Research on the Cognitive & Moral Development Theories of Jean Piaget & Lawrence Kohlberg

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Running head: PIAGET & KOHLBERG

RESEARCH ON THE COGNITIVE & MORAL DEVELOPMENT THEORIES OF JEAN PIAGET & LAWRENCE KOHLBERG

DONNA O. O 'CONNOR

INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF THE CARIBBEAN

ABSTRACT

The intention of this paper is to provide an overview of the psychological theories of Jean Piaget and Lawrence Kohlberg. While Piaget 's perspective was psychological, Kholberg 's viewpoint was psychological with emphasis placed on moral development and both theories will be compared and contrasted in this paper. Furthermore, the implications of these theories for counselling will be examined.

RESEARCH ON THE COGNITIVE & MORAL DEVELOPMENT THEORIES OF JEAN PIAGET & LAWRENCE KOHLBERG

JEAN PIAGET

Jean Piaget, Swiss biologist, philosopher, and
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Humans also have a biological drive to obtain balance or equilibrium between the schemes and the environment and this is what drives the adaptation. Infants are born with schema operating at birth, which are called "reflexes," which are used to adapt to the environment. These reflexes are soon replaced with constructed schemata, which are used throughout life as the person adapts to the environment.

Piaget 's first stage is the sensorimotor stage, which lasts from birth to about two years. Intelligence at this point is based on physical and motor activity without the use of symbols. Hence the child uses mobility, crawling, and walking to facilitate knowledge. The child 's progress is visible through the modification of reflexes in response to the environment. It is at this stage that the child learns object permanence, understanding that objects continue to exist even though they cannot be seen. The end of the stage is manifested in the immature use of symbols and language development that signals the transition to the second stage (Morris and Maisto, 2008).

The preoperational stage is the second stage and lasts from age two to about age seven. Intelligence is demonstrated at this stage through the use of symbols, particularly the development of language. Memory and imagination are developed and children are able to mentally represent objects and
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