Piaget Cognitive Development Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :


Harry James Potter was born in 1980, the son of James and Lily Potter. Both of Harry's parents died when Harry was an infant. The murder of his parents literally left Harry Potter scarred for life: his lightening bolt-shaped scar is one of his most distinguishing physical features. The orphaned Harry was forced to live with distant family relatives who are Muggles, and culturally distinct from Harry. Harry Potter studies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry has developed a process of adaptation, by which he adjusts himself to assimilate to the social environment at Hogwarts.

One of Harry's main cognitive schemas is that he aware that the Dark Lord Voldemort wants to kill him. The schema related to his personal identity and abstract concepts like good and evil evolve, revealing the process of child development throughout Potter's early adolescence. He demonstrates a process of accommodation, by which he takes in new knowledge about the situation with Voldemort and processes that in order to make cognitive choices. Immediately after a crisis, Harry seeks a state of equilibrium, in which he incorporates new knowledge of magical and social skills into his existing schema. He also uses collaborative, as well as individual, methods of learning (McLeod, 2009).

Harry's life
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is chronicled in a series of books by J.K. Rowling. The series captures Harry Potter's stages of development, according to Piaget. The early life of Harry Potter involved him witnessing his parents' death at then hands of Lord Voldemort when Harry was only one. At this time, he also learned how to differentiate himself from objects around him at the crucial sensorimotor stage after he picked up his first wand. When Harry was three years old, he entered the preoperational stage, during which Harry played pretend games involving pretending to kill Voldemort and reciting imaginary spells. During the concrete operational stage, Potter began using logic and abstract thinking. When he was eight years old he understood the difference between himself, the Muggles, and Lord Voldemort. On Harry's 11th birthday, he received the information about his real parentage and heritage as a wizard. The information coincided with the formal operations stage. Harry incorporated the new information into his logical schema, and thereafter made critical decisions using abstract and creative thought as well as sound moral judgment.

Research Paper

Piaget had a tremendous impact on the study of child development, education, cognitive development, and learning. The concept of schemas: including adaptation, assimilation, and accommodation of information into a schema, is a fundamental means of understanding how children construct their realities. However, researchers have critiqued Piaget's research on the grounds of it oversimplifying the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Cherry, K. (n.d.). Background and key concepts of Piaget's theory. Retrieved online:

McLeod, S. (2009). Jean Piaget. Simply Psychology. Retrieved online:

"Stage Theory of Cognitive Development (Piaget)" (n.d.). Learning Theories. Retrieved online:

Sutton-Smith, B. (1966). Piaget on play: A critique. Psychological Review 73(1): 104-110.

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