Piaget And Vygotsky Cognitive Development

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Children are constantly learning new information from many sources, but where is it that they receive the majority of their learning experience? Dr. Jean Piaget and Dr. Lev Vygotsky were both contributors to the theory of cognitive development. They both believe children are influenced by their environment, however both have different views of how a cognitive development occurs. Understanding the way children learn and take in information is essential to their development. With assistance for the text Development Through the Lifespan by Laura E. Berk (2014), this paper will examine the theories of both Piaget and Vygotsky in regard to cognitive development and teaching methods of children in mid-childhood. First, it is important to
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233). In other word, children should not be forced to learn beyond their capacity and instead be supported for their current level of development. Unlike Piaget’s theory of supporting children’s current level of development, in a traditional classroom setting, children are forced to learn the material in a specific timeline. While a teacher gives informs and instructions, it is mandated that students sit quietly and listen. This style of learning would probably be disapproved by Piaget who would have preferred a “constructive classroom” scene. In this type of setting, students do work according to their own developmental pace. In the constructive setting, children “gain in critical thinking, greater social and moral maturity, and more positive attitudes toward school” (Berk, 2014, p. 319). They do work at their own pace while a teacher provides guidance to the needs of the students. Although Piaget encouraged learning based on the individual child’s development, Dr. Lev Vygotsky considered developmental learning as a social process. According to Vygotsky, social interaction was imperative for cognitive development. In a “social – constructive” educational setting, the student, instructor, and peers “participate in a wide range of challenging activities, teachers and children should be partners in learning, using many types of symbolic communication in meaningful activities, and teaching adapted to each child’s zone of proximal development” (Berk,
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