Cognitive development - Research Paper Example

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Cognitive development

Teachers can plan lessons effectively and create positive learning environments for their students if they are more cognizant of how people process, learn, and remember information (Blake & Pope, 2008). Piaget perceives learning process from a constructivism perspective, where people get to know through gradual stages by adapting to the environment, while Vygotsky believes that learning occurs through social interaction. As a teacher prepares to teach, there is need to balance the approaches of Piaget and Vygotsky given that learning is both a constructive process and a product of social interaction.
Piaget holds the view that cognitive development happens through a series of schemes, which are basic building blocks of thinking. To Piaget, people make sense of the world and create knowledge from direct experiences with people, objects, and ideas. Additionally, the development of the thinking process is influenced by maturation, social transmission, activity and need for social equilibrium. These influences make thinking processes and knowledge develop via alterations in thought organization (schemes), adaptation, assimilation, and accommodation (Woolfolk, 2013, p. 57). It is the duty of the teacher to know what the learners can assimilate, meaning placing the environment in existing cognitive structures, and what they can accommodate, which means changing the cognitive structures to accept something in the environment (Blake & Pope, 2008, p. 61). The teacher must know the state of existing cognitive structures of the learners and their capability to change to be effective.
On his part, Vygotsky holds that people’s mental structures and processes are attributable to social interactions with others. Vygotsky upholds the notion that scaffolding, which is the idea that children utilize the help of adults and peers to create a firm foundation that eventually allows them to deal with problems on their ...Show more

Summary

Teacher preparation with regard to teaching students is a very sensitive issue and there is need to consider the cognitive development perspectives of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky. These two theorists provide different perspectives about young children’s learning patterns, but…
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