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Cognitive Development: Two Competing Schools of Thought - Essay Example

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Cognitive Development: Two Competing Schools of Thought

As the essay declares cognitive skills are considered to be affected by both hereditary and environmental variables. Cognitive development theory is concerned with, as stated by Piaget, “how we come to know”. How human beings are distinguishable from animals is rooted in out ability to reason symbolically and abstractly. Cognitive development theory is concerned with how we develop these reasoning skills.
According to the report findings cognitive development theory is deeply indebted to the work of Jean Piaget, a biologist and philosopher. His theories focus on the biological features and stimuli of cognitive development. He remains an influential figure for the “cognitive constructionists” branch of cognitive development theory. Piaget argued that cognitive development was a result of the ways in which human organisms adapted to external variables. He divided these adaptations into two categories, assimilation and accommodation, and hypothesized that these two processes were the means by which humans developed intellectually throughout their lifetimes. Huitt and Hummel have paraphrased Piaget’s work by stating that “Assimilation is the process of using or transforming the environment so that it can be placed in preexisting cognitive structures. Accommodation is the process of changing cognitive structures in order to accept something from the environment”. Another school of thought is often traced to the work of Lev Vygotsky. He is deemed to be the major proponent of the “social constructionists” branch of cognitive development theory. ...Show more


This essay will address the field of cognitive development theory. It will discuss the major schools of thought, identify the major variables of each school of thought, and discuss how these theories of cognitive development are significant for guiding instructional teaching methods and curriculum choices. …
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Cognitive Development: Two Competing Schools of Thought essay example
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