Case Study Case Study



Thisis a case study of John Smith, one and a half years old Hispanic boy.He lives at home with his parents since he is still a young boy. Hisfamily members include six members, his parents, two elderly sisters,and one elder brother. Smith is the last born. He has not startedschooling due to his age. This article evaluates his developmentsbased PiagetTheoretical Approach.

Applicationof PiagetTheory

JeanPiaget, a biologist, bases his theory on cognitive development. Thistheory involves detailed observation studies of students, and aseries of ingenious test to evaluate cognitive abilities. PriorPiaget psychological research, psychologists assumed that childrenwere less competent thinkers compared to adults (Santrock,2010).However, Piaget research showed that children think in prominentlyways in contrast to adults. Piaget articulates that all children areborn with basic mental structure on which all learning and knowledgeare based. Piaget theory seeks to explain the processes which anindividual passes through from infant to a child, and then to anadult who can think and reason using hypothesis. I think Smith fit tobe the best person in this case since he is still in the process ofundergoing this processes. Since he was born, Smith has alreadyundergone some of developments hence, he is essential for thisproject. Secondly, I had a chance to observe him for some days, aswell communicate to his parents and caregiver. Further, I have knownSmith since he was born until now. At one time or the other, I havealso interacted with his family.


Piagetdefines cognitive development as a process of mental reorganisationdue to environmental experience and biological maturation (Knuttila,2012). Correspondingly, Piaget believes that children develop theirunderstanding by observing the environment around them, and thencreate understanding from what they discover and what they alreadyknow. He gives four stages of cognitive development as sensorimotor,preoperational, concrete, and operational period (Santrock,2010).

Smithis still in the first stage of cognitive development. At his age,Smith interacts with the environment to construct a model of theworld. At this stage, he relates his coordinating experience such ashearing and vision with physical interaction of objects such asstepping, sucking, and running, among others. His primary sources ofknowledge are his physical actions that he performs. However, he hasno logic reasoning. In addition, he is very playful and findsdifficulties to understand different points of view.


Physicaldevelopment enhances a child to develop intellectual abilities.Physically, Smith has grown from a very small boy. They are manynoticeable body changes for instance, he can now walk and uttersimple words. Currently, Smith is usually very busy. As long as he isawake, he likes to move up and down. According to Knuttila (2012),for a person to have a healthy physical development, it is importantto take a balanced diet. Accordingly, Smith normally takes a balanceddiet in every meal, and his mother ensures he asks consumes fruitsdaily. In addition, Smith sleeps twelve to sixteen hours per day asrecommended by doctors.


Normally,Smith is a happy person and rarely will he be sad. As children grow,they seem to experience some preferences and fear to contact somepeople. For the case of Smith, some years back, he experiencedsadness, happiness, and sometimes anger. Gradually, Smith hasdeveloped emotionally, and he has strategies to deal with everyemotion. Currently, he does not fear strangers or run away when hegets a new face.


Socially,Smith has indeed changed. One year ago, Smith was not a socialperson. He only responded to his family members and caregiver. Astime has gone by, he has developed to be a social child. Whenever hesees other children, he always goes ahead and starts playing withthem. In fact, he has a friend in the next house. Also, smith doesnot cry like he used to do some months ago. According to his mother,he tries to express what he want by speaking though not frequently.At other time, he can just point whatever he wants.


Basedon Kohlberg theory, Smith has is still undergoing stages of moraldevelopment. So far, one can notice that Smith fear a punishment orto be beaten. Whenever he does a mistake, his mother is always thereto correct him. Currently, Smith falls into pre-conventionalmorality of Kohlberg theory. He always adheres to social rules set atby his parents and caregiver.


Forthe above-discussed developments, Smith’s cognitive development isin line with that of a norm person. Until now, he has undergone mostof the changes with ease. However, some of his developments areeither above or below that of an average person. For instance, hismoral developments are above that of an average person. Smith fearsto be punishment: hence, he always adheres to all the rules. On theother hand, his social development is below that of an averageperson. Usually, Smith is more comfortable when he is with his familythan any other person. Nevertheless, Smith developments aresatisfactory.


Knuttila,K. (2012). Introducing sociology: A critical approach ( ed.).Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Santrock,J.W. (2010). Life-spandevelopment. (14th Ed).Boston: McGraw-Hill Publishers.&nbsp