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Positions of Individual versus Society in Terms of Cognitive Development - Essay Example

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Positions of Individual versus Society in Terms of Cognitive Development

This concept leads to several questions. Piaget saw the child as a solitary learner and discoverer, and on the contrary, Vygotsky emphasized on the social and cultural nature of the development.
According to Vygotsky, a child's psychological development happens within social interactions, not through the unfolding of the innate structures. Development is a phenomenon that cannot be separated from its social and cultural contexts. Therefore as per his theory, individual is a part of the sociocultural matrix, where social interactions play important and fundamental roles in the development of cognition. It can said that not only the genetics and the environment, cognitive development is a manifestation of the influence of a mix of social forces surrounding the individual. The environment and individual change continuously, rather not in a staged fashion as prescribed by Piaget, and with these qualitative changes, the individuals produce new developmental accomplishments and mark new developmental milestones.
If one compares these two paradigms, it will be evident that Piaget believed that the child him or herself is the most important source of cognitive development. ...
Piaget relied upon the clinical method where he used probing questions to discover what the children understood, and Vygotsky on the contrary was concerned with the historical and social aspects of the human behavior that is unique for human nature. By his theory of genetic epistemology, Piaget studied the mechanism of acquirement of knowledge and was interested in errors that children make and suggested that these were nonrandom. He was on the look for a systematic pattern in the production of these errors and worked towards providing a logical and internally consistent explanation of these errors. In Piaget's view, development is a natural process with extension of the child's ideas from the child to the world with an invariant sequence of mental development in stages. On the contrary, as has been mentioned earlier, Vygotsky was concerned with the historical and social aspects of unique human natures. His theory suggested that social and cultural factors contribute to the development of intellect, and speech is a tool of thought, and in that sense, development of speech carries culture in that it stores the ancestry of experience in the social context. Human being, in that sense, is unique because they use these tools to create artefacts to change life conditions. Thus, according to Vygotsky theory, ideas originate as a dialectical process of social, cultural, and historical factors in an unending and orderly pattern. Piaget believed that intelligence arises in a progressive fashion in a child's repetitive activities, and the child developmentally acquires concepts of space, time, causes, and physical objects and begins to have fantasy and symbolism right in the infancy. These can be interpreted by ...Show more

Summary

Introduction: Piaget and Vygotsky differed in their views of the importance of the individual versus society in terms of cognitive development. The theory of Piaget is known as cognitive-developmental theory. This theory emphasizes the active role of the individual in the developmental process in an ordered sequence of qualitatively distinct stages…
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