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Cognitive Development Perspectives of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky

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  1. Teacher preparation with regard to teaching students is a very sensitive issue and there is need to consider the cognitive development perspectives of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky
  2. Piaget holds the view that cognitive development happens through a series of schemes, which are basic building blocks of thinking
  3. On his part, Vygotsky holds that people's mental structures and processes are attributable to social interactions with others
  4. Piaget's theory gives a meaningful insight that can help teachers prepare to teach, according to the stage of development of the learner
  5. The teacher must understand the students' capacity of equilibration, a complex balancing act that involves organizing, assimilating, and accommodating
  6. In his social interaction theory, Vygotsky argues that the zone of proximal development is a stage where learners can be directed to learn more complex things
  7. The arguments for Piaget's theory stated above notwithstanding, the adaptation theory may not be sufficient in all cases

Teacher preparation with regard to teaching students is a very sensitive issue and there is need to consider the cognitive development perspectives of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. These two theorists provide different perspectives about young children's learning patterns, but they both have impacts on how teachers should prepare to teach the children. Knowing children's cognitive development allows teachers to satisfy the learning needs of the children.

[...] (2008). Developmental psychology: Incorporating Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories in classrooms. Journal of Cross- Disciplinary Perspectives in Education, 67. Chaiklin, S. (2003). The zone of proximal development in Vygotsky's analysis of learning and instruction. Retrieved from http://people.ucsc.edu/ ~gwells/Files/Courses_Folder/documents/chaiklin.zpd.pdf Genovese, J. E. C. (2003). Piaget, pedagogy, and evolutionary psychology. [...]


[...] He essentially believes that cultural tools, such as language are critical in development and that learning and development happen within the area of proximal development (Woolfolk p.77). The focus of these theorists is the development of mental capabilities throughout the learning period. Going by their approaches, both theorists believe that education should be aimed at developing higher mental functions as opposed to merely filling students with information. Therefore, teachers must be responsive to the capabilities of the learners as they prepare to teach. The teacher should recognize that he is responsible for transforming the ability of the students through what he teaches. [...]


[...] Here, Piaget's cognitive development stages could be of help in determining what to teach to the students. Knowing that learning is both an adaptive process and a result of social interaction is very important to teachers as they prepare lessons for their students. In both Piaget's and Vygotsky's cognitive development theories, there is insistence that teachers must learn about the learning capacities of their students to know the most suitable content to teach. There is synergy that is generated by using Piaget's adaptation theory and Vygotsky's social interaction theories together when preparing to teach. [...]


[...] The teacher must understand the students' capacity of equilibration, a complex balancing act that involves organizing, assimilating, and accommodating. If diequilibrium exists, students keep searching for solutions via assimilation and accommodation, enhancing the way of thinking in the process (Woolfolk p.56). Apparently, the disquilibrium happens when people move through the cognitive stages. For instance, when people reach the formal operations stage they are able to construct theories and logically deduce their consequences without any previous experience in the subject (Simatwa p. [...]

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