Lev Vygotsky Analysis

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Introduction “Through others, we become ourselves,” Lev Vygotsky. In explaining this quote, this assignment will give a definition of Cognitive development and give an insight into the lives of two of the most famous theorists, whose perspectives have attempted to explain cognitive development throughout the lifespan. The various stages of the theories will be defined and some criticisms of the theorists brought forward. The assignment will be fully referenced throughout and finish with a conclusion. Development refers to the sequence of transformation in a human’s capabilities from the time of conception, continuing throughout the lifespan. There are three areas of development in the lifespan; physical development,…show more content…
While Piaget believed that a child’s development preceded their learning, Vygotsky argued that social learning tends to come before development (Agarwal, 2011) which explains his quote “Through others, we become ourselves”. He did however agree with Piaget that we are born with the basic materials for intellectual development but while Piaget focuses on motor and sensory reflexes/ abilities, Vygotsky talked about Elementary Mental Functions, for example attention, sensation and memory which through social interaction are developed into effective mental processes which he called Higher Mental Functions. Piaget believed that change occurred as a result of disequilibrium, while Vygotsky suggested that children’s development is dependent on interactions with More Knowledgeable Others (MKO), the term he used to describe those with more knowledge then the child in question, for example a teacher, peer or parent (Shaffer & Kipp, 2010). Vygotsky introduced the concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD), which refers to the gap that exists at a particular time for a child between his level of knowledge/competence (the tasks he can perform independently) and his potential level of ability if he were to receive instruction. Vygotsky saw the capacity of a child to learn through instruction as central and believed that culture and social interaction are paramount in cognitive development, he said that cognitive development entails children internalizing approaches learned from participation in joint problem solving with more skilled partners (MKO) who bring the intellectual tools of society within the reach of the child (Woodhead et al. 1998). This is done through “Scaffolding”, the process of the aforementioned “more knowledgeable other” providing support and guidance for the child to reach their full
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