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Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint.

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive Development: Piaget’s Theory and Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Viewpoint

2 PIAGET’S THEORY PIAGET’S THEORY OF COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT PIAGET’S THEORY Genetic epistemology is the experimental study of the development of knowledge, developed by Piaget What is Intelligence ? According to Piaget, it is a basic life function that enables an organism to adapt to its environment. All intellectual activity is undertaken with one goal in mind-cognitive equilibrium Piaget described children as constructivist

3 Cognitive Schemes: the structure of intelligence Scheme is a term used by Piaget to describe the models, or mental structures, that we create to represent,organize, and interpret our experiences. There are 3 kinds of intellectual structures: 1.Behavioral schemes First intellectual structures to emerge 2.Symbolic schemes Appears ~2 year of life 3.Operational schemes 7 years+

4 How we gain knowledge: Piaget’s Cognitive Processes Organization is the process by which children combine existing schemes into new and more complex intellectual structures. Adaptation is an inborn tendency to adjust to the demands of the environment. The goal of adaptation is to adjust to the environment; this occurs through assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation is the process of interpreting new experiences by incorporating them into existing schemes. Accommodation is the process of modifying existing schemes in order to incorporate or adapt to new experiences.

5 Piagetian Concept Example Equilibrium Toddler who has never seen anything fly but birds thinks that all flying objects are birds Assimilation Start Start Seeing an airplane flying prompts the child to call it a birdie Accommodation Child experiences conflict upon realizing that the new birdie has no feathers. Concludes it is not a bird and asks for the proper term or invents a name. Equilibrium restored Organization Finish Finish Forms hierarchal scheme consisting of a superordinate class (flying objects) and two subordinate classes (birdies and airplanes).

6 Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development According to Piaget, a child’s development progresses through 4 qualitative stages and an invariant developmental sequence or universal pattern of development, which are: The Sensorimotor Stage (Birth to 2 Years)Sensorimotor Stage The Preoperational Stage (2 to 7 Years)Preoperational Stage The Concrete-Operational Stage (7 to 11 Years)Concrete-Operational The Formal-Operational Stage (11-12 Years and Beyond)Formal-Operational

7 The sensorimotor stage (Birth-2 years) The 6 Developmental stages of Problem- Solving abilities: 1. Reflex activity (0-1mon.) exercising and accommodation of inborn reflexes 2. Primary circular reactions (1-4 mon.) repeating acts centered on ones own body 3. Secondary circular reactions (4-8 mon.) repeating acts toward external objects

8 Sensorimotor stage cont’d 4. Coordination of secondary schemes (8-12 mon.) combining acts to solve simple problems. 5. Tertiary circular reactions (12-18 mon.) experimenting to find new ways of to solve problems 6. Symbolic problem solving (18-24 mon.) inner experimentation without relaying on trial-and-error experimentation

9 Development of imitationDevelopment of imitation Deferred imitation (18-24 mo.) is the ability to reproduce the behavior of an absent model. Development of Object Permanence (8-12 mo) is the idea that objects continue to exist when they are no longer visible or detectable through the other senses. A-not-B error : tendency of month olds to search for a hidden object where they previously found it even after they have seen it moved to a different location.

10 Challenges to Piaget’s account of sensorimotor development: Neo-nativism: idea that cognitive knowledge is innate and subject to biological constraints “theory” theories: theories of cognitive development that combine neo-nativism and constructivism

11 Preoperational stage (2-7 yrs) There is an increase in their use of mental symbols to represent objects and events they encounter The Preconceptual Period is the early substage of preoperations, from age 2 to age 4, characterized by the appearance of primitive ideas, concepts, and methods of reasoning. Marked by the appearance of symbolic function and play. The Intuitive Period is the later substage of preoperations, from age 4 to age 7, when the child’s thinking about objects and events is dominated by salient perceptual features.

