Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development includes discussion of cognitive schemas, or mental representations. As infants, we are born with certain innate schemas, such as crying and sucking. As we encounter things in our environment, we develop additional schemas, such as babbling, crawling, etc. Infants quickly develop a schema for their caretaker(s). Schemas are the building blocks for knowledge acquisition . Using this analogy, the building blocks increase in number as we learn new information. For example, a child learns how to write his/her name, thus adding a schema. The organization of the building blocks also become more complex as the brain matures and new knowledge is gained. A child who knows how to write his/her name also learns how to write additional words. Piaget describes the concepts of assimilation and accommodation to explain how schemas develop. Assimilation involves encountering something in the environment that fits into an already existing...
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Wolfolk, A. (2007). Educational psychology (10th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
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Kibler, J. (2011). Cognitive Schemas. In: Goldstein, S., Naglieri, J.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79061-9_608
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