Jean and died on September 16th, 1980. His

Jean Piaget is one of the most influential psychologists of all time. He was born on August 9th, 1896, in Neuchatel, Switzerland and died on September 16th, 1980. His legacy on cognitive theory and developmental psychology is still being used in practices today. The 20th-century scholar is known for identifying the four stages of mental development in youths. Due to his illustrious career of research, Jean Piagets influence can be measured on a global scale. The reason why Jean Piaget is my choice is because back in 2006, it was the first time that I found out who he is. My major at the time was Physical Education. As part of the curriculum, I also had a Psychology course which was more directed towards physical activities. His theories are still very relevant to the 21st century because his focus of early cognitive development in children were groundbreaking. Up until his time, people believed that children were simply miniature versions of adults and Piaget proved those theories  to be wrong.
Piaget established that the learning process in children happen in 4 stages. The first stage (0-2 years) is known as the Sensorimotor stage. This is a time where a child senses begin to dictate their actions (Thompson). Sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch are the 5 senses. Children have a natural sense of curiosity and they are very active. Piaget realized that the five senses are stimulated at a high rate during this stage of life. He stressed that this is the way that children up to 2 years comprehend and learn more about their world. Piaget also came up with the term “object permanence” which means that even though an infant sees an object and plays with it, if it is taking away from them, they will not realize that it still exists. The second stage is known as the Preoperational stage. Children from 2 to 7 years can now use language and they have the ability to understand concepts such as counting and they are able to make associations. They like to play with dolls and “pretend” to be things that they are not such as, a princess, a doctor, or football players. Children usually learn to talk around the age of 2 and they learn more and more language from their parents, older siblings, tv shows, friends, etc. Piaget taught that children during this period tend to be very selfish and/or egocentric. They know the difference between  the past, present, and future. However, at this stage they do not recognize the abstract and focus their attention on what they can see and touch rather than what is hypothetical. Piaget’s third stage of child development is called Concrete operational. This stage begins at 7 and lasts until around 11 or 12 years of age. During this phase, a child has the ability to use logic and solve problems but their mental process of learning and making associations still takes place mainly in the present. For instance, at this stage a child is able to add and subtract in simple numbers in mathematics. They will understand that if 7+5 = 12, then that must mean that 12-7 = 5. Jean Piaget considered that some people may stay in this stage for the rest of their lives. However, youth at this age are not as mentally mature. The final stage of child cognitive development is known as the Formal operational stage. At 12 years old and beyond, a child begins to develop adult-like rational thoughts and create moral thinking. They can accurately present their point of view and elaborate during different disputes. Children at this age begin to become more aware  that there can be consequences and repercussions for things that they say or do. Jean Piaget concluded that these four stages of cognitive and linguistic development are customary and that no child has the capability of skipping one of the four steps. Contrary to the popular belief of his time, Piaget argued that children are constantly in the process of changing and/or modifying their behavior. He summarized that as their body grew, their mind grew as well. Each time a child encountered a new experience, they create a brand new understanding of the world. These theories were and still are a major contribution to society because they have been proving to be fairly accurate. Piaget was a very “matte of fact” type of guy, in my estimation. He believed his conclusions and theories had no faults and was no up for discussion.
Even though Piaget has contributed tremendously to Psychology, his theory seems to be superficial. Piaget generalizes the ages of children and the way they pass through each and every stage saying that his theory is the only way one develops cognitive learning. It is known that children, as adults, develop in different ways and speed. There are people who never reach the rational stages. For example, it is very common people that still struggle to type down an essay or send a text message through a cellphone, but the same person presents high levels of understanding and knowledge in another different area.