Introduction to a Critical Evaluation of the Psychological Foundations of Education, Theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, Ericson and Kohlberg

971 Words Oct 29th, 2011 4 Pages
Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development:
Piaget’s theory is based on stages, whereby each stage represents a qualitatively different type of thinking. Children in stage one cannot think the same as children in stage 2, 3 or 4 etc. Transitions from one stage to another are generally very fast, and the stages always follow an invariant sequence. Another important characteristic of his stage theory is that they are universal; the stages will work for everyone in the world regardless of their differences
Piaget acknowledged that there is an interaction between a child and the environment, and this is a focal point for his theory. He believed a child cannot learn unless they are constantly interacting with their environment, making
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Vygotsky believed that the internalization of these tools led to higher thinking skills.
Suggested that the interaction is not important at all; the child will learn when encouraged to with an adult’s assistance.
Many schools have traditionally held a transmissionist or instructionist model in which a teacher or lecturer ‘transmits’ information to students. In contrast, Vygotsky’s theory promotes learning contexts in which students play an active role in learning. Roles of the teacher and student are therefore shifted, as a teacher should collaborate with his or her students in order to help facilitate meaning construction in students. Learning therefore becomes a reciprocal experience for the students and teacher.

Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development:
Like Piaget, Erik Erikson maintained that children develop in a predetermined order. Instead of focusing on cognitive development, however, he was interested in how children socialize and how this affects their sense of self. According to the theory, successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and successful interactions with others. Failure to successfully complete a stage can result in a reduced ability to complete further stages and therefore a more unhealthy personality and sense of self. These stages, however, can be resolved successfully at a later time.
Stages are not at all a popular concept among

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