Cognitive Development Theory’s basic premises suggest that thinking or understanding material about which to think requires a process of acquiring either the ability to interact with or manipulate ones environment based development attained via his or her surroundings or physical attributes that might be necessary to comprehend the material. There are differing opinions regarding how humans develop cognitively, but there are also areas within each theory that agree. Piaget believed intelligence was acquired after development (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). In contrast to this theory, Vygotsky believed that in order to develop, a child had to first acquire the sign systems of his or her culture (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). This is a major foundation of the two theories’ contrasting views. Piaget believed that child development required interaction with his or her environment. He believed that children were born with an innate ability to interact with his or her surroundings. It appears that Piaget believed that intelligence was primarily the result of individual interaction with one’s environment. Vygotsky believed that learning was not so much a result of individual interaction, rather it was a result of historical and cultural context (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). Vygotsky believed that learning comes from instruction and information from others (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). Therefore, in order to receive instructions from others, one needs to understand the language. Piaget and Vygotsky’s theories are similar in that they both agree that sign systems occurred in an “invariant sequences” (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). Piaget identified four stages from birth through adolescence. He labeled these stages sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational, and formal operational (Pearson Education, Inc. 2007). According to Piaget, the sensorimotor stage explains developmental characteristics for...
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