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Research Papers that Compare Piaget and Vygotsky

Two of the most well-known developmental psychologists are Piaget and Vygotsky. Psychology classes frequently require research papers that compare Piaget's and Vygotsky's theories on child development and learning. Have Paper Masters custom write your research paper for education courses or psychology classes.

Jean Piaget (1896-1980) and Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) both made major contributions to the field of education. Both men profoundly influenced teaching methods and approaches with their innovative explanations of how children’s cognitive styles and abilities develop. These explanations differed considerably. Nevertheless, both Piaget and Vygotsky offered insights into cognitive development that educators may use even today to create developmentally appropriate approaches to teaching.

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget theorized that cognitive development always progresses from infancy into young adulthood through four sequential stages:

  1. Sensorimotor (from 2-4 years)
  2. Preoperational (2-7 years)
  3. Concrete operations (7-11 years)
  4. Formal operations (11-adulthood).

Each individual becomes an increasingly sophisticated thinker as she advances through the stages. If she attains the final stage—one that not all thinkers reach—she will have well-formed capacities for abstract thought and deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. Piaget hypothesized that children advance through these stages largely through processes of maturation and discovery.

Piaget vs VygotskyOn the other hand, Lev Vygotsky’s cognitive framework emphasizes the roles of language and culture in cognitive development. Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory of Development reshaped the fields of education and psychology by drawing attention to the cultural contexts in which learning occurs. Whereas Piaget proposed that children learn by acting on their environments, Vygotsky focused on how children learn the values and norms of their societies through their communications and social interactions. While Piaget cast the child as an agent of her own development, Vygotsky focused on how the child’s cognitive evolution is shaped by her culture and her interactions with the society of which she is a part.

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