Theories of Cognitive Development

Theories of cognitive development: Assignment one.
‘Compare and contrast the cognitive theories of the theorists – Piaget, Vygotsky & Bruner, criticising the basis of each theory’

This essay will be comparing and contrasting the cognitive theories and approaches of Piaget, Vygotsky and Bruner. The cognitive approach is based on how as individuals process information, past experiences, memory and perception. A definition of cognition is “how we consider information that we perceive from our senses and formulate a response” (Doherty & Hughes 2009). Previously, cognition was generalised as the involvement of mental structures and processes in which is used to gain knowledge. However, more modern views to the cognitive theory associate it with an emotional state. The three theorists that this essay will be looking in to are Bruner, Piaget and Vygotsky. Bruner believed that interactions had to be linked with a social context, and that there was no one formula applicable to all. Piaget believed that children learned about the world through exploration of it, and Vygotsky believed that development was at its highest when children were amongst more skilled and experienced learners
There are some clear similarities and differences between the three theorists. Starting with Piaget. Piaget saw cognitive development from a biological perspective, and believed that children went through different stages of cognitive development based on fixed ages and believed in children learning through action and exploration of their environment (Cherry 2008). In Piaget’s theory, cognitive development is represented as unfolding in four stages. From 0-2 years was the sensori-motor stage, which states that babies and very young infants learn through their senses and actions. From 2-7 years was the pre-operational stage, which is understood as young children learning through experiences with the objects in their environments and symbols (Cherry 2008). Next from 7-11 was the

Bibliography: * Jonathan Doherty and Malcolm Hughes (2009). ‘Child Development – Theory and Practice 0-11’ * Robert Siegler and Martha Alibali (2005). ‘Children’s Thinking – 4th Edition’ * Ima Sample (2008). ‘Educational Psychology’ * Smith, M.K. (2002) 'Jerome S. Bruner and the process of education - the encyclopaedia of informal education’ * Kendra Cherry (2008) ‘Background and key concepts of Piaget’s theory’ - * Saul Mcleod (2008) ‘Bruner’ – www.simplypsychology,org/bruner.html * Julie McKoy (2010) ‘Bruner’s Approach’ –,uk – Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation * Berger K.S (2009) ‘The Developing Person through Childhood and Adolescence’- Worth Publishers * Sarah Macarelli (2006) ‘Vygotsky’s Theory of Cognitive Development’ –

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