Cognitive Theories

Topics: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development Pages: 4 (1093 words) Published: October 11, 2013
What is cognitive development? It can be described as a developing of the mind. Cognitive development is how an individual’s intellectual mind learns, develops and processes everything around them. Cognitive development occurs through out the course of a person’s life, and without it, a person could not function in life. Two common problems with cognitive development that keep arising are the theories of nature-nurture and continuous-discontinuous development. Nature-nurture believes that children are born with an innate ability to learn and develop like their ancestors did because development is hereditary. Also, development and learning is nurtured by loved ones. With continuous-discontinuous, development is thought to be a smooth progression through life as an individual learns new skills. As Robert Slavin described in Educational Psychology (2009), the discontinuous portion of the theory focuses more on the internal traits rather than outside influences. One thing to remember is that children are not smaller versions of adults. Each child is different and learns differently. At least two popular theorists thought so (2012, Pearson Education). Cognitive Development Theorists

Jean Piaget was a constructivist whose theory on cognitive development relies on four developmental stages which span a person’s life. According to Piaget, it is possible to experience two stages at the same time, but it is not possible to skip a stage. Piaget’s theory on cognitive development can be broken down into assimilation, accommodation and equilibration. Another constructivist was Lev Vygotsky.

Lev Vygotsky’s theory focuses on cognitive development occurring as a result of a child’s cultural and historical development. With the aid of signs, development could be stimulated and enhanced (2012, Pearson Education). These signs are things such as language, media, and writing. Both Vygotsky and Piaget believed cognitive development was essential. Similarities and...

References: McLeod, S. A. (2007). Vygotsky - Social Development Theory. Retrieved from
McLeod, S. A. (2009). Piaget | Cognitive Theory. Retrieved from
Pearson Education (2012). Educational Pyschology-Theories of human development. Retrieved from
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