Piaget vs. Vygotsky

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Piaget and Vygotsky shared some common thoughts in the role of language in development however their differences were vast. Both agreed that infants are born with the basic materials/abilities for intellectual development however that is where the similarities end. Vygotsky placed more emphasis on social contributions to the process of development, whereas Piaget emphasized self-initiated discovery. Piaget theory is focused around four stages; Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete Operational and finally Formal Operational. The Sensorimotor stage ranges from birth to two years. During this period the infant processes from reflexive, instinctual at birth till the beginning of symbolic thought. The infant constructs an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences with physical actions. Preoperational stage ranges from two to seven years and is when the child begins to represent the world with words and images; these words and images reflect increased symbolic thinking and go beyond the connection of sensory information and physical action. The third stage known as Concrete Operational is from the age of seven to eleven years. During these ages the child can now reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets. The final stage or Formal Operational is from eleven years to fifteen years. At this stage the adolescent reasons in more abstract and logical ways. Their thought process is more idealistic. Vygotsky's theories stress the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky believed in a continuous development versus the thought of stage based development. He believed that while children can develop knowledge and lead in their own development, development cannot be separated from social context. Meaning a child will only learn things within their instructors
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