Bruner vs Piaget

Comparing Bruner and Piaget's ideas relating to child language acquisition.


Bruner vs Piaget


  • Children are born ready to learn language
  • Children are naturally curious about language
  • Children's cognitive structures develop over time
  • Children are themselves active participants in the process of learning language
  • Cognitive development includes the acquisition of symbols


  • Bruner sees development as a continuous process while Piaget suggests that there are set stages of development
  • Bruner claims that language development is a cause of cognitive development; Piaget sees it as a consequence of it
  • Piaget believes that you have to wait for the child to be ready, while Bruner believes that the cognitive development process can be sped up
  • Bruner places much more importance on the involvement of MKOs (more knowledgeable others)
  • Bruner disagrees with Piaget's theory that symbolic thought replaces earlier modes of representation

Overall comparison

Bruner places a much larger focus on adult participation in the learning process, although both theories consider children active participants in the process. The other main difference is Bruner's belief that development is very much a continuous process, rather than one with individual, fixed stages. Both theorists, however, agreed that children are naturally ready to learn language when born; their natural curiosity is also a common area. Overall, there is much common ground between the theorists' beliefs; the minor details were their main areas of differing belief.




Thankyou :)