Children's egocentrism 
in Jean Piaget's 
Cognitive-Developmental Theory 


Dear parents:

     Do you have ever discovered that your children at 2-7 year of age have the feature such as egocentric and thoughtless?  Are they always selfish to fulfill their own desire but forget someone else feeling?  Therefore, we focus on why children appeared the feature at that stage and give some introduction in a broad sense.

     There is an educator who named Jean Piaget; he had a great contribution in how to educate children.  Perhaps through our introduction you’ll have some ideas to make better choices and know how to guide your children better.


     您有發現您家中2~7歲的孩子有自我中心,不會為他人著想的特徵嗎? 他們是否只知道一味的滿足自己的需求而忘了理會別人的感受呢? 在此我們要針對為何孩童會有此特徵做出概略的介紹。   有個教育家叫做皮亞傑,他對於如何教育孩子有著頗大的貢獻,也許經由我們的介紹,您會有一些想法能為如何引導您的孩子做出更好的決定。

~ Brief introduction to Jean Piaget ~

Jean Piaget was born in 1896 in Switzerland.  Because his special background, he feel a great interest in analyzing spirit and psychology.

He worked in elementary school, then started to research the psychology and cognitive of children, besides, he put emphasis on discussion that how to increase the intelligence and get knowledge all his life.

Jean Piaget advocate “development” is kind of result through mutual effect between internal and external.

~ 皮亞傑生平簡介 ~




Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory

The Period of Preoperational Thought

       Piaget brought up cognitive development theory, he divided it into four periods: Sensor-motor intelligence, Preoperational thought, concrete operations, and Formal operations.


Children by the age of seven couldn’t image subject by dream up, they must contact in-kind subject to receive the experience. 

Jean Piaget advocates that students acquire knowledge that almost comes from spontaneous learning and heurists’ process.  Thus, he uses the feature of active learning to design creative courses in teaching, and inspire the potential of active learning of children. 

He also insists that we should give appropriate teaching to match children’s development in each stage, and let students love to learn.

~ 皮亞傑認知發展理論運思前期 ~



~ Why are children egocentric? ~

        Egocentrism is a great characteristic in preoperational thought, it means children focus on the first impression of every thing he saw.  And egocentrism usually makes children’s thinking confused, because children cannot see things from different points of views.  Thus, when adults give children

guidance, children tend to have cognitive conflicts, which may be confusion at first but turn out to be the source of disequilibrium in children’s learning process.

Furthermore, children at two to seven year of age belong to the period of preoperational thought.  This period is egocentric that means children think that others made the mistake even though they made it themselves.  Children in preoperational period haven’t developed reversibility.  That is, they focus on fixed, self-centered perspective, and their unable to think from other’s viewpoints.  While they cannot figure out self-other relationship within specific contexts, the socialization process will help them to take turns, take into account other’s opinions through interacting with people and objects in the environment.

For example, they can use same color to classify them are different but neglect the shapes in classification.  The concept of quality and quantity are immature, similar situations are their inability to figure out why quantity waters the same looks unequal in different containers.

~ 兒童為何會有『自我中心』的意識? ~






~ Conclusion ~

         Jean Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory makes great contributions to infants’ education.  According to Piaget, children’s egocentrism is a short-term characteristic in childhood; it will disappear when children grow and become socialized.

         To let children develop fully in this stage, Jean Piaget proposed to appropriate teaching to achieve this goal.  For example, when you discuss concepts such as “part”, “whole”, or “one-half,” use shapes on a felt board or cardboard “pizzas” to demonstrate.  Besides, you should avoid social studies lessons about worlds too far removed from the child’s experience.

Good educators not only give knowledge but also give stimulating environment for children to learn as active explorers.

~ 結語 ~




Writer: Samantha Chang & Celine Huang

          School: Wenzao Ursuline College of Language

                      Dept. of Foreign Language Instruction

Information From:Theories Of Development」、

   「Piaget's Theory: A Primer」、「近代幼兒教育思潮」

姓名: 張倚瑄 & 黃心怡

學校: 文藻外語學院 / 外語教學系

   資料來源: 學習發展概論」、 「近代幼兒教育思