Accommodating existing schemas piaget
As the study of cognitive development began, so did the initial theories.
Jean Piaget was a biologist and psychologist and his theories were specifically about children, not adults, and his influence on teaching children has been useful and inspiriting in cognitive development.
Children will go through phases of intellectual growth through experience, acquiring information upon information, adapting and changing prior knowledge with the introduction and experience of new knowledge.
For example, a little boy is introduced to a bird; it has wings and flies.
Children, especially infants, draw on the smallest of experience to learn greatly.
Piaget had three main components to the cognitive development of children (which would translate into adulthood): Schemas, Adaption, and Stages of Cognitive Development.
Schemas are the building blocks and foundation of knowledge.
For example, that child has all of these objects in the schema of birds, but when he gains the information that a plane is not a bird he has to put, or accommodate, that information into a new schema.
Going through the process of creating schemas, assimilating new information into existing schemas or accommodating new information to create new schemas can get confusing, frustrating, and difficult, especially as these concepts were defined for the cognitive development of children.