Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay

Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay
Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay
Cognitive Development theory The most well-known theorist in this area is Jean Piaget who concentrated his theories on children rather than other learners. His theory focuses on distinct stages of development marked by qualitative differences rather than a steady increase in the complexity and quantity of concepts, behaviors, or ideas. Piaget believed that an infant that grows into the child will develop into their own individual that could reason and think using hypotheses (Piaget, 1952, p. 369). Children build an understanding of the world they experience and compare that to what they already know in their environment. The three basic components of Piaget’s Cognitive Theory are: Schemas These are building blocks of knowledge Next is The Adaptation Processes which allow transition from one stage to another, and finally the Stages of Cognitive Development which include sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational (Piaget, 1952, p. 85) Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay.
Social Cultural Theory Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of human learning describes learning as a social procedure and the initiation of human intellect in society or culture. The major theme of Vygotsky’s theoretical framework in social contact is a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky believed everything is learned on two levels. First, through interaction with others, and then combined into that individual’s mental structure. 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) (Vygotsky, 1978, p.57). This applies equally to voluntary attention, logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals (Vygotsky, 1978, p.128). Similar to Piaget’s schema, Vygotsky describes scaffolding as an important part of the “zone of proximal development,” that supports a student’s severe-changing understanding of the knowledge needed to develop complex skills. Piaget and Vygotsky differ in their theories of cognitive development. While Piaget believed that children create an understanding based on their environment and compare this understanding based on their experience, Vygotsky believed that young learners depend on others with more experience and take responsibility for their own learning over time and that higher psychological functions are internalized through a social relationship which makes up the social structure of their personality (Valsiner, 1987, p. 153).
Strengths & Weaknesses– Unlike Piaget, Vygotsky’s work did not receive the same amount of scrutiny mostly because it was a time-consuming process to translate Vygotsky’s work from Russian. Also, Vygotsky’s sociocultural perspective does not provide a numerous amount of specific hypotheses that can be tested as Piaget’s theory, making it difficult to refute. The main criticism of Vygotsky’s works has been in regards to the assumption that it is relevant to all cultures and therefore culturally universal. His concept of scaffolding is heavily dependent on verbal instruction and may not be equally useful in all cultures for all types of learning Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay.
Piaget, J. (1952). The origins of intelligence in children. New York: International Universities Press.Valsiner, Jaan (1987). Culture and the Development of Children’s Action: A Cultural-historical Theory of Development Psychology
Vogotsky, Lev (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge MA. Harvard University Pr
Discussion: The Contribution of Classical Theorists to Contemporary Developmental Theorists

While all major developmental theories attempt to explain the growth of individuals, each theory has a slightly different perspective. Some theories emphasize environmental (nurture) more than biological (nature) influences. Some theories focus on a particular construct (e.g., cognition), while others emphasize the impact of age range in shaping development. Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory emphasizes fixed stages during which the mind’s capacities allow an individual to learn about the world. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, on the other hand, is not stage-based and describes growth as an interaction between the individual and his or her environment.
Contemporary theories (e.g., Langer’s theory of mindfulness) typically build upon the foundation generated by earlier theories. Langer’s theory of mindfulness contains similarities to classical theories, such as Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, in that they both agree that development is contextual and the organism is an active “mindful” participant. Langer took Vygotsky’s theory to a new level, focusing specifically on education and the learner. Other contemporary theories include neo-Piagetian cognitive developmental theories, which attempt to address the limitations found within Piaget’s classical theory. Robbie Case, Andreas Demetriou, and Kurt Fischer proposed theories that were extensions of Piaget’s theory. These theorists added concepts that expanded on cognitive functioning within the stages of development. Most developmental psychologists today do not believe that a single perspective or theory can sufficiently explain lifespan development; rather, an eclectic approach accounts for development better Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay.
For this Discussion, you will examine classical and contemporary developmental theories as they relate to current applications in developmental psychology.
To prepare for this Discussion:

Review the course text and other Learning Resources related to mid-20th-century theories and recent theoretical perspectives
Select two theories from the following list, one from each column (classical, contemporary), that examine the same developmental processes (i.e., cognitive, physical, and/or social-emotional).


Classical Theories
Contemporary Theories

Social Learning

Information Processing
Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Ethology/Evolutionary Developmental
Systems Theory


By Day 4

Post a brief description of the two theories you selected (one classical and one contemporary). Contrast the theories you selected. Specifically, identify important similarities and differences, including an explanation of the strengths and limitations of each theory in explaining developmental processes (i.e., cognitive, physical, and social-emotional). Note: Your descriptions should be in paragraph form, not bullet points. Use your Learning Resources and/or other scholarly sources to support your post. Use proper APA format and citations Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay.

By Day 6

Respond to at least one of your colleagues’ posts and search the Internet and/or the Walden Library and select a current article (within the last 5 years) that is related to the same developmental process (i.e., cognitive, physical, and social-emotional) that your colleague posted. Summarize the article and describe the theory identified within the article.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting and answer any questions. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained as a result of your colleagues’ comments.

Thanks for sharing, I agree that Piaget’s theory believes that children develop in stages. I also agree that children learn in different way which Vygotsky suggests, that children learn through interacting with others and then to what store in their mind (Newman, 2018). When children are developing they look to others for guidance such as parents, teachers, siblings and peers. Sociocultural theory and cogonitive development were mentioned in your discussion so I chose those when selecting an article to talk about.
Newman, S. (2018). Vygotsky, Wittgenstein, and sociocultural theory. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 48(3), 350–368. Piaget’s Cognitive Theory vs Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Essay.


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