Psychology: Jean Piaget Essay

1598 Words7 Pages
Jean Piaget, a cognitivist, believed children progressed through a series of four key stages of cognitive development. These four major stages, sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational, are marked by shifts in how people understand the world. Although the stages correspond with an approximate age, Piaget’s stages are flexible in that as long as the child is ready they are able to reach a stage. In kindergarten, many of the stages of both sensorimotor and preoperational stage were easy to find. For instance, the teacher allowed the students to have a couple minutes of free time. Many of the students chose to go to the tree house play area and began playing house. This is an example of the sensorimotor stage…show more content…
According to Bergin & Bergin (2012), Piaget also believed that learning involved assimilation and its counterpart, accommodation. Assimilation “is the process in which children incorporate experiences into mental structures”(Bergin & Bergin, 2012, p. 96) and accommodation is merely modifying those mental structures. As children assimilate new information into their existing mental structures, they are constructing knowledge. The construction of new knowledge is a key aspect of Piaget’s cognitive development theory. In the freshman history class, they were discussing a war that happened between a medieval family. One of the students raised their hand, and made a comparison of the battle to a celebrity feud within the Karadashian family. This is an example of how an older student would use assimilation. They took new information and incorporated it to their existing knowledge, giving them an overall better understanding of the subject. Overall, Piaget theory of cognitive development could be applied across all the grades.
Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory
Lev Vygotsky, a socio-culturists, created the sociocultural development theory. Vygotsky's theory stressed the fundamental role of social interactions and culture in the development of cognition. According to Bergin & Bergin (2012), Vygotsky strongly believed community and interactions with competent individuals played a central role in the process of
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