Piaget/Vygtosky Essay

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Jean Paget and Lev Vygotsky were both major contributors to the cognitive development of psychology among children. Cognitive development is defined as development of the ability to think and reason. By understanding the growth of cognitive development, teachers enable themselves to better cater to each unique need of a child. Piaget and Vygotsky were constructivists. Constructivism is an approach to teaching and learning based on that cognition is the result of “mental construction”. Students learn by new information together with what they all ready know. They believe that learning is affected by the context in which an idea is taught, as well as by students’ beliefs and attitudes. There is one other similarity between Piaget and Vygotsky; they both believe that the boundaries of cognitive growth were established by influences from society. First and foremost, Piaget believed that intelligence came from action. He held that children learn through interacting with their surroundings and that learning takes place after development. Piaget did not place importance on the input from others. On the other hand, Vygotsky felt that learning happens before development can occur and that children learn because of history and symbolism. Vygotsky also believed that children value input from their surroundings and from others. Piaget’s view of cognitive development consists of four phases. The first is referred to as the sensorimotor stage. This stage occurs between birth and two years of age. During the sensorimotor stage children rely solely on reflexes that they were born with. Examples of this would be, sucking, rooting, startle reflex, etc. Most of the knowledge during this stage is through physical activity. However, some language skills begin to emerge and a concept of permanence is beginning to emerge during this phase. Contrasting Piaget’s
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