Cognitive Development - Piaget & Vygotsky

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Cognitive Development - Piaget & Vygotsky by Mind Map: Cognitive Development - Piaget & Vygotsky

1. References

1.1. Lopez, L. Cognitive Development [Prezi Presentation]. Retrieved from Lecture Notes Online Web site:

1.2. Ormrod, J. (2013). Educational psychology: Developing learners (Eighth ed.). Pearson Education.

1.3. Hoadley, C. & Van Haneghan, J. (2012). The Learning Sciences: Where They Came From and What It Means for Instructional Designers. In Reiser, R.A. & Dempsey, J.V. (Ed.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Third Edition, Boston: Pearson Education Inc., 2012, 53-63

1.4. Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., Cocking, R.R., Donovan, M.S.& Pellegrino, J.W. (Eds) (2001). How People Learn: Brain, Minds, Experience, and School - Expanded Edition, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2000, Retrieved from

1.5. Miller, E., & Almon, J. (2009). Crisis in the Kindergarten: Why Children Need to Play in School. College Park, MD: Alliance for Childhood.

1.6. Kop, Rita & Hill, Adrian (2008). Connectivism: Learning theory of the future or vestige of the past? The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 9(3), Retrieved from

1.7. Shute, Valerie J., Rieber, Lloyd P. & Van Eck, Richard (2012). Games...and...Learning, In Reiser, R.A. & Dempsey, J.V. (Ed.), Trends and Issues in Instructional Design and Technology. Third Edition, Boston: Pearson Education Inc., 2012, 321-332.

1.8. Kropf, Dorothy C. (2013), Connectivism: 21st Century’s New Learning Theory, European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, August, 26, 2013, Retrieved from

1.9. Demetriou, Andreas (2006). Neo-Piagetian theories of cognitive development, Retrieved from

1.10. Stephenson, Neil (nd). Introduction to Inquiry Based Learning,

2. Influences upon Learning Theories

2.1. Social Constructivism has its roots in the work of both. The Zone of Proximal Development benefits greatly from groups of varying levels working together.

2.2. Educational games were influenced by Piaget's observations about play and imitation as factors in cognitive development (Shute, Rieber & Van Eck, 2012)

2.3. Constructivism - Piaget theorized that children construct rather than absorb knowledge (Ormrod, 2013)

2.4. Neo-Piaget theories - a number of different theories have emerged as a reaction to criticisms of Piaget (Demetriou 2006)

2.5. Dynamic assessment - outgrowth of measuring both the actual developmental level or progress a child has made and the level of potential development with assistance of a "more competent individual" - Zone of Proximal Development (Ormrod, 2013)

2.6. Generated much follow up research which found that cognitive development doesn't occur in discrete steps but through gradual trends and is not general across all types of knowledge and skills but varies (Ormrod, 2013)

3. 21st century Learning

3.1. Connectivism while not necessarily a learning theory extends the reach of the learner to access knowledge and participate in social contexts. As such it extends the capability for constructivism both in terms of Piaget and Vygotsky. Individuals are more capable of assimilating and accomodating new knowledge via active interaction with an extended environment and through engagement with experts or peers learners in social engagements via new tools that can span cultures (Kop & Hill, 2008) (Kropf, 2013) (Hoadley & Van Haneghan, 2012)

3.2. Inquiry Based Learning provides a very structured way for learners to construct knowledge through guided participation (Vygotsky) (Stephenson, nd)

3.3. Some of the skills required for 21st Century Learning revolve around digital tools for knowledge acquisition and collaboration. The application of these tools are cultural driven which fits in with the focus of Vygotsky.

4. Application-kindergartners

4.1. Piaget

4.1.1. Kindergartners are referenced within Stage 2: The Pre-Operactional Stage from about 2-7 years old. A real life example for kindergartners would asking a child a series of questions revolving a series cause and reaction events. Throughout the process, once the student aswners a reaction question correctly, the teacher must reinforce that new knowledge by asking the student why and ensuring they are understanding the new connections. When students are asked a particular question, they will often come to an answer on their own through self exploration or observation. Hands on experience often is the best way to explore the physical world. Such as water, foam, sand. A real like example would include showing a picture of 2 lines with arrows pointed out on each end. As the child which line is longer. Once they answer, take one line's arrow and invert them. Then ask the child which like is longer and why.

