Compare and contrast Piaget and Vygotsky’s theorys of cognitive development
Cognition is the procedure concerned with thinking and mental activity, these include attention, memory and problem solving. In this essay on cognitive development I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, both of these were influential in forming a more scientific approach to analysing the cognitive development process of the child active construction of knowledge. (Flanagan 1996). Piaget states that there are 4 stages of cognitive development which children will progress through at different stages of their lives. (Gross 2005). This essay will explore these areas. It will then focus on Vygotsky. His theories are based upon social processes. (Gross 2005). He believes that human development occurs on 3 levels:- the cultural, interpersonal and individual. This essay will firstly address his studies on a cultural level, subsequently it will look at the interpersonal and then finally the zone of proximal development (ZPD). I will then go onto evaluate the usefulness of both these theories in understanding a child's development.
Both Piaget and Vygotsky established that children's cognitive development develops in stages. (Jarvis 2001). Nevertheless they were both distinguished by different philosophies. Piaget was the first to argue that children reason and reflect differently at different periods in their lives. He stated that all children progress through four different and very distinct stages of cognitive development. This is Piaget’s Stage Theory. This theory deals with the four stages of development, which are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. (Gross 2005).
In sensorimotor stage (first stage), this occurs from birth to the age of two is the time in an infant’s life when they learn about the world mainly through their senses. (Gross 2005). Piaget divided this stage into six substages. During this stage...