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Evaluating Piaget and Vygotsky

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The two main theories of cognitive development were put forward Jean Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget stated that all babies are born with similar biological equipment such as the brain, senses and reflexes. This is the more natural rather than nurture approach. Babies develop schemas, which represents everything that a child knows and builds up reflexes. Piaget identified a four stage model of cognitive development. Stage one is the sensory motor stage. This is from zero to two years. This is where the child's knowledge is limited to what they can experience through their senses and to see what they can do. The second stage is the pre-operational stage. This is from two to seven years. ...read more.


Also when new information cannot be assimilated to the child thinking. Vygotsky believes that cultural input was essential in cognitive development. His approach was more nurture rather than natural. He suggested that intellect consists of elementary and higher mental functions. He stated that elementary functions were developed through experience, but to transform them into higher functions would require cultural influences. Vygotsky also said that social support was important. The instructor and a learner will work together, but in time, the learner would progress without help from the instructor. Vygotsky also stated that the role of language was important. He said that after the age of two, the child begins to use external symbols such as language to assist problem-solving. ...read more.


This makes the child behave in a predictable way. Another witness is for his methodology, during the concrete operational stage he deliberately transformed the display, making the child's response affected. So Donaldson made the transformation accidental so the child focuses on the actual transformation. The source of making this accidental was a teddy bear, which in fact distracted the children. Another criticism was that if a child is not biologically ready to move onto the next stage, then practice should not make a difference, however Bryant trained children under seven to cope with using mental rules. In spite of these weaknesses, Piaget's approach and theory should not be overlooked. He produced the first comprehensive theory of children development. It has also generated research and is used in educational practice. ...read more.

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Response to the question

A very systematic response when it comes to the evaluation, this candidate has nicely covered all the aspects required of an effective evaluation of Piaget and Vygotsky's theories of child development of morality, including explanations of how the theories are ...

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Response to the question

A very systematic response when it comes to the evaluation, this candidate has nicely covered all the aspects required of an effective evaluation of Piaget and Vygotsky's theories of child development of morality, including explanations of how the theories are structured. This is good because it shows a thorough understanding and appreciation of detail, though it could be argued that there is not enough consideration of the methods and psychological studies that both Piaget and Vygotsky conducted in order to found their theories. Adding these to the answer shows that little bit more insight and will fortify further the strength of the response. Being a coursework piece, this shouldn't be a problem as information on such revolutionary studies as Piaget's particularly, should be very easy to acquire and add to the response.

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis here is more indicative of the kind of answer you'd expect to see from an exam script, rather than a fully-fledged piece of coursework. This is by no means a bad thing - it just means that the work is incredibly sterile and only covers what is the absolute bare minimum.
The first two paragraphs cover a more extensive commentary on the two theories, but the actual evaluation is presented in the form of very regimented, short paragraphs that barely merit the name. For this reason, the candidate scores lowly on structure, as it seems like the perfect structure for a time-saving exam script where two strengths and two weaknesses are given in place of a coursework-length evaluation. To improve on this, the candidate should look into how they can integrate their evaluation into the commentary on the theories, with possibly a greater amount of detail placed on explaining the theories. Also, their should be evidence of external, independent research such as quotes from professional sources to suggest that the candidate has gone to extra lengths to provide a good piece of coursework that goes above and beyond what is asked, for this is what contributes a strong GCSE candidate - someone who can deliver greater than their expected targets. As it stands, this essay could easily score a low B, but could possibly jump a grade further if it was presented to a better standard.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is extremely good. There are no instances where the spelling and grammar are poor and compromise the meaning of the sentence. This shows a candidate who has read and re-read their work for errors in writing/typing and this is a good indicator of someone with a fairly decent work ethic; someone who takes pride and accuracy in their work, but it should be noted the a greater variety of punctuation (colons, semi-colons) helps create more confidence in writing and show the examiner the candidate has a very astute hand in English writing.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 03/03/2012

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