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Father of Cognitive Development

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Piaget’s Theory (1896)- 80 years

Father of Cognitive Development

He is the first person whom formulated a theory of cognitive process in early childhood.

A lot of followers called neo-piagetians

He is a constructivist(not naturalistic) : anything that a child learns with the interaction to environment

Piaget: you hsve a base but you learn through constructing the world.

When you take 2 children. If the environmental .. are different than constructions are diff. But even though …, Piaget does not think like that.

In stage theory, he really thinks that all the children around the world go through same stages.

Children are seen as active learners. Intrinticsly motivated to learn. Active participation in the environment.

He argues that all those schemas are formed based on assimilation and accommodation.

Flying- bird schema

Plane : Accommodation ( making a new schema- changing your schema)

Horse- Zebra

Children generally call  zebras as horse.

When you try horse with stribes it is ccommodstion.

Stage theory- what is the assumption ?

In on order

Discontinuity in development

Quantitative change vs qualitative change

We do not  see just quantitiative or qualitative (combination)

His theories are based  on his own children.

New theories tell us now that compared to piaget’s theories children that age are cognitively more gelismis.

Others argue that it takes less time to develop compared to piaget

Piaget is all about cognitive, little attention to cultural influences.

Sociocultural Approaches

The other end of the spectrum

People differ a lot based on where they love  (cultural part)

Socio parts Is any type of social interaction. Who is raising him? Friends siblings school?

Emphasize is on guided participation

Puzzle : try another one

              Giving cues

In sociocultural approaches it is  the key.

Vygotsky (1896) 30 years :

real contributor to cognitive development in terms of sociocultural approach

Not vgotsky’s theory but





He also argues that children are active learners. However, different than Piaget the child needs a prominent figure that someone can guide the child.

The Zone of Proximal Development

Difference between what a learners can do independently and what cn be done with guidance


Talking to a colleague -physics

Explaining to a child


Scaffolding(assistance) : the child can walk but in order to him to walk better/earlier/faster.. with the help of the parent or caregiver…

All through these processes the child internalize what is appropriate for the culture. Thanks to the scaffolding and guided participation the child observes the knowledge. However, the environment DETEMINES what the child internalizes.

Vygotsky does not talk about innate behavior.

2 important things he talks about : play and language

Play: symbolic play is the key. But the child engages in symbolic game when other people are present. (Getting a banana and threating like a phone)

It is the key for internalization ( play).

Languages: The language that is used particularly by the parents.

Using a specific language helps the child the understand concepts

Math : it increases decreases.

Active learning

Estimation of the capacity

Important to know zone of proximal development. You cannot teach every children everythinh. You need zone of proximal development. You have bases but you learn through



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