Compare Piaget and Vygotsky Essay

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Piaget v Vygotsky Cognitive development is the term used to describe the construction of thought process, including remembering, problem solving and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. In this essay I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, both of which were enormously significant contributors to the cognitive development component to/in psychology. In addition to this I will also weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and outline how they can be applied to an educational setting. At the centre of Piaget's theory is the principle that cognitive development occurs in a series of four distinct, universal stages, each characterized by increasingly sophisticated and…show more content…
Unlike Piaget, who was of an academic background and didn’t apply his theories. Never the less, they both theories influenced education and empahsied the importance of assessment however Vygotsky wanted the observation of children and their abilities to be as valied as test scores. Most of the criticism of Piaget’s work is in regards to his research methods. A major source of his inspiration for the theory was based on his observations of his own children. And because of this small sample group, people believe that it is difficult and incorrect to generalise his findings to a larger population. Similarly, many psychologists believe that Piaget underestimated the age which children could accomplish certain tasks and that sometimes children understand a concept before they are able to demonstrate their understanding of it. For example, children in the Sensorimotor stage may not search for a hidden object because their motor skills are not developed, rather than because they lack object permanence. This has been supported by evidence from Bower & Wishart (1972). They found that the way that an object is made to disappear influences the child’s response. As well as this, Piaget’s theory has been said to overestimate that every child and adult reaches the formal operational stage of knowledge development. Dasen (1994) claims that only a third of adults ever reach this stage.
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