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Youngsters development has been an vicinity of study that has involved an enormous quantity of attention and debate ever since the last century. Jean Piaget (1886 - 1980) establishing the theory of cognitive development and has maybe been one of the most important people within this area. On the other hand, the work of Lev Vygotsky (1896 - 1934) has also been very pioneering in the education and psychology areas with his study on social interaction.
Vygotsky's speculative framework is that social communication plays a primary role in the growth of cognition. He said that cognitive growth is a effect of others transmitting rules and norms to kids.
Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice, first on the social level, and later on the individual level. First between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological. This applies equally to voluntary attention to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals (Vygotski, 1978, page 57)
An case in point of this being the pointing of a finger. This mite in the beginning be a pointless thing done by the child, but, as those around the child start to act in response to this the child begins to appreciate that this sign has connotation. (Vygotsky, 1978, pg56).
Vygotsky understood that what the child hears others say about the world, and how they see others interrelate with physical feature's of the world is an significant aspect. The most important basis following Vygotsky's theory was that he observed children as apprentices, with freinds, care givers and parents as mentors. He did not deem in the theories of Piaget that the child's development was protégé on stages, but disputed that the development and intellect of a child has more to do with the aptitudes of those around them, in the child's surroundings. He supposed more in the significance of society and the culture surrounding the child, and stated that education came through the constant use of language and communication with others.
The second part of Vygotskys theory is the idea that the cognitive development of the child is also dependant on the zone of proximal development.
The gap between a learner's current or actual level of development determined by independent problem solving and the learners emerging or potential level of development. That is, it is the set of knowledge that the learner has the ability to learn currently but does not yet under stand things that are "just out of reach"
Vygotsky said that a child develops better with the aid of peers, mentors or adults. Vygotsky declared "what a child can do with assistance today, she will be able to do by herself tomorrow" (Vygotsky, 1978, pg 87)
Piaget would disagree that cognitive development takes place in a sequence of stages, all of which happen in a precise order. The child develops though these stages, by the use of organisation, adaption plus the creation of schema.
His theory implicated four stages of cognitive development.
Sensorimotor Stage (Infancy) - in this stage (which has 6 stages), intellect is established through motor action without the use of symbols. Acquaintance of the world is imperfect (but developing) since it is based on physical communications / understanding. Children obtain object permanence at about 7 months of age (memory). Physical expansion (mobility) allows the child to start developing fresh intellectual abilities. Some symbolic (language) abilities are developed at the end of this phase.
Pre-operational Stage (Toddler and Early Childhood) - in this stage (which has two sub-stages), cleverness is demonstrated through the use of symbols, language use matures, and memory and imagination are developed, but thinking is made in a non-logical, non-reversible way. Self-centred thoughts preponderates.
Concrete Operational Stage (Elementary and Early Adolescence) - in this point, aptitude is demonstrated through logical and methodical management of symbols related to real objects. functioning thinking develops (intellectual actions that are reversible). Egocentric consideration diminishes.
Formal Operational Stage (Adolescence and Adulthood) - in this phase, intelligence is established by the logical use of symbols connected to conceptual concepts. Early in the period there is a arrival to egocentric contemplation. Only 35% of high school graduates in industrialised nation have formal operations; many individuals do not think formally during maturity.
A broadly talked about point of dissimilarity among each of the theories concerns their thoughts on the role of verbal communication (language). Language for Piaget is "a structure of symbols for representing the world and apply no influential effects on the organization of thinking" (Wood, 1998, p26). As stated, Piaget understood that cerebral actions and operations are enthused by action, not talk. Piaget views pre-operational kids, that is those among the ages of two and seven, as egotistic in the sense that their outlook of the world is at all times moulded around their immediate individual and sectional outlook. This egocentrism, he believes, is evident in both a child's thinking and talk.
For Piaget, the utterance done by a child under the age of seven are examples of this egocentricity. His annotations led him to say that children do not try to commune with others or even try to adjust their speech so others can comprehend it. He observed that children of this age frequently talk to themselves in a manner that cannot be known as communication. Likewise, he also says that playground collective monologues are not genuine conversations. He theorized that children are guarded by their logical budget; children under the age of seven cannot construct situations as they emerge from another person's perspective and are consequently unable of holding a lucid conversation. It is only when a child reaches the age of around seven and 'de-centres' that speech turns out to be more socialized.
Vygotsky's analysis is quite dissimilar. For him, childhood speech was not inconsiderate but involved social interaction and communication proficiency. Vygotsky was fascinated in the importance of culture and social surroundings and this goes far afield to explicate the emphasis he placed on language. In his belief it represented an significant cultural tool and in addition it was by speech that the child developed as a thinker and learner. Vygotsky did distinguish the presence of egotistic speech but distinguished that it is formed as a child struggles to deal with abstract ideas. It could consequently be stated that egocentric speech can be seen as a learning support. Many adults regress to externalized monologues to solve composite responsibilities. Vygotsky suggested that it is these peripheral monologues in children that later become internalized to form inner speech at around the age of seven, inner speech being the dialogue that becomes thought. He also looked at the fact that when a child was in a room where there was no suitable listener, they produced far less egotistic language. Vygotsky as a result concluded that "a totally egocentric creature would not be so sensitive to the presence of others "(Cohen, 2002, p65).
Vygotsky claims that the ability to learn through education is a primary feature of human aptitude and moreover is the key vehicle for the transmission of knowledge (Wood, 1998 p25). Quite the opposite, Piaget says that a child under the age of seven cant gainfully be taught tasks and concepts since he or she is not psychologically and mentally prepared. According to Piaget, a child's ability to be taught and make logical sense of what they are shown is inadequate by their stage of development. For Piaget 'genuine intellectual competence' is only obtained when the child can make his own perceptive of events. Piaget therefore believes development precedes learning whilst Vygotsky claims learning causes development. Clearly, this rouses a extremely dissimilar idea of mental eagerness for learning and as a result has different propositions for teaching.
Piaget's theory belief that cognitive development is through stages, even though there should be no age restraints. Together they believe that the finest and easiest way for a child to learn is through self-discovery, and through the process the information is retrieved in greater intensity too. Nevertheless, Piaget may be criticised is in the age restraining and the range of the age groups. He also does not consent to children advancing at dissimilar speeds and believes language is used just as aid to progression.
In summing up it should be known that children think in a different way from adults and there are chief differences in the way children of dissimilar ages comprehend the world around them. Piager, and Vygotsky both demonstrated that a child's learning and understanding is predisposed by the environment, society and culture, and individual abilities can be traced within the ZPD, but there are certain phases of development that all children, either with or without the help of adults will go by. Yet, as said before this is dependant on the child's individual development and has to take into contemplation things such as social surroundings, disabilities and the accessibility of peers, adults and mentors.
Piaget, Vygotsky have formed theories which still persuade the way children are raised in society nowadays and while they have a lot of different ideas, there are also resemblances in their work. It must also be known that whilst many have criticised the work and theories of Piaget he did make the initial study into the cognitive development of children, and his theory encouraged a lot of other psychologists into additional studies of expansion and development.