Piaget and Vygotsky

Psychology – Piaget and Vygotsky

Piaget’s way of knowing:
Piaget did a lot of research on children after he discovered that children of the same age always made the same mistakes on IQ-tests. From this research, in which he tested children’s way of knowing and hence found their level of maturation, he argued that a child goes through several stages of maturation. The levels he arrived at are: The sensorimotor stage, the pre-operational stage, the concrete operational stage and the formal operational stage.

In the sensorimotor stage (0-2 years) the child has no schemas and can only know the world through sense perception. Nor has the child understanding of object permanence. This means that the child thinks that objects not seen do not exist. The next stage is the pre-operational stage (2-7 years) and here the child must rely on external appearances and not consistent internal logic, because it has not developed the ability to think that way yet. Neither can the child approach from other’s point of view. During the next stage, the concrete operational stage (7-11 years), the child creates schemas but the schemas cannot be used in the abstract world, in thinking. The child also learns that object may stay the same despite a change in appearance. The next stage is the formal operational stage (11 years onwards). The child can in this stage handle ideas and problems mentally and without the need for physical objects.

Some critics this theory has received:
- It is not possible to generalize the stages to all children; the development of a child may be very individual.
- If the development were solely dependent on the innate biological factors, then training and exercising would have no affect – which it has.
- Children tend to show more abilities than the ones Piaget argued that they have.

In his theory he focused on the role of social interactions, language and culture. Vygotsky also had several stages in his theory. However, his stages...