In this assignment the writer will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. To begin, the writer will discuss Piaget's theory of cognitive development, followed by Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development. The writer will then discuss any implications of Piaget's and Vygotsky's models for teaching and learning in the school years. In order to do this she will compare the two theories and look at any relevant evidence and research. After comparing both theories of cognitive development, the writer will do a brief summary of the two theories. Concluding her findings and how the two theories contrast each other.
Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980) looked at how children reason and think. He looked at whether children see and make sense of the world in the same way that adults do. Piaget's theory explores how children's thought processes change with development.
Piaget's theory identifies four developmental stages which are sensori-motor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operations and formal operations (Smith, Cowie, Blades. 2011 P.392). He believed that children's thought processes develop as they progress through these developmental stages.
During the first stage, sensori-motor, which occurs from birth to around two years, a child, just deals with what is presented to them. Everything revolves around any direct experiences. During this developmental stage, children learn the concept of object permanence (Smith, Cowie, Blades. 2011 P.395). This is where an object continues to exist even if it is out of the child?s sight. According to Piaget?s theory, it would seem that infants need to be aware of object permanence before language or symbolic communication is possible.
The second stage is the preoperational stage, which occurs from around two years to seven years of age. Children begin to pretend play, which is when a child acts out routines, such as eating or cleaning. Children begin to think, however thinking at this stage is still different to the way that adults think. Their thinking is not very systematic or logical (Wood, 2008 P.48). Piaget stressed that during the preoperational stage, children?s abilities are limited. One limitation is the inability to take the perspective of another individual, this is known as ?egocentrism? (Smith, Cowie, Blades 2011 P.390). A child may well presume that everyone has the same knowledge as they do without taking into consideration another person?s point of view.
Throughout the concrete operational stage, which occurs between seven and twelve years of age, children begin to think logically. (Wood, 2008 P.47). Children at this stage are able to think logically about the world and gain the ability to manipulate their mental representations to think and solve problems. Children in this stage have an understanding of conservation. For example, if sand was poured from a tall thin container into a short wide container, they would understand that...