12 The Preconceptual Period: Emergence of Symbolic thought Symbolic function Ability to use symbols to represent objects or experiences Symbolic play Play where one object, action, or actor symbolizes another

13 Deficits in preconceptual reasoning: Animism- attributing lifelike qualities to inanimate objects Egocentrism- viewing the world from only one’s perspective Appearance/Reality distinction- inability to distinguish deceptive appearances from reality

14 The intuitive period: Here cognition is described as: Centered a tendency to focus on one aspect of a situation and not on others due to their inability to understand: Conservation - recognition that the properties of an object or substance do not change when its appearance is altered in some superficial way. Reversibility- ability to reverse or negate an action by mentally performing the opposite action

15 The Concrete-Operational Stage (7 to 11 Years) Here children are said to think more logically about real objects and experiences Some examples of operational thought Conservation Reversibility Logic Classification ability to create relationships between things. Relational Logic Mental seriation Transitivity The sequencing of concrete operations Horizontal decalage- different levels of understanding conservation tasks that seem to require the same mental operations

16 The Formal-Operational Stage (11-12 Years and Beyond) Ability to reason logically about hypothetical process and events that may have no basis in reality Hypothetico-Deductive Reasoning a formal operational ability to think hypothetically. Thinking Like a Scientist Inductive reasoning- type of thinking where hypotheses are generated and then systematically tested in experiments. Personal and Social Implications The formal operation stage paves the way for: Identity formation Richer understanding of other peoples psychological perspectives The ability to way options in decision making

17 An Evaluation of Piaget’s Theory Convinced us that children are curious, active explorers who play an important role in their own development. His theory was one of the first to explain, and not just describe, the process of development. His description of broad sequences of intellectual development provides a reasonably accurate overview of how children of different ages think. Piaget’s ideas have had a major influence on thinking about social and emotional development as well as many practical implications for educators. Piaget asked important questions and drew literally thousands of researchers to the study of cognitive development.

18 Challenges to Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory: Underestimated developing minds Failed to distinguish competence from performance It is believed by some that Cognitive development does not evolve in a qualitative and stage like manner- it tends to develop gradually Provides a vague explanation on cognitive maturation Devoted little attention to social and cultural influences


20 Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Perspective Sociocultural theory states that: – Cognitive development occurs in a sociocultural context that influences the form it takes – Most of a child’s cognitive skills evolve from social interactions with parents, teachers, and other more competent associates

21 The role of culture in intellectual development: Vygotsky proposed that we should evaluate human development from four interrelated perspectives: Microgenetic-changes that occur over brief periods of time-minutes and seconds Ontogenetic-development over a lifetime Phylogenetic-development over evolutionary time Sociohistorical- changes that have occurred in one's culture and the values, norms and technologies such a history has generated

22 Tools of intellectual adaptation Vygotsky ( /1978) proposed that infants are born with a few elementary mental functions – attention, sensation, perception and memory – that are eventually transformed by the culture into new and more sophisticated mental processes he called higher mental functions.

23 The Social Origins of Early Cognitive Competencies: Zone of Proximal Development range of tasks that are too complex to be mastered alone but can be accomplished with guidance and encouragement from a more skillful partner Scaffolding- the expert participant carefully tailors their support to the novice learner to assure their understanding

24 Apprenticeship in Thinking and Guided Participation: guided participation, adult-child interactions in which children’s cognitions and modes of thinking are shaped as they participate with or observe adults engaged in culturally relevant activities. Our culture is one that uses what Vygotsky termed context-independent learning

25 Implications for Education: Children are seen as active participants in their education teachers in Vygotsky’s classroom would favor guided participation in which they: structure the learning activity provide helpful hints or instructions that are carefully tailored to the child’s current abilities monitor the learner’s progress gradually turning over more of the mental activity to their pupils Promote cooperative learning exercises

26 The role of language in cognitive development: According to Piaget: Children partake in egocentric speech, utterances neither directed to others nor expressed in ways that the listeners might understand Egocentric speech played a little role in cognitive development Speech tended to become more social as the child matures-less egocentric

27 The role of language in cognitive development cont’d According to Vygotsky: Thought and language eventually emerge A child’s nonsocial utterances, which he termed private speech, illustrate the transition from paralinguistic to verbal reasoning Private speech plays a major role in cognitive development by serving as a cognitive self-guidance system, allowing children to become more organized and good problem solvers As individuals develop, private speech becomes inner speech

28 To consider… According to contemporary research: Children rely heavily on private speech when facing difficult problems There is a correlation between “self-talk” and competence Private speech does eventually become inner speech and facilitates cognitive development

29 Theories of Cognitive Development: Vygotsky vs. Piaget Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory Cognitive development varies across cultures Cognitive development is mostly universal across cultures Stems from social interactions Stems from independent explorations Social processes become individual-physiological processes Individual (egocentric) processes become social processes Adults are important as change agents Peers are important as change agents

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