Piagets Theories of Assimilation Accommodation and Child Development

Piaget’s theories of assimilation, accommodation, and child development have been used in educational practices for several years. These theories help us understand how children and adults think and understand. This article will discuss Piaget’s theories of assimilation, accommodation, and child development in detail.

Piaget studied sciences for many years before he delved into the realm of human development. He wrote many papers by the young age of 21, and he is known for his work with mollusks (Atherton, 2009). Although, Piaget was a biologist for many years he is most known for his work with child development. He studied child development by assigning children exercise and simply talking with them. Through his studies he developed his theories of assimilation and accommodation. These theories have played a huge role in educational theory since then.

Assimilation is one of Piaget’s theories on children and perception. This theory discusses how a child perceives the world around him. It suggests that a child may alter what he sees around him in order to make sense with the world he already knows. This means that a child will simplify external objects in order to fit into his preconceived notion of reality (Atherton, 2009). In assimilation a child does not change his own beliefs of the world; he instead changes his perception of what he is learning or seeing in the world. This practice may harm child development if it is not passed because it causes stereotypes which may lead to an inability to deal with reality.

Accommodation is a more complex part of perception that occurs in child development. This part of Piaget’s theories suggests that a child will change his inside world in order to fit with the outside world he perceives. Accommodation is a part of Piaget’s theories that influences how a child will adapt to his surroundings (Atherton, 2009). This part of child development means that when a child can not fit something he perceives into a category that already exists in his perception of the world he changes preexisting categories or adds new categories in order to accommodate this perception (Atherton, 2009).

Piaget’s theories on assimilation and accommodation are important when trying to understand how humans perceive the world. Assimilation and accommodation are both important for child development, and Piaget theorizes that they are both occurring at the same time. These theories are beneficial to teachers, students, parents, and anyone who wants to understand how humans perceive reality.


ATHERTON J. S. (2009). Learning and Teaching;Assimilation and Accommodation[On-line] UK: Available: 1 April 2010

ATHERTON J S (2009) Learning and Teaching;Piaget’s developmental theory[On-line] UK: Available: 1 April 2010