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Cognitive Development: Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theories

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Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Development: Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theories"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cognitive Development: Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theories
Chapter 3 Cognitive Development: Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s Theories

2 The proposition underlying a constructivist approach is that children must construct their own understandings of the world in which they live.

3 Constructivism is the basis for many current reforms in education.

4 Piaget had a major impact on the way we think about children’s development.

5 Piaget taught us that children act as “little scientists,” trying to make sense of their world.

6 Children have their own logic and ways of knowing, which follow predictable patterns of development as children biologically mature and interact with the world.

7 Piaget was an early constructivist theorist in psychology.

8 Piaget believed that children actively construct their own knowledge of the environment using what they already know to interpret new events and objects.

9 Piaget was a stage theorist who divided cognitive development into four major stages: sensorimotor, preoperations, concrete operations, and formal operations.

10 At each of Piaget’s stages of development, children’s thinking is assumed to be qualitatively different from their thinking at other stages.

11 Piaget proposed that cognitive development occurs in an invariant sequence.

12 Schemes are sets of physical actions, mental operations, concepts, or theories people use to acquire and organize information about their world.

13 Piaget distinguished between three types of knowledge:
Physical knowledge Logico-mathematical knowledge Social knowledge

14 In Piaget’s theory two basic principles guide children’s intellectual development: organization and adaptation

15 A Child’s Representation of “Eight” in Piaget’s Theory (Figure 3.1)

16 Piaget used the terms assimilation and accommodation to describe how children adapt to their environment.

17 Through the process of assimilation children mold new information to fit their existing schemes.

18 The process of changing existing schemata is called accommodation.

19 As an interactional theorist, Piaget viewed development as a complex interaction of innate and environmental factors.

20 According to Piaget, the following four factors contribute to children’s cognitive development:
• maturation of inherited physical structures • physical experiences with the environment • social transmission of information and knowledge • equilibration


22 Object permanence involves the knowledge that objects continue to exist even when they can no longer be seen or acted on.

23 The ability to think about objects, events, or people in their absence marks the beginning of the preoperational stage.

24 Piaget used the term preoperational stage because preschool children lack the ability to do some of the logical operations he observed in older children.

25 During the preoperational stage, children can use symbols as a tool to think about their environment.

26 Along with an increased ability to use words and images as symbols, children begin to use numbers as a tool for thinking during the preschool years.


28 Piaget found that young children’s conceptions of the world are characterized by animism; that is, they do not distinguish between animate (living) and inanimate (mechanical) objects.

29 Children’s intuitive understandings of their physical and biological concepts are a little more sophisticated than Piaget believed.


31 Metacognition is “thinking about thinking,” and it plays a very important role in children’s cognitive development during the middle childhood and adolescent years.

32 Perceiving and interpreting the world in terms of self is called egocentrism.

33 Three-year-olds seem to have what are called collective monologues, in which their remarks to each other are unrelated.

34 Centration means that young children tend to focus or center their attention on only one aspect of a stimulus.

35 Perspective-Taking Task (Figure 3.3)

36 In elementary years, children begin to use mental operations and logic to think about events and objects in their environment.

37 In the concrete operational stage:
• Thinking appears to be less rigid. • The child understands that operations can be mentally reversed or negated.

38 Seriation Task (Figure 3.4)

39 Seriation involves the ability to order objects in a logical progression.

40 Classification is a skill that begins to emerge in early childhood.

41 Matrix Classification Task (Figure 3.5)

42 Are There More Dogs or Animals? (Figure 3.6)

43 Conservation involves the understanding that an entity remains the same despite superficial changes in its form or physical appearance.


45 Propositional logic involves the ability to draw a logical inference based on the relationship between two statements or premises.

46 Pendulum Task (Figure 3.7)

47 Piaget called the ability to generate and test hypotheses in a logical and systematic manner hypothetico-deductive thinking.

48 Chemistry Task (Figure 3.8)

49 The ability to think about multiple causes is combinatorial reasoning.

50 Ratio Task (Figure 3.9)


52 Piaget has received the most criticism for his ideas about the qualitative nature of cognitive development.


54 Neo-Piagetians theories have attempted to add greater specificity to developmental changes, while maintaining the basic assumptions of Piaget’s theory.


56 Piaget captured many of the major trends in children’s thinking.

57 Much of Piaget’s research focused on children’s development of logical, scientific, and mathematical concepts.

58 One of the most important contributions of Piaget’s work concerns the purposes and goals of education.

59 The second most important contribution of Piaget’s research is the idea that knowledge is constructed from the child’s own physical and mental activities.

60 Piaget’s theory also emphasizes the important role of play in children’s development.

61 Lev Vygotsky was a major figure in Russian psychology.

62 Vygotsky’s theory stresses relations between the individual and society.

63 Vygotsky is considered one of the earliest critics of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development.

64 According to Vygotsky, children are born with elementary mental abilities such as perception, attention, and memory.

65 Vygotsky defined cognitive development in terms of qualitative changes in children’s thinking processes.

66 Vygotsky believed language was an important psychological tool which influenced children’s cognitive development.

67 Vygotsky identified three stages in children’s use of language:
• social • egocentric • inner speech


69 Compared with Piaget, Vygotsky also placed a stronger emphasis on culture in shaping children’s cognitive development.

70 To Vygotsky, the construction of knowledge is not an individual construction process.

71 Compared with Piaget, Vygotsky also placed a stronger emphasis on culture in shaping children’s cognitive development.

72 Vygotsky believed instruction by more knowledgeable peers or adults is at the heart of cognitive development.

73 Vygotsky believed that learning precedes development.

74 Vygotsky thought egocentric speech is the means by which children move from being regulated by others to being regulated by their own thinking processes.

75 Vygotsky’s theory places much less emphasis on physical maturation or innate biological processes than most other developmental theories.

76 Vygotsky thought private speech serves an important self-regulatory function.


78 Both Piaget and Vygotsky emphasized the importance of peers in children’s cognitive development.


80 Piaget and Vygotsky emphasized that children are not passive recipients of knowledge and recognized the value of play and activity for cognitive development.

81 Child’s learning is shaped by their social influences”
Agree or disagree and Why

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