Positions of Individual versus Society in Terms of Cognitive Development

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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.


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. ...
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