The Concept of Language (Noam Chomsky)
From his research into children's language and thinking, Jean Piaget based his theory on the idea that children do not think like adults. He concluded that through their interactions with their environment, children actively construct their own understanding of the world. He described the sensory-motor period from birth to 2 years as the time when children use action schemas to "assimilate" information about the world.
Jean Piaget's Theory on Child Language Development
Tom Butler-Bowdon psychology classics. The Language and Thought of the Child Jean Piaget In the same way that Alfred Kinsey spent years collecting specimens of and writing about the gall wasp before he launched himself on the study of human sexuality, Jean Piaget was a master of natural-world observation before he turned his mind to human matters. As a child and teenager the wandered the hills, streams and mountains of western Switzerland collecting snails, and later wrote his Doctor's thesis on the mollusks of the Valais mountains. What he learned in these years — to observe first and classify later - set him up well for examining the subject of child thought, which had attracted plenty of theories but not a great deal solid scientific observation of actual children. Entering the field, his main wish was that his conclusions be drawn from the facts, however difficult or paradoxical they seemed.
It is not an exaggeration to say that he revolutionized the study of child language and thought. He was the first to investigate child perception and logic systematically; moreover, he brought to his subject a fresh approach of unusual amplitude and boldness. Instead of listing the deficiencies of child reasoning compared with that of adults, Piaget concentrated on the distinctive characteristics of child thought, on what the child has rather than on what the child lacks. Through this positive approach he demonstrated that the difference between child and adult thinking was qualitative rather than quantitative. It had already been expressed in the words of Rousseau, which Piaget himself quoted, that a child is not a miniature adult and his mind not the mind of an adult on a small scale. This cleavage is a concomitant of the crisis that psychology is undergoing as it develops into a science in the true sense of the word. The crisis stems from the sharp contradiction between the factual material of science and its methodological and theoretical premises, which have long been a subject of dispute between materialistic and idealistic world conceptions.