Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Piaget and Vygotsky: The Psychology of Cognitive Development Essay

This essay concerns the psychology of cognitive development. Cognitive development can be explained in terms of the acquisition, construction and progressive change in thought processes such as memory, problem-solving and decision-making that occurs from childhood to adulthood (in Smith, P.K., Cowie, H & Blades, M. 2003). Major pioneers in this area and whose work has been the foundation of much research in cognitive psychology are among Jean Piaget’s (1926) and Lev Vygotksy’s (1978). A common understanding between the two rest on the idea that cognitive development in children occurs through stages, however, their approach in identifying these stages highly differ (in Smith P.K. et al., 2003). Piaget’s account of cognitive development has been one of the many influential theories of time, receiving great recognition and popularity. According to Piaget children possess an innate capacity to learn human language and skills and are born with and acquire schemas (in Smith P.K. et al., 2003). Schemas are an internal representation of our surroundings which construct of a framework of cognitive processes that help us organise or interpret situations formal (in Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., & Vliek, M. 2009). Piaget proposed that cognitive development was restricted if schemas did not reach a threshold level (in Smith P.K. et al., 2003). In addition, Piaget further theorised that children actively construct their own world as a means of understanding their environment. The more actively engaged a child is with their environment, the more they will learn (in Smith P.K. et al., 2003). Along with this, Piaget contended that children need to be psychologically mature in order to understand the world a... ...ialisation (in Smith P.K. et al., 2003). Moreover, Siegler, (1986 in Passer, M. et al., 2009) argued that Piaget’s stages seemed to be incompatible with reality claiming that children are able to perform tasks that are ascribed to a specific stage in a different stage therefore not being consistent with Piaget’s assumptions. In conclusion, it is evident that both Piaget and Vygotsky acknowledge cognitive development in children as a process and view the child as an active learner. However, it is important that we distinguish between their different stages of development. Works Cited Smith, P.K., Cowie, H. & Baldes, M. (2003). Understanding children’s development. (4th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell. Passer, M., Smith, R., Holt, N., Bremner, A., Sutherland, E., & Vliek, M. (2009). Psychology; Science of Mind and Behaviour. (European Edition). New York.

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