Human Development and Learning
Science is a continuing search for truth. Using the scientific method a hypothesis will become a theory and the theory will try to explain the scientific observation. The theory will not be proven, but it may be disproved or changed in some way. With that being said, the cognitive theory is no different. Cognitive development refers to how a person perceives, thinks, and gains an understanding of his or her world through the interaction and influence of genetic and learned factors (Plotnik 2005). Many theories have been offered about the cognitive development of humans. Two people who were influential in forming theories about the cognitive development process were Piaget and Vygotsky.
Similarities between Piaget and Vygotsky were limited. Piaget and Vygotsky both believed that children do go through a learning process. They each agreed that learning should be built upon previous knowledge. Another similarity that they had in common was that in Piaget and Vygotsky theories that the boundaries of cognitive growth were established by societal influences (Huitt & Hummel 2003). Even though they had these similarities, there way of thinking was quite different. Piaget believed that learning took place at different stages of children lives and that they continued to add to their learning. He envisioned a child’s knowledge as composed of schemas, basic units of knowledge used to organize past experiences and serve as a basis for understanding new ones (Bjorklund, 2004).
Piaget proposed that children’s thinking does not develop entirely smoothly: instead there are certain points at which it “takes off” and moves into completely new areas and capabilities (Atherton 2011). Piaget‘s theory was that learning for children was made up of four stages. He believed that these stages always occurred in the same order and that they built upon what was already learned. The four stages are sensorimotor stage, pre-operational...