piaget and vygotsky final Essay

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Jean Piaget (1896-1980) According to Simply Psychology, Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist, born the first child on August 9, 1896 to Rebecca Jackson Piaget in Neuchatel. His mother was intelligent, energetic, and kind but had a neurotic temperament that made family life a struggle. His father was a historian named Arthur Piaget, and influenced him to be driven, often choosing studies over recreation. Piaget was forced to grow up fast. When Piaget was only eleven, his notes on a rare albino sparrow were published. He published hundreds of articles and fifty books after that and kept his young age hidden so he would be respected by others in his field and to be considered credible. As a child he had a deep interest in biology and his Godfather introduced him to philosophy. After high school graduation Piaget studied natural sciences at the University of Neuchatel and obtained his Ph.D. in 1918 and undertook post graduate training at University of Zurich in 1918-1919. In 1919 he took a train to Paris and spent two years at the Sorbonne, taking courses in pathological psychology, where he learned to interview mental patients. After this he went to work for Binet’s lab in Paris and standardized Binet’s intelligence test on children. He did his first experimental study on the growing mind at this time. In 1921 he was the Director of Research at the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute in Geneva. He worked with child psychology and his works were published in the first five books on child psychology. It was at this time in 1923 that he met his wife and co-worker, Valentine, and they started having children by 1931. He studied and experimented with his children from infancy on and gained personal knowledge on the way a child’s mind works. In 1925, he took a job as Chair of Philosophy at the University of Neuchatel. He returned to Geneva in 1929, where he researched child psychology on a larger scale. He planned to spend five years studying children; however, it actually took him thirty years to complete his work.
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development states that children are active and motivated learners and they organize what they learn from their experiences into schemes. He said children adapt to their environment through the processes of assimilation and accommodation and that their interaction with the physical environment and with other people is critical for cognitive development. The process of equilibrium promotes increasingly complex forms of thought and that children think in qualitatively distinct ways at different age levels. There are four stages to his theory: Sensorimotor (birth), Preoperational (2 years), Concrete Operations (6-7 years), and Formal Operations (11-12 years).

Development of Theory Piaget pioneered the clinical method, a procedure in which an adult probes a child’s reasoning about a task or problem, tailoring questions in light of what the child has previously said or done in the interview. Through these observations and interviews, Piaget was able to develop a theory of cognitive development of how children and adolescents think and learn. His theory has seven principles:
~Children are active and motivated learners. They have intrinsic motivation.
~Children organize what they learn from their experiences. Their process of learning is a very constructive process: they create (rather than simply absorb) their knowledge about the world. The things that children learn and can do are organized as schemes, groups of similar actions or thoughts that are used repeatedly in response to the environment. Children’s schemes are largely behavioral in nature, but over time they become increasingly mental and abstract. Eventually, they integrate schemes into larger systems of mental process called operations.
~Children adapt to their environment through the process of assimilation and accommodation. Assimilation entails responding (either physically or mentally) to a new event in