Outline Of Vygotsky's Theories Of Cognitive Development

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Jean Piaget is regard as the first psychologist to construct a systematic study of cognitive development. Piaget's theory centered on the four stages of development he believed everyone goes through. These stages are the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage. The main objective during the sensorimotor stage is object permanence, which is the understanding that an object continues to exist even when not seen (McLeod, 2009). In the preoperational stage the children are able to think symbolically, but thinking is still egocentric (McLeod, 2009). The concrete operational stage signals the beginning of logical or operational thought, which means the child is able to work things out …show more content…
Outline of Vygotsky's theories: children construct their knowledge, development cannot be separated from its social context, learning can lead development and language plays a central role in mental development (Demendonca, 2016). Vygotsky's theory stresses the fundamental role of social interaction in the development of cognition. Vygotsky places considerable emphasis on culture affecting cognitive development, on social factors contributing to cognitive development and on the role of language on cognitive development (McLeod, 2007). The tools humans use that develop from culture are speech and writing. Vygotsky believed language develops through social interactions and there a different forms of language. The first is external speech which is external communication and the next is private speech, which is communication directed at self, which later becomes internalized (McLeod, 2007). There are three major themes associated with Vygotsky's theory. The first is social interaction which plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development (BuItrago, 2011). The second is the more knowledgeable other (MKO), which refers to any person who has a better understanding or more ability than a learner, with regards to a certain task (BuItrago, 2011). The last one is the zone of proximal development (ZPD), which is "the distance between a students ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the student's ability solving the problem independently" (BuIltrago, 2011, p.