Jean Piaget’s theory and his contribution to education

Jean Piaget’s theory says that while teachers and parents are important in the learning process, who really should be the main piece is clearly the learner.

Jean Piaget is perhaps one of the most important epistemologists in the study of childhood and the generation of knowledge, with an approach that places the learner as the key player in the learning process.

This approach is called constructivist and is an important part of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.

Knowing a little more about Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development

Jean Piaget’s theory, also known as cognitive development theory, shows that one of its main bases is that children have a way of seeing the world that is quite different from that of adults and, therefore, knowledge processes should be different from those in use at the time.

Piaget’s theory in education ensures that little by little children build a way of understanding the world in which they find themselves and that when they face their environment they find some differences between what they had built and reality.

What are the stages or stages of Jean Piaget’s theory?

Let’s learn a little more about Piaget’s theory and its stages or stages.

The first thing we should know is that there are 4 of them and that they differ according to the age that the infant, child or young person may have.

The stages of Piaget’s cognitive theory are: sensory-motor stage, pre-operational, concrete operations and formal operations stage.

Sensori-motor stage

The sensory-motor stage is the one that is considered in children who do not exceed two years of age, the way to learn and discover new things for children at this age is simply through manipulating objects and having different types of experiences with their senses.

The stage considers the birth of the child, until the moment in which they can understand a little better what we say to them and what they have around them.


What does the child achieve in this stage? Understand that different events take place in the world and that there are also objects that are part of its life.

A very interesting feature of Piaget’s theory of child development is that it was shown (by different studies) that at 8 months the little ones begin to understand that objects remain in places despite being hidden under something (this is achieved by doing the toy and blanket test).

This stage can also be separated into 6 more stages that continue depending on the child’s age, at each stage we will notice the differences in children’s intelligence and in their way of seeing the world, they are really interesting studies and worth reading and understand better.

Preoperational stage

We continue to learn a little about Piaget’s theory and education and we are now going to better understand the second stage, the pre-operational stage, which includes children between the ages of 2 and 7 years.

At this stage, children take the experiences of the world around them and little by little they adapt their minds to reach the next stage where they begin to think logically.

little ones playing

It is a stage in which you will notice that children remain focused on one activity at a time and that it is difficult for them to change or focus on another activity.

Another quite remarkable characteristic of the stage is that the child will hardly be able to put himself in the point of view of another person who is not the same, this is known as egocentrism.

Do not worry either if in the first years of the stage children do not share their toys and games with other children, it is something normal according to Piaget’s theory in education and is part of the growth of children.

Concrete operations stage

We are going to know some of the most important things about the third stage of Piaget’s theory of constructivism that should usually be found between 7 and 11 years of age.

At this stage we will be able to notice how children already have a more logical thinking and that little by little, over the years, they will show greater and greater logical abilities in their way of thinking.


Already at this stage the child puts aside a little self-centeredness and begins to feel what others feel, think a little more from the point of view of other people and have a greater facility to understand what others may feel or think.

It is a very interesting stage also because children no longer say everything they think, they begin to keep some of their opinions to themselves, understanding that not all of us always say what we have in mind.

Within Piaget’s theory stages in this a truly great change is demonstrated, for example, children already have the abilities to solve problems and to make more understandable critical evaluations.

Formal Operations Stage

The formal operations stage goes from the age of 11 onwards according to Piaget’s stage theory.

At this time, children will be much more logical and will better understand the problems and situations of everyday life. Even Piaget said that at this stage children can already think scientifically about solutions to problems in the world.


Clearly, here we enter into Piaget’s theory in adolescence, a quite different stage for children and young people in which abstract thought is greater and reasoning is much more.

Be very careful with the way in which Piaget’s theory and its stages are understood and it is that according to the Swiss psychologist, a child in the second stage does not know much more than the child in the first stage, he simply changes his way of seeing the world. world and adapts to this new way of thinking.

This is very interesting and very important to fully understand what Jean Piaget’s theory means, his stages and everything related to it.

If you reached this article, you may also be interested in knowing everything related to critical pedagogy and you can apply its concepts in the home education process with your children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *