April 10, 2011
EDU 215 Educational Foundations and Framework
John Piaget and Lev Vygotsky Reflection Analysis
Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, both, were “very influential and significant contributors to the scientific approach to the cognitive development processes of the child” (Flanagan, 1996 p.72). Cognitive development is an active construction process, created by each child according to their experiences (Crain, 1980). Cognition is the process that is engrossed in mental activity such as attention, problem solving, and memory. The way children grow mentally and learn is an essential component in their learning capabilities and how they process this learning and information. When teachers understand the cognitive development processes it allows them to better meet the exceptional needs of every child.
Both philosophers were considered to be constructivists. Constructivism is a method to learning and teaching that is rooted on the idea cognition is the product of “mental construction.” In other words, students gain knowledge by taking what is already known and putting it together with new information. “Piaget and Vygotsky agreed that a child’s cognitive development took place in stages” (Jarvis, 2001, p. 149); nevertheless, these stages are differentiated by diverse styles of thinking. Piaget revealed that children think and reason in a different way, at different stages of their lives. He theorized that all children advance through four very diverse and distinct stages of cognitive development known as Piaget’s Stage Theory. These two philosophers had a similar belief that the boundaries of cognitive growth were established by social influences.
Piaget and Vygotsky did however have many divergent views. Piaget believed cognitive changes preceded linguistic advances, while “Vygotsky proposed language allowed the child greater freedom of thought that led to further cognitive development” (Flanagan 1999, p.56). Piaget...