Pyschology- Piaget and Vygotsky

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Piaget was the first psychologist to make a systematic study of cognitive development. Piaget was interested in how intelligence itself changes as children grow which he called genetic epistemology. Genetic epistemology was based on the 19th century biological concept of recapitulation (Piaget was a biologist first whom later trained as a psychologist). It was thought before piaget’s studies that children were merely less competent thinkers than adults. However, through his findings, Piaget showed that children think completely different than adults. According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based. Piaget based his theory…show more content…
Vygotsky’s theory outlines that a child’s use of internalising language is crucial to their development. Through the use of socialising, children are encouraged to talk to themselves, write/ draw how they feel as a tool to their inner monologue. The use of language controls our thinking as well as communicating our thoughts to others; therefore the child is learning to think logically. “Thoughts becomes verbal and speech rational” ( Vygotsky, 1962). Vysgotsky observed that children are able to complete more difficult tasks if they have guidance. He describes this as scaffolding. Supporting the child is known by Vygotsky theory is ZPD (zone of proximal development). Here is where adult or ‘expert’ guide the child to their full potential. The expert will supply their knowledge of the situation slowly taking away their support or help until the child is able perform the task alone. Thus, with the appropriate semiotic mediation (scaffolding) the child abilities become sophisticated higher cognitive process. Piaget and Vygotsky are both significant contributors to the understanding of cognitive development. Both theories had the same approach to learning of constructivist; students learn by fitting new information with what they already know. Another similarity of the two theories is that they both believe boundaries of cognitive growth are established by social influences. They both have adapted to a child centred approach to
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