What is a scheme in Piaget's theory?
An individual develops a short cognitive way from past experiences, which is stored in their memory for future use.
Schemas can be classified as sets of rules and procedures that can be used to generalize experiences. For instance, an infant drinks milk by sucking the nipples. They generalize sucking to other objects in order to understand the objects.
As children go through different developmental stages, they keep constructing more schemas. These schemas are symbolic and keep evolving. For instance, when a child symbolically drives a bike, they copy what they have experienced or observed such as starting the bike, kick starting it, taking turns, applying the brake, and making horn noises.
In later stages, the child can manipulate these schemas to adapt to their environment in a better way. For instance, when a child learns to play with a ball, they begin to understand the difference between the tennis ball and the basketball.
Schemas are organized patterns of thoughts and actions that people construct in order to interpret and organize their experiences. These organized patterns are also called cognitive structures.
A schema can also be defined as the set of rules according to which one generalizes the learned information or the experience.