Human Development: Task1 By Amanda Kraft/WGU Cognitive Development Theory: The cognitive development theory is the brain child of Jean Piaget. It focuses on a child’s development based on his or her information processing (1). Cognitive development is broken into structures that are referred to as “levels” and are related to each other with transformation rules. The development steps identify which skills will move slowly from one complexity level to the next. Every step controls a certain skill.
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.
Third, are Cognitive developmental theories, where the change of mental processes, skills, and abilities in human beings are the main areas of study. Most notably the child development theory of Jean Piaget which offers a universal stage process of development falls under this classification. Finally, there are Social developmental theorists, namely, John Bowlby, Albert Bandura and Lev Vygotsky, who all believed social factors, be it caregivers, parents, peers and culture play a significant part in the child’s development. This essay will focus on the work of Jean Piaget and Lev Semionovich Vygotsky, their key contributions concerning the role that social and cultural factors play in a child’s development and more specifically their cognitive development.
In the early 1900’s, Lev Vygotsky proved to be a contributing theorist in the study and understanding of cognitive development in children. At a time when Jean Piaget had his published theories on cognitive development and his stance on children acquiring knowledge through information transfer, Vygotsky proved to be the contrast with his theories centred on the close involvement of culture with cognitive development. Plainly it is the fact that influences for children in cognitive development, come through the construction of knowledge from social-cultural sources. For Vygotsky the mental process that children go through incorporates both culture and experience to ultimately construct knowledge. The focus is on the child as a whole and everything that enters into their world is “...a process by which children grow into the intellectual world around them” (Vygotsky 1978 p88).
He suggested that the adult's role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials for the child to interact and construct. He would use Socratic questioning to get the children to reflect on what they were doing. He would try to get them to see contradictions in their explanations. Theorist jean Piagets suggested that children think differently than adults and proposed a stage theory of cognitive development. He was the first to note that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of the world.
Conversely there are nativist theories that believe that human beings have an intrinsic aptitude. Major arguments for and against both theories are provided by a behavioural psychololgist named Burrhus Frederic Skinner and a linguist by the name of Noam Chomsky. This essay aims to explore the theories of these two gentlemen, their proponents and supporting arguments. B.F Skinner and the behaviourist theory. Skinner as a behavioural psychologist believed that the study of observable behaviour is more productive that being concerned with the internal goings on of the mind.
He described four stages of development ranging from birth to adulthood, in these stages Piaget states what children are capable of understanding and relates this to their reasoning skills. An example of this is given by O’Hagan and Smith (1999 p.13), they say in the pre-operational stage which ranges from two to six years, children’s reasoning is illogical and if a child hurts themselves on a toy they may smack the toy and call it a “bad toy”. Alternatively, Vygotsky stated that adults play a vital part in children’s development. He described the the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), this is the difference of what a child can achieve on their own and what they can accomplish with the help of an adult or more knowledgeable other. This can be seen in classrooms in (within) primary school, who use mixed ability groups for certain areas of the curriculum.
Piaget Vs. Erikson Dana Worster Each human being goes through phases, stages, and changes, but it’s the result of those changes that determines who you are. Piaget and Erikson do have different views on the developmental landmarks a young person goes through, but there are similarities and common ground. Piaget takes interest in biological influences on how children gain knowledge, and the developmental stages they go through while doing so. Piaget very much believes that a child learns through experience, and think differently than adults do. Children collect knowledge based on experiences and apply that knowledge to other situations.
There are some clear similarities and differences between the three theorists. Piaget viewed cognitive development from a biological perspective and believed children went through different stages of cognitive development based on fixed ages. He believed in children learning through action and exploration of their environment (Cherry 2008). In Piaget’s theory, cognitive development is represented as unfolding in four stages. From 0-2 years was the sensory-motor stage, which states that babies and very young infants learn through their senses and actions.
Running head: The Educational Implications of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Ericson Exploring the Educational Implications of Piaget, Vygotsky and Ericson John Doe University Exploring the Educational Implications of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson In every field, there are certain individuals whose research and contributions to their discipline have set them apart. Child psychology happens to be a field that is very complex and expanding with new research and findings. Those influential individuals are Piaget, Vygotsky and Erikson. Piaget is known for his stage theory of cognitive development, Vygotsky for his concept of the zone of proximal development. Erikson for his theory of psychosocial development, who believed that personality develops in a series of stages.