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Chapter: Psychology: Development

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Beyond Piaget

Piaget’s theories have shaped the ways in which psychologists, educators, and even parents conceptualize children’s intellectual growth.

BEYOND PIAGET

 

Piaget’s theories have shaped the ways in which psychologists, educators, and even parents conceptualize children’s intellectual growth. The striking phenomena Piaget discovered seem to provide key insights into children’s intellectual capacities and limitations. At the same time, though, Piaget’s claims have not gone unchallenged. In particular, recent evidence has shown that Piaget underestimated the intellectual capacities of infants. Their minds, it turns out, are not a mere jumble of sensory impressions and motor reactions. Instead, infants seem to have rudimentary concepts of objects, numbers, and even other minds, and they use these concepts to organize their experience. In this way, the infant’s world may resemble an adult’s far more than Piaget realized.

 

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