Psych 211 paper 2

Psych 211 paper 2 - Lauren Fridley Psych 211 Paper 2...

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Lauren Fridley Psych 211 Paper 2 10/23/07 Compare and Contrast Piaget and Vygotsky “Cognition is the activity of knowing and the processes through which knowledge is acquired.”(Shaffer and Kipp, 2007, p. G-2) In this essay on cognitive development I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, who were both influential in forming a more scientific approach to analyzing the cognitive development process of the child active construction of knowledge. (Flanagan 1996) I will then go on to evaluate the usefulness of these theories in understanding a child's development. First what is Cognitive Development? “Cognitive development is age-related changes that occur in mental activities such as attending, perceiving, learning, thinking, and remembering.”(Shaffer and Kipp 2007, p. G-2) Both Piaget and Vygotsky agreed that children's cognitive development took place in stages. However they were distinguished by different styles of thinking. Piaget was the first to reveal that children reason and think differently at different periods in their lives. He believed that all children progress through four different and very distinct stages of cognitive development. This theory is known as Piaget’s Stage Theory because it deals with four stages of development, which are sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. (Novak 2007) No theorist has contributed more to our understanding of children’s thinking than Piaget, a Swiss scholar who began to study intellectual development during the 1920s. Piaget was more interested in children’s incorrect answers than their correct ones. He noticed that children of about the same age produced the same kinds of wrong answers and using the clinical method he learned that young children are not simply less
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Lauren Fridley Psych 211 Paper 2 10/23/07 intelligent than older children; rather their thought processes are completely different. Piaget determined that intellectual growth progressed from one type of thinking to another in stages.(Shaffer and Kipp, 2007) In the first stage sensorimotor, which occurs from birth to the age of two years, the infant starts to coordinate sensory inputs and motor skills which shows transition from being reflexive to reflective and development of Problem-Solving Abilities. If one was to break down this stage it could be broken down into months. From birth to four months there is reflex activity, primary circular reactions and the first motor habits appear. Then from four months to eight months can be categorized under secondary circular reactions where repetitive actions with objects beyond the body occur. And coordination of two or more actions starts to achieve an intentional objective such as reaching for toy or food. Then from about one year to 18 months active experimentation of trial and error occur then after achieved the mind goes through experimentation at about 18 to 24 months. (Novak 2007) The preoperational stage last from two to seven years. In this stage it becomes
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Psych 211 paper 2 - Lauren Fridley Psych 211 Paper 2...

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