4.2. Vygotsky

4.2.1. Learning development must go hand in hand with social exploration. Language has a key role in increasing cognitive development. A real life example for kindergartners is to ask a class to write a sentence or two indicating what they would like to do over the weekend with their families. This task should also include having the children draw a picture of their weekend activity and then share it with their classmates. Vygotsky believed children need to internalize information first, apply their skills, and then share with their peers. These steps are used to gain cognitive knowledge. A real like example for a kindergarten class is to have the teach set up different city buildings within the classroom. Then ask the students to choose their occupation within the city and carry out the daily duties. Stations could include a school, post office, grocery story, etc.

5. Historical Context

5.1. Behaviorism was the predominant paradigm during the early 20th Century - stimulation and response (Hoadley & Van Haneghan, 2012)

5.2. Both started in the 1920s. (Ormond, 2014)

5.3. Vygotsky died in 1934 but writings were not known due to repression in Russia and lack of English translations until the 1970s (Hoadley & Van Haneghan, 2012), (Ormond, 2014)

5.4. Emergence of Vygotsky's theories in the late 1970s resonated with working being undertaken at the time in the cognitive sciences (Hoadley & Van Haneghan, 2012)

6. Comparison of Theories

6.1. Similarities

6.1.1. Both Theoriest believed the stages of development occur in order or sequence (Ormrod, 2013)

6.1.2. A child's environment and culture affect reasoning abilities and learning. Although Piaget only tested Swiss children (Ormrod, 2013)

6.1.3. Social interaction is key in the cognitive development process. Among their environment and peers.

6.1.4. Both focused upon the process of knowing and recognized the influence of prior knowledge, skills, beliefs and concepts upon the ability to learn. Constructivism (Bransford, Brown, Cocking, Donovan, & Pellegrino, 2001)

6.1.5. Giving a person a challenge is key to cognitive development (Ormrod, 2014)

6.2. Differences

6.2.1. Piaget Children are able to gain knowledge by pairing new material with learned material. Children must make a connection or form a new connection for the material to make sense. Believed equilibration is the reason for increased cognitive development. Children use qualitative thought processes at different ages. Children control their cognitive development. Focused upon children performing tasks at different ages/stages of development (Ormrod, 2013) Four stages of cognitive development: sensorimotor (up to ~ age 2), preoperational (up to 6 or 7), concrete operational (up to 11 or 12) and formal operational. (Ormrod, 2013) Characterized by creating schemes. New knowledge is assimilated if consistent with an existing scheme or accommodated to modify an existing scheme or create a new one (Ormrod, 2013) Applied clinical methods to study cognitive development in children and observe how they acquire knowledge a learn (Ormrod, 2013) Did not account for the influences of different cultures in studies. Only used Swiss children in clinical methods (Ormrod, 2013) Language enhanced cognitive development as most knowledge is acquired via language, but it did not take on the same central importance as it did for Vygotsky (Ormrod, 2013)

6.2.2. Vygotsky Interpretations are taught through adult interaction and formal schooling. ZPD (zone of proximal development) increases cognitive growth and used to assess mental maturation. Children are believed to preform more challenging tasks when they are assisted, rather than exploring on their own. The idea of "self talk" is how one begins to rationalize information. (Ormrod, 2013) Adults foster a child's cognitive development. Focused upon examining children performing tasks with the guidance and assistance of more knowledgeable people (Ormrod, 2013) Culture and artifacts (tools) play a primary role rather than secondary in cognitive development (Hoadley & Van Haneghan, 2012) Scaffolding to provide support for learners to achieve a level of development beyond what they can accomplish independently (Shute, Rieber & Van Eck, 2012) Language is essential for cognitive development. The self-talk and inner-talk concepts were an outgrowth of the focus upon language (Ormrod, 2013) Techniques include modeling, scaffolding & apprenticeships