Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories of cognitive development in children.
Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky largely contributed to the field of cognitive development especially during early and middle childhood. They both offered explanations to children’s learning styles and abilities. However, they differently viewed the importance of varying factors. This essay will evaluate the similarities and differences between the theories proposed by Piaget and Vygotsky in children’s cognitive development.
Piaget and Vygotsky agreed that children don’t just absorb experiences but actively construct their own knowledge of the world. Piaget regarded children’s cognitive development mainly in a biological perspective. He viewed children as dynamic human beings, who play an active role in exploring their own environment in order to build their understanding of the world; this theory is referred to as a constructivist approach in the field of cognitive development. On the other hand, Vygotsky took into account the social context, in which children belong to, by considering it a major influence in children’s cognitive development. He viewed children as active seekers of learning new information and he stressed the importance of their social and cultural upbringing in relation to their ability to reasoning. The language development is considered to be the main assumption of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory (Berk, 2009).
Piaget theory suggests that all children progress equally following the same order of development yet at distinct rates. For that reason tutors should prepare activities not simply for the whole class, instead adjust these to meet the needs of individual or small group of children. In contrast Vygotsky’s sociocultural perspective lies mainly in his disapproval of an individualistic view of a child; by considering that children’s minds are a product of their social influence. He made use of the term "dialogues," as a...