Piaget and Vygotsky

Topics: Developmental psychology, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky Pages: 3 (864 words) Published: March 30, 2007
Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky, two important theorists in the developmental psychology have both differences and similarities in their theories. However, both Piaget and Vygotsky made a lot of contribution towards the field of children's cognitive development.

Vygotsky and Piaget both believed that children are active seekers of knowledge. While Vygotsky believed that children were greatly impacted by rich social and cultural environment, Piaget believed that children are impacted by their own personal experiences. For example, Piaget suggests that children through activities which they experience such as cooking and water play eventually start to develop certain mathematical concepts through their explorations. In fact, Piaget describes the child as a "little scientist". Both Piaget and Vygotsky believe in the discovery of learning. However, while Piaget value self exploration, Vygotsky emphasizes the fact that a child need support throughout the activity. Like Piaget, Vygotsky believed that there were some problems out of a child's range of understanding. However, in contrast, Vygotsky believed that given proper help and assistance, children could perform a problem that Piaget would consider to be out of the child's mental capabilities. The zone is the area at which a child can perform a challenging task, given appropriate help. Piaget and Vygotsky also differ in how they approach discovery learning. Piaget advocated for discovery learning with little teacher intervention, while Vygotsky promoted guided discovery in the classroom. Guided discovery involves the teacher offering intriguing questions to students and having them discover the answers through testing hypotheses. The students are engaged in the discovery process; however, they are still receiving assistance from a more knowledgeable source. Piagetian and Vygotskian classrooms both accept the individual differences and also provide opportunities for children's a lot of opportunities for children's...
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