Write a 13 page essay on Critically evaluate information-processing accounts of cognitive development.
The first major formulation of a developmental psychology was completed by Jean Piaget, who uses a system of schemas to describe the development of the mind from birth to adulthood. He broke this development down into four stages: the sensorimotor, the preoperational, the concrete operational, and the formal operational, each of which is described by a certain set of cognitive processes which are matched with an empirical task that can detect those processes in action (Hestenes). The driving force that makes a person progress within stages, or from one stage to the next, is called “equilibration” or “self-regulation” (Hestenes). In other words, a person finds a way to resolve apparent inconsistencies in the way in which s/he views the world, and this resolution brings progress. Another way to describe this process is defining growth as a “process resulting from the recurrent destabilization of the existing structure by novel and unexpected features of world objects, followed by the subsequent generation of a more powerful structure” (Verillon). This sense of personal agency is crucial in the development of a healthy sense of dualism between self and world, and of the ability to make judgments about the physical and mental world (Russell). The idea of the learner as an active participant, rather than a passive receptacle for information, was revolutionary in educational circles in Piaget’s day, and eld to widespread revisions in the way that children were educated (Nurrenbern). This process is inconsistent in speed and can bring about quite abrupt transformations, in Piaget’s view.

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