Personality Presentation Essay

2349 words - 10 pages

Compare and contrast Piaget and Vygotsky’s theorys of cognitive development

Cognition is the procedure concerned with thinking and mental activity, these include attention, memory and problem solving. In this essay on cognitive development I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, both of these were influential in forming a more scientific approach to analysing the cognitive development process of the child active construction of knowledge. (Flanagan 1996). Piaget states that there are 4 stages of cognitive development which children will progress through at different stages of their lives. (Gross 2005). This essay will explore these areas. It will then focus ...view middle of the document...

(Gross 2005). Piaget divided this stage into six substages. During this stage children develop the concept of object permanence. Object permanence is an important concept, as it teaches them that an object still exists even if it is not visible. (Gross 2005).

The preoperational stage last from two to seven years. In this stage it becomes possible to carry on a conversation with a child and they also learn to count and use the concept of numbers. This stage is divided into the preoperational phase and the intuitive phase. Children in the preoperational phase are preoccupied with verbal skills and try to make sense of the world but have a much less sophisticated mode of thought than adults. In the intuitive phase the child moves away from drawing conclusions based upon concrete experiences with objects. One problem, which identifies children in this stage, is the inability to cognitively conserve relevant spatial information. This is when, when a material is manipulated and no longer matches the cognitive image that a child has made, that child believes the amount of material has been altered instead of just its shape. (Jarvis, Chandler 2001 P.135)

During the Concrete Operational stage from ages seven to ten, children of this age are in school and they begin to deal with abstract concepts such as numbers, relationships and how to reason. They can now group certain things into categories, and put objects into size order, number order, and any other types of systematic ordering. There is a form of logical reasoning and thinking. Using logic, the child is capable of reversibility and conservation, which is the understanding of that mental operations and physical operations, can be reversed. They are now beginning to understand other people’s perspectives and views and are capable of concentrating on more than one thing at a time. In this stage a person can do mental operations but only with real concrete objects, events or situations. (Jarvis, Chandler 2001 P.139).

Finally, in the formal operational stage, age twelve to fifteen, the child has become more adult-like in their thought structures and processes. They begin to reason logically, systematically and hypothetically. (Jarvis, Chandler 2001 P.139). They understand meanings without the need for physical objects or images. In other words, they can imagine things that do not exist or that they have never experienced. This stage is generally like the preceding stage but at a more advanced level. The formal operational person is capable of meta-cognition, that is, thinking about thinking.

Piaget also theorised on Adaptation, and Development. The adaptation theory (also known as the Constructivist theory) involved three fundamental processes, which contributed to the child’s cognitive development. These are assimilation, accommodation, and equilibrium. Assimilation involved the incorporation of new events into pre-existing cognitive structures. Accommodation is the adjustment...

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