Piaget Vs Vygotsky

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Since the end of the 19th century, cognitive development has been widely researched, in particular by the researcher Piaget who introduced his Theory of Cognitive Behaviour, centred on intelligence and its growth. This theory explains how children acquire the mental structure to perceive the world, and introduces the notion of developmental stages in which the child understands its surroundings in four main periods, which we will be examining further on. One of the important factors in Piaget’s theory is that he neglects the social environment in the cognitive development of a child and states that it is people, or peers who represent a crucial part in this development. Therefore according to him, logical thinking progresses out of the child’s biological roots. Another researcher interested in cognitive development is Vygotsky, who was born in Russia in 1896, the same year as Piaget. Vygotsky’s theory is interesting because it has a political background that is necessary to acknowledge in order to appreciate the theory’s ideas which are that one’s development is a result of one’s culture. Therefore, development, according to Vygotsky´s theory, applies mainly to mental development, such as thought, language and reasoning processes. Contemporaries have deemed this as a sociocultural approach. In this essay, I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, who both influenced the more scientific approach to analysing the cognitive development process of the child active construction of knowledge, (Flanagan 1996). Both Vygotsky and Piaget were regarded as constructivists in the field of cognitive development, meaning that cognition is the result of mental construction (Davison, 2006). According to constructivists, a person’s ability to learn is affected by the context in which the person is taught, as well as their personal beliefs and attitudes.
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