Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The cognitive development theory of Piaget and Vygotsky based on the observation of children


Piaget's theory of cognitive development may be a comprehensive theory about the character and development of human intelligence. it had been first created by Swiss developmental psychologist Piaget (1896–1980). the idea deals with the character of data itself and the way humans gradually come to accumulate , construct, and use it. Piaget's theory is especially referred to as a developmental stage theory. Piaget "was intrigued by the very fact that children of various ages made different sorts of mistakes while solving problems". He also believed that children aren't like "little adults" who may know less; children just think and speak differently.

By Piaget thinking that children have great cognitive abilities, he came up with four different cognitive development stages, which he put out into testing. Within those four stages he managed to group them with different ages. Each stage he realized how children managed to develop their cognitive skills. for instance , he believed that children experience the planet through actions, representing things with words, thinking logically, and using reasoning. To Piaget, cognitive development was a progressive reorganization of mental processes resulting from biological maturation and environmental experience. He believed that children construct an understanding of the planet around them, experience discrepancies between what they already know and what they discover in their environment, then adjust their ideas accordingly. Moreover, Piaget claimed that cognitive development is at the middle of the human organism, and language is contingent knowledge and understanding acquired through cognitive development. Piaget's earlier work received the best attention. Child-centered classrooms and "open education" are direct applications of Piaget's views. Despite its huge success, Piaget's theory has some limitations that Piaget recognized himself: for instance , the idea supports sharp stages instead of continuous development (horizontal and vertical décalage).


Cognition refers to thinking and memory processes, and cognitive development refers to long-term changes in these processes. one among the foremost widely known perspectives about cognitive development is that the cognitive stage theory of a Swiss psychologist named Piaget . Piaget created and studied an account of how children and youth gradually become ready to think logically and scientifically. Because his theory is particularly popular among educators, we specialise in it during this chapter.


Piaget was a psychological constructivist: in his view, learning proceeded by the interplay of assimilation (adjusting new experiences to suit prior concepts) and accommodation (adjusting concepts to suit new experiences). The to-and-fro of those two processes leads not only to short-term learning, but also to long-term developmental change. The long-term developments are really the most focus of Piaget’s cognitive theory.
After observing children closely, Piaget proposed that cognition developed through distinct stages from birth through the top of adolescence. By stages he meant a sequence of thinking patterns with four key features:
They always happen within the same order.
·        No stage is ever skipped.
·        Each stage may be a significant transformation of the stage before it.
·        Each later stage incorporated the sooner stages into itself.
Basically this is often the “staircase” model of development mentioned at the start of this chapter. Piaget proposed four major stages of cognitive development, and called them (1) sensorimotor intelligence, (2) preoperational thinking, (3) concrete operational thinking, and (4) formal operational thinking. Each stage is correlated with an age period of childhood, but only approximately.

The sensorimotor stage: birth to age 2

In Piaget’s theory, the sensorimotor stage is first, and is defined because the period when infants “think” by means of their senses and motor actions. As every new parent will attest, infants continually touch, manipulate, look, listen to, and even bite and chew objects. consistent with Piaget, these actions allow them to find out about the planet and are crucial to their early cognitive development.

The infant’s actions allow the kid to represent (or construct simple concepts of) objects and events. A toy animal could also be just a confusing array of sensations initially , but by looking, feeling, and manipulating it repeatedly, the kid gradually organizes her sensations and actions into a stable concept, toy animal. The representation acquires a permanence lacking within the individual experiences of the thing , which are constantly changing. Because the representation is stable, the kid “knows,” or a minimum of believes, that toy animal exists albeit the particular toy animal is temporarily out of sight. Piaget called this sense of stability object permanence, a belief that objects exist whether or not they're actually present. it's a serious achievement of sensorimotor development, and marks a qualitative transformation in how older infants (24 months) believe experience compared to younger infants (6 months).


The preoperational stage: age 2 to 7

In the preoperational stage, children use their new ability to represent objects during a big variety of activities, but they are doing not yet roll in the hay in ways in which are organized or fully logical. one among the foremost obvious samples of this type of cognition is play , the improvised make-believe of preschool children. If you've got ever had responsibility for youngsters of this age, you've got likely witnessed such play. Ashley holds a plastic banana to her ear and says: “Hello, Mom? are you able to make certain to bring me my baby doll? OK!” Then she hangs up the banana and pours tea for Jeremy into an invisible cup. Jeremy giggles at the sight of all of this and exclaims: “Rinnng! Oh Ashley, the phone is ringing again! You better answer it.” And thereon goes.


