Discuss and Evaluate Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development Essay

Words: 978
Pages: 4

Discuss Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development (8+16)
Vygotsky proposed that children’s development is affected by their culture and social interaction. He also suggested that children are not born with knowledge but they gain it through their social interactions with peers and adults; he does not rule out the importance of biological processes but proposes an interdependent relationship between biological development alongside social activity and cultural interaction.

Since language is our means of communicating cultural knowledge, it is extremely important in this theory. Vygotsky was particularly interested in the relationship between language and thinking processes; he believed language was crucial for cognitive development.
…show more content…
Vygotsky’s theory implies that development can be artificially accelerated by guidance and social interaction however this is not always the case; children often only learn when they are ready to learn as much as their brain allows them. He proposed that cognitive skills were promoted by social interaction and that this could determine the age at which the stages were reached as in Piaget’s. A child’s biological processes, the way the child’s brain works may restrict him/her from developing; this is what Vygotsky fails to explain. A better, more rounded idea would be both Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theory together; it would explain Piaget’s stages of development along side how some children are more developed than others through Vygostky’s idea of social interaction being key; a balanced mix of nature and nature.

Vygotsky’s theory is rather sketchy; he failed to mention what kind of social interaction would be most beneficial for learning, for example, If general encouragement would help a child to learn or whether specific instructions is better than elaborative instructions. Despite the criticisms, Vygotsky’s theory can explain why children successfully complete Piagetian tests at an earlier age then the age stated by Piaget himself. He argued the importance of social context, which Piaget underestimated. The ZPD allows a child to understand Piagetian tasks.

There was a lack of empirical