The Development Theories Of Piaget And Vygotsky

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Many psychological researchers such as Lourenco (2012) argue that the development theories of Piaget and Vygotsky are too fundamentally different to be amalgamated. Others, such as Bruner (1966) and Glassman (1994), support the similarities (Butterworth & Harris, 2002), and state that together, they could give a more substantial understanding of development. This essay will focus on some of these similarities and differences. Consideration will be given to each of these approaches in regards to environmental relationships between the child and development, the methods used to undertake the subject of development and the theory of dialogue will be also be considered as another key focal point.

A key difference between Piagets approach in contrast to Vygotsky is the context that each of them viewed the relationship between the child and the environment or stimuli. Piaget took a more biological approach to his work stating that human cognition was a biological adaptation of a complex organism to a complex environment (Flavell, Miller, P. & Miller, 2002). He proposed that the child manipulated the environment around it by “actively constructing their own sense of the world” (Blades, Cowie & Smith, 2011). Vygotsky challenged this by stating that “learning must be viewed in the context of the person’s culture and the tools available in that culture” (Flavell, Miller, P. & Miller, 2002). He attributed learning to authority based relationships (Lourenco, 2012) and argued that,
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