Wings Of Fire- Using Piaget Theory

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Word Count

2500 words




5 Days

Assignment Criteria

Assessment Item 2:  Application of Theory

Description: Case Study. Students are required to select a published autobiography that contains the author's reflections on their personal history/identity, family relationships and/or other significant relationships and their hopes or aspirations. Do not select a biography that is written about someone by an author, and selection of a work that presents a psychological or behavioural analysis of a person, e.g. 'A Psychoanalytic Profile of Adolf Hitler' will be automatically failed.

Students are required to select a theory of human development and/or behaviour and analyse the content of the autobiography in terms of the concepts, principles or model proposed by the selected theory. For example, Freudian theory, Neo-Freudian or Object Relations Theory, Person-centred theory, Behavioural theory, Social Learning theory, Cognitive theory, Interpersonal theory, Attachment theory, family systems theory. (S. Freud, A. Freud, J. Bowlby, D.W. Winnicott, Karen Horney, Erik Erikson, Carl Rogers, Albert Ellis, A. Beck, S. Minuchin, M. Bowen).

Do not select a therapeutic model that describes how to undertake a treatment for example: Fairburn, C. (2008). 'Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Eating Disorders.'

A theory of human behaviour or development describes why someone may feel, act, think, behave or relate in particular ways.

Students will develop and demonstrate an understanding of how theory informs practice – assessment and intervention.  Students are also required to review and discuss the ethical and professional issues involved in the process of applying the selected theory. (Note not every principle in the Code of Ethics or Practice Principles will be applicable and refer to the journal articles on Ethics contained in the Learning Resources as a starting point to inform your discussion).

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Assignment Solution


The Relationship of Theory and Practice is a very important element of the subject matter of psychology and psychotherapy because psychologists learn a theory and the implication of this training is seen in the actual field. Theory and practice are both very integral to the subject of psychology, and as a psychologist, it is very important ethically and professionally to bridge any gaps between the two processes (Huddleston, K., 2013). 

The autobiography chosen for this project is, 'Wings of Fire' by APJ Abdul Kalam, and the theory applied to this case study is Piaget's theory of Cognitive Development. 


Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist who developed the Theory of Cognitive Development that explained that how an adult develops the ability to think logically and derive valid conclusions about the surroundings from several pieces of evidence. This he explained through the fundamental notion that a child's development takes place through various stages until he comes at the stage wherein the process of thinking takes place like that of an adult. Therefore, the theory of cognitive development is an all-inclusive theory that explains nature and development of human intelligence (Beilin, H. and Pufall, P., 2013). What Piaget believed was the child of a person plays a very important role in the development of human intelligence. His idea is also known as the development stage theory since he explained this theory through 4 stages. Further, Jean Piaget describes that the human mind acquires, constructs and uses the knowledge, which results in the development of the nature of their personalities. In this context, Piaget explains that children construct the understanding of their surroundings, experiences the differences between what they already know and what they eventually discover, finally they make changes and adjusts their ideas accordingly (Brown, G. and Desforges, C., 2013). He is also of the opinion that a progressive reorganization of mental processes, which are the result of experience from the surroundings and biological maturation is known as cognitive development. Jean Piaget was of the view that at the center of a human organism lays cognitive development and language is dependent on knowledge and understanding that is learned from the world. Piaget's theory of cognitive development has found huge success, as a result of which, open education and child-centered classrooms are based on this theory and its views (Brown, G. and Desforges, C., 2013). 


'Wings of Fire' is an autobiography by APJ Abdul Kalam, who is a very famous scientist in India and became the 11th president of India from 2002 to 2007. Abdul Kalam is a very renowned personality in India and he also received the highest civilian awards of his country which are, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, and Bharat Ratna. The book, 'Wings of Fire' is a joint compilation of Abdul Kalam and Arun Tiwari. The autobiography majorly focuses on the life of Kalam before he went on to become the President of India. In 2013, Abdul Kalam also released another autobiography, 'My Journey: Transforming Dreams into Actions' (Kalam, A. and Tiwari, A., 1999). 

According to Jean Piaget's Theory, a human mind learns most of the things during his/her childhood; this can be easily applied to the life of Abdul Kalam who talks about his early life and his experience in Indian space research and missile programs. In this autobiography, the main stages that have been focussed upon are a concrete operational stage and formal operational stage. This book is very popular in India and it was later translated into multiple languages. The book is a very inspiring and motivational piece of work. The most consistent element of the autobiography is that Abdul Kalam shows his positive thinking in the entire sequence of events that took place in his life. This can also be his secret of success, as he avoided any negative thinking (Kalam, A. and Tiwari, A., 1999). 

Jean Piaget describes four stages of cognitive development – a sensorimotor stage that starts at birth till 2 years, the preoperational stage that is from 2 years to 7 years, the concrete operational stage that is from 7 to 12 years and the stage of formal operations that begins from adolescence till adult stage.

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