Vygotsky's Theory Of Child Development

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Child Development focuses on an individual’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social growth and change from birth through adolescence. Many psychologists contributed to the study of child development, but the focus will be on Erikson, Piaget, and Vygotsky, their theories and how to apply them into practice. Erik Erikson was influenced from Freud’s psychosexual theory, but grew off of his theory and introduced the psychosocial theory, taking a child’s environment and culture into consideration. With this, he added three more stages to Freud’s, organizing his psychosocial theory into eight stages. The first stage is trust versus mistrust, which emphasizes that infants rely on their parents to help them develop a sense of security and stability,…show more content…
He created the cognitive development theory, which he divided into four discontinuous stages: the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, the concrete operational stage and the formal stage. The sensorimotor stage, from birth to age two, explains that an infant processes the world around them and learns with their eyes, ears, hands and mouth. This stage is important because motor skills develop from sucking and kicking to chewing and walking. Infants will also master object permanence which will help them in the later stages discover the world around them. The preoperational stage emphasizes the major change in symbolic activity, leading children into make-believe play. The development in drawing is also rapid as children go from scribbles, to recognizable shapes, to realistic drawings, learning the boundaries of objects. Children also see their world in an egocentric view in the preoperational stage, impacting their abilities to see from other’s point of view and making them use mental approaches to solve problems separately each time than using a perceptual approach. But they do move from basic categorization to sub-categorizing objects and people. In the concrete operational stage, their schemas and categorization grows even larger, more logical. Children are able to order items by weight and length mentally, and begin to create and scale cognitive…show more content…
One of those ideas that Vygotsky challenged was the lack of emphasis on language in child development. His cognitive-mediation theory stressed the importance of social interaction with a child through language and hands-on activities. This included make-believe play, and the zone of proximal development. Vygotsky suggested children need to be challenged in a way that is too hard to do on their own, but possible with the help of an adult, thus creating a ‘zone’ for development. Private speech is also a major activity important to developing, suggesting that when children are speaking out loud to themselves they are engaging at the right challenge level. If the child is silent, the activity has been mastered and therefore is unneeded to sort anything out aloud. Pretend play is also considered to be in the zone of proximal development in the cognitive-mediation theory because it challenges children to play by the scene rules by speaking aloud to one another, problem solving, and committing fully to the behavior expectations of the make-believe scene. In the academic stage of a child, reciprocal teaching is used to help recall, categorize, reflect thoughts, and problem solve which aid in the further development of a
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