In accordance to cognitive theory, a schema is defined as a description of a systematic pattern towards certain thoughts and behavior. It is also described as a mental structure of predetermined ideas, framework that represents certain features, and it is used to organize and perceive new behavior. A schema is considered as an elementary building block of behavior intelligence, i.e., a method of knowledge organization. It becomes useful when an individual have thoughts that schemas are units of knowledge. The knowledge units will show a relation with some aspects of the universe which will include object and conceptual ideas.
Schemas are very important in cognitive development. This is because, a schema is a set of systematic mental frameworks of the world and it’s applied in understanding and response to situations. It is assumed that the mental representations are always applicable when an individual will need them. In an example, an individual mind might be having a schema to buy a certain product in a supermarket. The schema is regarded as a form of patterns stored in the mind and it will include: looking at the price, ordering for the product, and sorting the bill. This schema is known as a “script.”(McLeod 2009).
A schema tends to have an influence towards being attentive and absorbing new knowledge. The schemas help in developing understanding of various procedures. The examples of positive schemas include: placing food on the fork, transporting, walking, transforming, connecting ideas and enveloping. The negative in schemas is when individual applies them to situations where they cannot fit. This will not lead to a positive way of solving problems. Examples include purchasing a product that is not useful in your life.
McLeod, S. A (2009). "Jean Piaget | Cognitive Theory". Retrieved 25 February 2013.