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Piaget and Developmental Learning

Jean Piaget, trained as a biologist, achieved recognition as a child psychologist studying the. development of intelligence. He spent thousands of-hours observing children at play and questioning them about their actions and . feelings. He did not develop a comprehensive theory of socialization but concentrated on how children learn to talk, to think, to reason, and eventually to form moral judgments. Piaget believes that children think differently from adults and that humans are biologically programmed to move toward rational, logical thought through a predictable series of developmental stages. By "developmental" stages, Wemean that the learnings of one stage are necessary-to move on to the next stage. Just as the small child must learn to walk before- it can 'learn to run,it must learn Obedience to external rules before it can. develop self-control based on moral values small child can learn literal rules ("Wash you .hands before eating!" "Don't pull kitty's .'tam:.') but. cannot grasp the purposes behind "them. "Bad" is measured by effect not by intent thus, to break an other's toy intentions no-worse than to break it accidentally. At about 7 or 8, the-child begins, to see  subleased on practicality, mutual respect, arid justice, Thar the child gradually replaces a morality based on obedience to external authority and fear or punishment control based on cooperation and consideration. Not all complete these sings, some remaining at a childlike moral behavior throughout their lives 1932, 1951, 1965; Piaget and Inhelder, ) Many, but not all, of Piaget's hypotheses have been confirmed by the research studies they stimulated [Kohlberg,.1964~ p. 399], and he is today One of the most frequently cited child psychologists, There are other "life stage" systems [Sheehy, 1976; Hareven, 1978; Levinson, 1979], but they focus more upon role traditions than upon Socialization.

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