There are two classical theories of cognitive development. The one that I will focus on is Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Jean Piaget, a Swiss, educated, mollusk biologist lived from 1896 to 1980. He hypothesized that learning is a physical, biological function of dealing with successfully with the environment. (Phillips, 1998) This is the basis for his theory. Looking at Piaget’s theory of cognitive development in more detail we find that he based it on two biological tendencies. The two tendencies are organization, and adaption. Organization as Piaget saw it said that humans are designed to organize their observations and experiences into coherent sets of meanings. ( Eggen, 1999) This organization of observation makes the thinking process more efficient. If a person can put the things they observe in some sort of order the easier it is to remember and apply their observations. If we did not organize our observations and experiences we would have little bits of information floating around in our brains with no connection between them. Adaption is according to Piaget’s theory is the tendency to adjust to the environment. Adaption is a process by which we create matches between our original observations and new ones that might not exactly fit together. Our original observations and conceptions are called our schemas. To adapt to new observations and experiences into our schemas we use one of two techniques. We can assimilate that information by putting it together with old schemas or conceptions. If the observations don’t fit nicely into our existing schemas we use the second of the adaption techniques. We accommodate or change our schema to fit our observation. Piaget never said that our schemas had to be right or wrong. Our schemas are based on our own observations and experiences. ( Eggen, 1999) We adapt to things because we are driven by the urge to have things “fit together” or to be in what Piaget calls equil…
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