Genetic Epistemiology
[Jean Piaget, Genetic Epistemiology]
Jean Piaget

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Jean Piaget and
Genetic Epistemiology


  After working as a lecturer in Philosophy and Psychology Jean Piaget eventually began to concentrate his attention on the development of knowledge in children labelling this area of study Genetic Epistemiology.

  Broadly speaking he identified infants as initially forming basic sensorimotor skills in relation to their physical environment, as this set or schema of basic sensorimotor skills developed it increasingly laid foundations for the development of another set or schema of exploratory skills.

  He gradually built up a theory which included a large number of different skill sets or schemas. Each of these skill sets tended to be open to be attained by children of differing ages as they became adapted to the world around them. Just as there might be held to be a broadly sensorimotor stage of development, (that tended to continue until a child was around two years of age), he also suggested that there might be preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages of development.

The sensorimotor stage

lasting from birth to approximately the age of two. Here the child is concerned with developing motor control and gaining familiarity with physical objects.

The preoperational stage

lasting approximately from ages two to seven. Here the child is preoccupied with developing verbal skills. At this point the child can incresingly put names on objects and starts to reason intuitively.

The concrete operational stage

lasting from ages seven to twelve. Here the child increasingly begins to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers and relationships.

The formal operational stage

lasting from ages twelve to fifteen. In this stage the child increasingly begins to reason logically and systematically.

  Jean Piaget discovered that children of certain ages, as an expression of their creativity, can fall into a credible error because they are not yet fully familiar with the physical world. Perhaps the most celebrated of these creative, half-credible, errors being the notion that such things as trees "make" the wind by waving their branches, or that waves "make" the wind by driving towards the shore. Jean Piaget considered that even in their absolute error children deserved to be fully accepted and appreciated for their creative and half-credible approach to explaining their environment. A heavy handed correction of their understandable error might, meanwhile, might prove to be stunting of future expressions of creativity.

  Jean Piaget considered himself to be more a philosopher than a child psychologist. Epistemiology has long been a recognised area of philosophical studies.


 
Introductory quotations
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Jean Piaget
An outline biography
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William Sheldon
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Carl Gustav Jung
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B.F. Skinner
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Spirituality & the wider world




 
 

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Jean Piaget and
Genetic Epistemiology