Cognitive development is the term used to describe the construction of thought process, including remembering, problem solving and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. In this essay I will compare and contrast the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky, both of which were enormously significant contributors to the cognitive development component to/in psychology. In addition to this I will also weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of each theory and outline how they can be applied to an educational setting.
At the centre of Piaget's theory is the principle that cognitive development occurs in a series of four distinct, universal stages, each characterized by increasingly sophisticated and …show more content…
For example, Inhelder et al. (1974) showed that children learn better in situations of mild conflict. Also, Piaget focused on children’s mistakes and thus may have overlooked important mental abilities of the children by focusing on in what connection did they make their error during the task.
Although Piaget’s theory has quite a lot of criticism, he will always be known as one of the most influential psychologists. His theory is known to have had a great contribution to education and has provided a starting point for other psychologist’s research which has helped us develop and understand the cognitive development.
When compared with Piaget’s theory, a major weakness to Vygotsky’s theory is that there is little empirical research relation to it. This is probably due to his early death and because the theory focuses on the process of the cognitive development and not of the outcomes like Piaget’s.
In addition to this, many psychologists believe that vygotsky might have over emphasised the influence that social interaction on children’s learning capabilities.
However on the other hand, it is said that he underemphasized the biological and individual factors of the cognitive development. Vygotsky encouraged being aware of the children potential and how with the proper assistance or support from an adult or a peer with more knowledge the child is