Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development :D

Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development (24 marks)

I got an A on this essay ((whoop whoop :P))

My teacher said it was 'well put together'.... :D

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Compare and contrast Piaget's and Vygotsky's theory of cognitive
development (24 marks)
Both Piaget's and Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development are similar as they both used
the cognitive approach of psychology to form their theories. As both theories are based on
the cognitive approach, both did not take the other approaches, such as the biological,
behavioural o psychodynamic approach into account, this is another similarity. Both their
theories are also similar as they are both stage theories with four stages. Piaget's theory
has the sensorimotor stage (0-2 years), pre-operational stage (2-7 years), concrete
operational stage (7-11 years) and the formal operational stage (11+). Vygotsky's theory has
the vague syncretic stage, the complex stage, the potential concept stage and the mature
concept stage. The stages in both theories are similar as the first stages of both theories
(sensorimotor stage and vague syncretic stage) emphasise the lack of understanding that
very young children experience. Piaget states that children who are in the sensorimotor
stage are egocentric and cannot distinguish between themselves and their environment;
equally, Vygotsky states that during the vague syncretic stage, children don't understand
concepts. Therefore, both Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories of cognitive development are
similar.
The two theories of cognitive development are also similar in the sense that they have
influenced education and helped to improve the education system. Piaget's theory states
that children have an innate tendency to learn about the world; the Plowden Report used
this concept and suggested that primary education should move from being teacher-led to
being child-centred, this supports Piaget's idea of discovery learning. Vygotsky's theory has
also influenced education as his concept of the zone of proximal development and the more
knowledgeable other is frequently used in schools when children work in pairs or groups in
order to increase their understanding of a topic. Therefore both theories of cognitive
development are similar in the sense that they have both had an influence on the education
system.
However, Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories of cognitive development also have differences.
Piaget's theory states that cognitive development occurs as a result of biological
maturation, whereas Vygotsky states that it occurs as a result of social interactions.
Vygotsky also acknowledged that cultural and environmental factors do play a role in the
development of cognition, whereas Piaget did not take them into account. Piaget argued
that cognitive development occurs through active interaction with the world; he referred to
this as `active discovery learning' which only occurs if a child is curious and self-motivated.
However, Vygotsky claimed that a peer or more knowledgeable other motivates a child to
learn in the zone of proximal development. Therefore both theories are different in the
sense that they have different explanations as to why and how cognitive development
occurs.
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Both theories are also different in the sense that Piaget did not take language into account,
whereas Vygotsky stated that language plays an important role in cognitive development. He
claimed that language helps to form the inner voice and increases problem solving. However,
some psychologists argue that Vygotsky over emphasised the influence of the sense that
Piaget ignored language, whereas Vygotsky claimed that language plays a major role in
cognitive development.…read more

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