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Measurement of Cognitive Development

Very few would doubt that the most influential account of cognitive development over the previous century has been that of Piaget and his Genevan school of researchers. Piaget's cognitive developmental theory is an empirical part of his larger philosophical theory of genetic epistemology. Through investigations involving his own children during their infancy and the problem solving of hundreds of thousands of Swiss schoolchildren over six decades, he proposed a hierarchical sequence of four cognitive developmental stages: sensori-motor, pre-operational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages. In the post-Sputnik era, U.S. researchers, in particular, turned to cognitive developmental theory to inform classroom practice and curriculum design. Concerted attempts were made to augment the prevailing psychometric accounts of IQ by investigating the quantification of particular cognitive developmental concepts ...

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