Cognitive Development And Vygotsky's Theory Of Learning

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Theories of Learning
This part of the essay will analyse two theories on how children learn within a classroom. Cognitive Psychology is the ‘study of the processes and structures under structures underlying knowledge’. In other words Cognitive Psychology analyses ‘how a person thinks, perceives, remembers and learns’ (Murtagh, 2017, Lecture 2). This essay will make reference to Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development and Vygotsky’s Social Constructivism Theory. Both theories have an immense influence on practice and educational theory today.
Jean Piaget studied how children make sense of their thoughts and actions in order to make sense of their experience. Piaget developed the four stages of Cognitive Development (Campbell, 2006, p. 5).

Piaget states people should adapt to their environment. He described two processes for Adaptation (‘Process of creating a good fit between one’s conception of reality and one’s experiences’), firstly Assimilation and secondly, Accommodation (Murtagh, Lecture 2, 2017). Assimilation is the process of using or transforming the environment so that it can be placed in pre-existing cognitive structures. Accommodation is the process of changing
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The zone of Current Development (ZCD) highlights what a learner can do independently is said to be contained within one's Zone of Current Development (Murtagh, Lecture 3, 2017). The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) ‘uses social interaction with more knowledgeable others to move development forward’. A teacher or peer offer help to the student, therefore the student is able to complete the task with assistance. ZPD students require active teaching ‘It’s a waste of time to teach kids what they already know and what they cannot do even with assistance’ (Utah Education Network, 2005, p. 11). Vygotsky’s theory supports the belief, ‘What is learned must be taught’ (Wilhelm, 2001, p.
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