Cognitive development is “the growth of cognitive abilities and capacities from birth to old age” (Colman, 2008). In this essay I will address Piagetian Theory, the cognitive performance of children from age seven to eleven, (the concrete operational period), and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of cognitive development. This essay will begin by analysing Piagetian Theory. Cognitive development cannot
Many of these abilities will have been introduced earlier in the child’s life yet they were unable to explain them therefore being unable to comprehend them. We gather the above cognitive developments during the period of middle childhood by mainly focusing on the works
Piaget’s cognitive development theory analyses the growth of children’s development for thinking and their understanding. In fact, American Psychological Association (2015) defines cognitive development as the ‘The development of processes of knowing, including imagining, perceiving, reasoning, and problem solving’. This essay analyses Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Jean Piaget was a psychologist who was acknowledged for his significant contribution of research in child development (Woolfolk & Margetts 2016, p. 80). Throughout this essay, Jean Piaget’s key concepts will be analyzed and linked to the development and learning of children.
Vygotsky theorized that interaction and language are two central factors in cognitive development (Corpus & Lucas, 2010). (Beriones, 2010) emphasized that effective learning happens through participation in social activities, making the social context of learning crucial. Parents, teachers and other adults in the learner’s environment all contribute to the process. When children with special needs are given an environment that is conducive to learning, they too will become fruitful members of the community. In addition, Lev Vygotsky Socio-Cultural Theory states that students’ learning could be more effective if it is provided with support or scaffold.
On the Contrary, Erickson (…………….) believed that there were eight stages of human development, he emphasised his development in terms of social and emotional development with each stage associated with social conflict or crisis while Vogotsky (………………) explain the theory of human development using the sociocultural theory. Vygotsky argued that children build their knowledge through social and cultural experiences. One of major criticism of Piaget theory of cognitive development is the use of strict stage time scale for each stage of development. Many researchers in their own opinion agreed that many children abilities overlap.
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.
Modern developmental psychology owes an enormous amount to the work of Lev Vygotsky. The research that his theories continue to generate has far reaching implications for education and parenting, providing a valuable insight into children’s development. By challenging the behaviourist paradigm of the time, that children were merely passively responding to stimuli (Skinner, 1957, as cited in Lawton, 1978), Vygotsky opened new avenues of thought into the internal processes that governed children’s behaviour (Gredler & Shields, 2008) and the important influence of culture in raising a child. Vygotsky believed that children are born with certain innate abilities such as sensation and undirected attention, which he called ‘elementary mental functions’ (Vygotsky, 1962). These were considered to be merely reactions to the child’s immediate situation rather than an attempt to communicate or achieve goals.
Nowadays, constructivism is considered as a vital issue in various disciplines, especially instructional design (Can, 2009; Powell & Kalina, 2009). Ertmer and Newby (2013) pointed out this theory is contrasted with behaviorism and cognitivism. Generally, Vygotsky supported Piaget’s work about learners’ activities in the cognitive development. However, he did not agree that maturation itself enough of a way to allow learners to achieve higher knowledge and skills in their cognitive development. According to Vygotsky’s theory, learners’ knowledge is socially constructed through language (Powell & Kalina, 2009; Zhou & Brown, 2014).
Although physical growth during infancy is evident to everyone, Cognitive development is not as clear. Throughout childhood up until adulthood, infants are able to visualize and understand their surroundings to be competent to solve problems, make decisions, process their thoughts and recall all the acquired information one might need or want (Wells, 2014). This mental process is known as cognitive development. Piaget and Vygotsky are very well known for their theories on this matter. While their theories might be similar, each has a different theory of how cognitive development evolves throughout one’s life.