Educ 105 (2016)

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Applications of Piaget and Vygostsky’s cognitive developmental theories in a practical classroom environment Piaget and Vygotsky have antonymous beliefs when dealing with the concepts of cognitive development. Vygotsky believes in development through social behaviour whilst Piaget believes in individuals acquiring knowledge on their own. Both however, believe that the interaction between development and learning hold significant implications for a child’s growth. This essay discusses some of the philosophical beliefs of each theorist in regards to a scenario based in the classroom of a year five teacher named Ann. Ann reinforces classroom lessons through the outdoor environment, exemplifying Piaget’s theories of constructivist based…show more content…
Woolfolk & Markets (2007) discuss the use of certain ‘cultural tools’ playing an important role in cognitive development; these tools can be anything from the Internet to language or numbers. Ann displays techniques through collaborative group work that run true to these theories. Piaget also suggested an individual would not come to organise his/her operations in a coherent whole if they did not engage in thought exchanges and cooperation with others (Piaget, 1947, p. 174). Ann is breaking students up into different groups to perform different activities; this is portrayed through one group collecting rainfall data and another group taking notes on the impact the rain has on ants living in the area. Ann’s socially-constructive pedagogical approach to her lessons through the use of cooperative learning will exemplify Vygotsky’s theories of peer-peer scaffolding as well as the zone of proximal development. Vygotsky’s theory ‘The zone of proximal development’ is also being demonstrated through Ann’s teaching methods for her year five class. The zone of proximal development refers to a conceivable range of learning evolution in regards to the students’ age and the amount of assisted knowledge they are given. This information can be given through direct information, scaffolding or cooperative learning. Ann (as the more knowledgeable) would be required to offer a certain level of information to the children before expecting them to

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