You are on page 1of 3

Chapter Overview and Summary Case Study: Museum Visit Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Key Ideas in Piaget

's Theory Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development Current Perspectives on Piaget's Theory Key Ideas in Neo-Piagetian Theories Applying the Ideas of Piaget and His Followers Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development Key Ideas in Vygotsky's Theory Current Perspectives on Vygotsky's Theory Applying the Ideas of Vygotsky and His Followers Comparing Piagetian and Vygotskian Perspectives Common Themes Theoretical Differences Case Study: Adolescent Scientists Summary Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Piaget portrayed children as active and motivated learners who, through numerous interactions with their physical and social environments, construct an increasingly complex understanding of the world around them. He proposed that cognitive development proceeds through four stages: (1) the sensorimotor stage (when cognitive functioning is based primarily on behaviors and perceptions); (2) the preoperational stage (when symbolic thought and language become prevalent, but reasoning is "illogical" by adult standards); (3) the concrete operations stage (when logical reasoning capabilities emerge but are limited to concrete objects and events); and (4) the formal operations stage (when thinking about abstract, hypothetical, and contraryto-fact ideas becomes possible). Developmental researchers have found that Piaget probably underestimated the capabilities of infants, preschoolers, and elementary schoolchildren, and overestimated the capabilities of adolescents. Researchers have found, too, that children's reasoning on particular tasks depends somewhat on their prior knowledge, experience, and formal schooling relative to those tasks. Contemporary developmentalists doubt that cognitive development can really be characterized as a series of general stages that pervade children's thinking in diverse content domains. A few theorists, known as neoPiagetians, propose that children acquire more specific systems of concepts and

independent use. guided participation. problem solving. Others recommend that adults engage children and adolescents in authentic. and the influence of culture. the relative importance of interactions with peers versus adults. The way children learn and mentally grow plays a central role in their learning processes and abilities. and form the basis for. and the appearance of qualitative changes in cognitive development. and cognitive apprenticeships. initially providing enough scaffolding that youngsters can accomplish those tasks successfully and gradually withdrawing it as proficiency increases. Jean Piaget and Lev Semionovich Vygotsky were both enormously significant contributors to thecognitive development component of Psychology. . 2006). the relative value of free exploration versus more structured and guided activities. and social interaction are central to the theories of both Piaget and Vygotsky. Many others instead suggest that children exhibit more gradual trends in a variety of abilities. complex mental processes: Children initially use new skills in the course of interacting with adults or peers and slowly internalize these skills for their own. adultlike tasks. Comparing Piagetian and Vygotskian Perspectives Challenge. However. For instance. Piaget vs. the construction of knowledge.thinking skills relevant to particular domains and that these systems may change in a stagelike manner. Social activities are often precursors to. By understanding the progression of cognitive development teachers enable themselves to better cater to the unique needs of each child. Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development Vygotsky proposed that adults promote children's cognitive development both by passing along the meanings that their culture assigns to objects and events and by assisting children with challenging tasks. and self-restraint. virtually all contemporary theorists acknowledge the value of Piaget's research methods and his views about motivation. And most developmentalists believe that children's play activities prepare them for adult life by allowing them to practice a variety of adultlike behaviors and to develop skills in planning. cooperation. the two perspectives differ on the role of language in cognitive development. Vygotsky: The Cognitive Development Theory Cognitive development is defined as development of the ability to think and reason (University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Often. readiness. some suggest that adults can help children benefit from their experiences through joint construction of meanings. Contemporary theorists have extended Vygotsky's theory in several directions. However. children first experiment with adult tasks and ways of thinking within the context of their early play activities.

students learn by fitting new information together with what they already know. this is where the similarities between Piaget and Vygotsky end.Both Piaget and Vygotsky were regarded as constructivists. Unfortunately. Constructivists believe that learning is affected by the context in which an idea is taught as well as by students' beliefs and attitudes (Hawai'i Department of Education E-School. In other words. Constructivism is an approach to teaching and learning based on the premise that cognition is the result of "mental construction". One other similarity between Piaget and Vygotsky is that they both believe that the boundaries of cognitive growth were established by societal influences. 1996). .

651 .3:..3:..164./3...909:.5169:.1.6:.0.796/.9796925631 7950 ..4...7.651. 0.9:066303195 ..525519:065.163:05.7.51694.33/0../3519:.: 2565.0.:16/. 136745..39:....3 :0663593..5..66 .9.: :9..4769.:.:65.9.: %:.:2:1751::64.:/064:76::/3  36745.1 .59...5: .065.6.51345.:9:659.#..9.: 79:06639: .1.:655 657.:6.1 03195 :. 65./3..

..089469:700::.5: 79676:.:. #..4:606507.51 .03195..

.6564.559  .:796050 509.3355..0..51.0:7: ".33.515...:79646.1.03195 :065.55:.5.:: 5146:.065:. 069:65.13..1.37960:::31955./. 117.9.. :73..:6979:.61:..69:...3365.77.365.5:.951:5.65 .33:5:233:5.90.5.: ".51.:279676:1.525.:5 .9:0..51/ .51065.:6 ..9.5 . :9:.13..5116.:.:5.4.32..::233:69..:..13.69:.:2 :'69665.:: &60.679...13.4699.025631..97950: .:2 :.51:3.55..5..:2:.5 031959:.0 .6.0.324./6.:  65.46...51.69:.90.57909:69:.13.904..9...5:5065.:2: 5....9373. 6.3/.33.337961556:0.:::..4769.7795.0.469.. 1367:233:573..9.:.9:5:..66/0.3190.03195/.6.:/3.9.9665.65625631 ...:.136745.1::.136745.9.:2::00::33..: ..5068.19.9 ...36745..555 06679.33065.56....9164..6:. .7945.53703195/5.9:9064451.:797.36#. 136745.503195...:0...3.51.525:233:93./3.::5:..065:..67.0.964./6..  6.5.:::.13..0.51 694.3 ../ 7.4:4.::69 0647345.65: 69 5:.519. :. 69 9..065.3:..51.4769..006473:.163:05...65  .50 :64::.3.03195.5.695:9.9 65 517515.9.6 .32/.3.65 796/34:635 .6.

:29 /6.. ..6..95.5.5#9:70.9/.136745.  647.136745.0647655.66493195 :6:7.6#:0636  '.516.51 .0.9557960:::.09.:2 69 .: 519:.4769.:151.905.35.13.5..: ... .9.90.9...79:9::.5111 ..516..95#.5145.5.515.69:...0..09:5.136745.#.:2.6/.6. 136745.: .52.4:3:.339673.659::469:.9.9:.: .335 9.:65 59:.51.8 '498%0439.0031  ./3.065..65.15:: ... 5350603.90..031953.65:.0..5851:6.3  ../3 .065.5065.:1965./3.679:70.7969::656065.51:60.6.96363..93.69:6/  65.56946:3:50.05.5065.51&465606.9    !.9.:.3697369.39635.

 7..15.645..1256 65:.39.9..90.555694.794:.:.: ..955:. :.: 65:..6 ..51. ....955/.7796.:.1: ..65 56.3 065:.:165..911.:/:.9.1/..#.15.5.: /3:.65:.65..65..6.6....05..90.45.:/3..610.9:3.

.9:6065...96.516. /651.9../3.5#..:/./6..:2:..&0663   "56.:43.9:.:251   ../3:1/:60.35350: 569.:: 9.3 ..9...9:43..516./.5..5#.