Cognitive development is one of the facets of human development, and it refers to the human intellectual growth and development. Basically, it describes all the activities that entail brain processes. Jean Piaget developed one of the most widely accepted theories of cognitive development. In his theory, he proposes that biological elements play a huge role in growth and development of a child child physical and cognitive ability. According to Jean, intelligence is exhibited by the level of interaction between an organism and its surroundings. Jean named this interaction as mental adaptation and proposed that it is controlled by balances between the structures in the immediate environment and the mental organization.
Jean indicates that every individual is born with reflexes that enable them to interact with their surroundings. In the stages of growth and development, these reflexes are replaced by constructive mental schemes that not only enable humans to interact with their environment but also to fully adapt to the prevailing conditions. Knowledge is described as a continuous activity of self construction as individual interacts with the environment (Lutz and Huitt 2-3).
The lifespan theory not only proposes that biological aspects are important in the human development but also that cultural factors are equally relevant. Lifespan theory does not define human development in concurrence to aging, but the two terms are used synonymously. The theory investigates the gains, that result from development and losses, which result from aging as an organism goes through the different phases of growth and development. Development is viewed as gain-loss process, where at the early age and through interaction with other organism and environment, human learn how to adapt and support the basic level of functioning (Mosher, Deborah, Day. 1-3).
Mosher Ralph, Deborah J. Youngman, James M. Day. Human Development Across the Life Span: Educational and Psychological Applications. IAP, 2006. Print. Retrieved on 1 Dec 2013 from,
Lutz, Stacey T and William G Huitt. “Connecting Cognitive Development and Constructivism Implications from Theory for Instruction and Assessment.” Cognitive Development (2004): 1-17. Retrieved on 1 Dec 2013 from,