Differences Between Piaget And Vygotsky

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Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky both contributed to the field of education through their theories of cognitive development. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development (“Piaget’s theory”) was the most well-know theory for many years and had a strong impact on the education sector. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory was labelled as a challenger to the dominant theory of Piaget. This essay examines and supports Vygotsky’s cognitive development theory (“Vygotsky’s theory”) through exploring the differences between Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories as well as aspects such as the zone of proximal development, the influence of cultural tools on development and the role of language. Background of Vygotsky and Cognitive Development Theory Vygotsky was born in 1896 in Russia. Most of his research was done between 1924 and his death in 1934 from tuberculosis. Vygotsky’s work was relatively unknown and widely unavailable until its translation from Russian in the 1960s (Swartz, de la Rey, Duncan & Townsend, 2011). As a result of this, the study of children’s cognitive development was dominated by the theory of Piaget (Tomassello, 2000).…show more content…
Vygotsky’s theory contrasts that of Piaget which states that cognitive development occurs through stages, including the sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operations(middle childhood) and formal operations (adolescence) stages (Saettler, 1990). Vygotsky believed that cognitive development was a lifelong process which could not be separated into stages (Hausfather, 1996) and believed that children gradually acquire higher mental functions (Swartz et al.,
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