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Piaget and Vygotsky
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Compare and Contrast the implications of Piagetian and Vygotskian cognitive developmental theories for teaching and assessment. What does research suggest are best approaches to take?
There are two main theories on the cognitive development, Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget argues that our cognitive developmental is by determined nature and genetics, rather than what we are taught. Piaget's theory involves four stages: the sensorimotor, pre-operational, concrete operational and formal operational stage. Vygotsky developed a theory of cognitive development quite different to that of Piaget. Vygotsky believed that cultural input was fundamental to development. Without culture, individuals could not progress further than the elementary stage. Vygotsky also believed that language is communicative from the outset, and has a dual purpose, for thought and communication. Vygotsky's theory offers a more recent educational approach than Piaget, where the child is the apprentice, and methods such as scaffolding and the use of peer tutoring help the child to learn.
Vygotsky's approach to education is the opposite of Piaget's. Piaget saw the child as the scientist and believed in child centred and discovery learning, where the child teaches itself. Vygotsky, on the other hand, saw the child as the apprentice, and believed that they need
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