J. (1995). The skill useful classic concept of development. Human Development, 38, 373-379.