The concrete operational stage: age 7 to 11

As children continue into grade school , they become ready to represent ideas and events more flexibly and logically. Their rules of thinking still seem very basic by adult standards and typically operate unconsciously, but they permit children to unravel problems more systematically than before, and thus to achieve success with many academic tasks. within the concrete operational stage, for instance , a toddler may unconsciously follow the rule: “If nothing is added or removed , then the quantity of something stays an equivalent .” this easy principle helps children to know certain arithmetic tasks, like in adding or subtracting zero from variety , also on do certain classroom science experiments, like ones involving judgments of the amounts of liquids when mixed. Piaget called this era the concrete operational stage because children mentally “operate” on concrete objects and events. they're not yet able, however, to work (or think) systematically about representations of objects or events. Manipulating representations may be a more abstract skill that develops later, during adolescence.

The formal operational stage: age 11 and beyond

In the last of the Piagetian stages, the kid becomes ready to reason not only about tangible objects and events, but also about hypothetical or abstract ones. Hence it's the name formal operational stage—the period when the individual can “operate” on “forms” or representations. With students at this level, the teacher can pose hypothetical (or contrary-to-fact) problems: “What if the planet had never discovered oil?” or “What if the primary European explorers had settled first in California rather than on the East Coast of the United States?” To answer such questions, students must use hypothetical reasoning, meaning that they need to manipulate ideas that change in several ways directly , and do so entirely in their minds.

The work of Lev Vygotsky (1934) has become the inspiration of much research and theory in cognitive development over the past several decades, particularly of what has become referred to as Social Development Theory.

Vygotsky's Theories

Vygotsky's Theories stress the elemental role of social interaction within the development of cognition (Vygotsky, 1978), as he believed strongly that community plays a central role within the process of "making meaning." Unlike Piaget's notion that childrens' development must necessarily precede their learning, Vygotsky argued, "learning may be a necessary and universal aspect of the method of developing culturally organized, specifically human psychological function" (1978, p. 90). In other words, social learning tends to precede (i.e., come before) development.

Vygotsky has developed a sociocultural approach to cognitive development. He developed his theories at round the same time as Piaget was beginning to develop his ideas (1920's and 30's), but he died at the age of 38, then his theories are incomplete - although a number of his writings are still being translated from Russian.

No single principle (such as Piaget's equilibration) can account for development. Individual development can't be understood without regard to the social and cultural context within which it's embedded. Higher mental processes within the individual have their origin in social processes.

1: Vygotsky places more emphasis on culture affecting cognitive development.

This contradicts Piaget's view of universal stages and content of development (Vygotsky doesn't ask stages within the way that Piaget does).
Hence Vygotsky assumes cognitive development varies across cultures, whereas Piaget states cognitive development is usually universal across cultures.

2: Vygotsky places considerably more emphasis on social factors contributing to cognitive development.
(i) Vygotsky states cognitive development stems from social interactions from guided learning within the zone of proximal development as children and their partner's co-construct knowledge. In contrast, Piaget maintains that cognitive development stems largely from independent explorations during which children construct knowledge of their own.
(ii) For Vygotsky, the environment during which children get older will influence how they think and what they believe .

3: Vygotsky places more (and different) emphasis on the role of language in cognitive development.
According to Piaget, language depends on thought for its development (i.e., thought comes before language). For Vygotsky, thought and language are initially separate systems from the start of life, merging at around three years aged , producing verbal thought (inner speech).
For Vygotsky, cognitive development results from an internalization of language.

4: Consistent with Vygotsky adults are a crucial source of cognitive development.
Adults transmit their culture's tools of intellectual adaptation that children internalize. In contrast, Piaget emphasizes the importance of peers as peer interaction promotes social perspective taking.

Social Influences on Cognitive Development

Like Piaget, Vygotsky believes that young children are curious and actively involved in their own learning and therefore the discovery and development of latest understandings/schema. However, Vygotsky placed more emphasis on social contributions to the method of development, whereas Piaget emphasized self-initiated discovery.

According to Vygotsky (1978), much important learning by the kid occurs through social interaction with a skillful tutor. The tutor may model behaviors and/or provide verbal instructions for the kid . Vygotsky refers to the present as cooperative or collaborative dialogue. the kid seeks to know the actions or instructions provided by the tutor (often the parent or teacher) then internalizes the knowledge , using it to guide or regulate their own performance.


Shaffer (1996) gives the instance of a lass who is given her first jigsaw. Alone, she performs poorly in attempting to unravel the puzzle. the daddy then sits together with her and describes or demonstrates some basic strategies, like finding all the corner/edge pieces and provides a few of pieces for the kid to place together herself and offers encouragement when she does so.

As the child becomes more competent, the daddy allows the kid to figure more independently. consistent with Vygotsky, this sort of social interaction involving cooperative or collaborative dialogue promotes cognitive development.


In order to realize an understanding of Vygotsky's theories on cognitive development, one must understand two of the most principles of Vygotsky's work: the More Knowledgeable Other (MKO) and therefore the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

0 comments: