Introducing the Basics

Jean Piaget

How do children learn by action?

Although other forms of information may be important, Piaget believed the initial and fundamental way that children learn about the world is through action. Through action, children explore and encounter their environment. The memories of these encounters are encoded in their minds as knowledge. These memories then shape their interpretation of later experiences, which in turn modifies their knowledge about the world. For example a child is given a rattle. By chance the child shakes it and it makes noise. Interested, the child shakes it again. Later, another rattle is produced, which the child immediately shakes, now having a rudimentary concept of rattles as something to shake.


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