Piaget And Vygotsky: Compare And Contrast

2521 words - 10 pages

RUNNING HEAD: PIAGET AND VYGOTSKYPiaget and VygotskyTiffany Dadula980 031 406Prof. Isaac SmithPSY 302March 25, 2004Everyday life is characterized by conscious purpose. From reaching for food to designing an experiment, our actions are directed at goals. This purpose reveals itself partly in our conscious awareness and partly in the organization of our thoughts and actions. Cognition, as defined as "... the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired" (Shaffer et al., 2002), is the process involved in thinking and mental activity, such as attention, memory and problem solving. Much past and present theory has emphasized the parallels between the articulated prepositional structure of language and the structure of an internal code or 'language of thought'. In this paper I will discuss language and cognition and two famous theorists who were both influential in forming a more scientific approach to analyzing the process of cognitive development: Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. Jean Piaget was known for his establishment of the four major periods of cognitive development. Lev Vygotsky was the complement to Piaget's theory with his sociocultural perspective on cognitive development. Both were keenly interested in the relationship of thinking and language learning.Jean Jacques Piaget was born in Neuchâtel, Switzerland on August 9, 1896. His father, Arthur Piaget, was a professor in Medieval Literature. His mother, Rebecca Jackson, was an intelligent woman but Jean found her a little bit neurotic. When he was in his late youth he had a faith crisis. His mother encouraged him to attend church to only found it foolish. So he had decided to focus less on philosophy and more on psychology (Smith, L.). Piaget attended the University of Neuchâtel. There he studied natural sciences. He then attended the University of Zürich were he gained an interest in psychoanalysis. In 1919, he went to Paris, France where he met Dr. Simon at the Binet Laboratory. While in Paris, Piaget planned and administered many reading tests to school children and became interested not in their correct answers, but in their incorrect answers. He wanted to explore the reasoning process that children have. By 1921 he began to publish his research findings. He developed a new way of questioning the children; it was a psychiatric method of question and response. It is called the methode clinique or the clinical method. The clinical method is a type of interview in which a participant's response to each successive question (or problem) determines what the investigator will ask (Shaffer et al., 2002). Piaget was interested in learning the differences between a child's acquisitions of knowledge compared to an adult's. He formed the theory that the growth of knowledge is a progressive construction of logically embedded structures superseding one another by a process of inclusion of lower less powerful logical means into higher and more powerful ones...

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