Childrens Cognitive Development: Alternatives to Piaget Steve Croker / Room C009 / Ext. 2081 [email protected] Outline: Brief review of Piagets theory The role of culture - implications for Piagets theory The theory of Vygotsky The
theory of Bruner 1 Summary of Piaget Stage theory of development - older children think qualitatively differently to younger children 4 stages: Stage 1: Sensorimoter Period (0-2 years) Stage 2: Pre-operational stage (2-7 years) Stage 3: Concrete Operational Stage (7-11 years)
Stage 4: Formal Operational Stage (11+ years) Development is the combined result of: maturation of the brain and nervous system experiences that help children adapt to new environments - adaption: an organisms ability to fit in with its environment. 2 Summary of Piaget: Criticisms But Piaget: underestimated the importance of knowledge
Gagn: Complex skills can be acquired easily once simpler prerequisite skills have been learned. Development is based on LEARNING new skills - continuous not discontinuous. underestimated the ability of children Tasks were methodologically flawed. underestimated the impact of CULTURE: Piagets tasks are culturally biased Schooling and literacy affect rates of development e.g. Greenfields study of the Wolof
Formal operational thinking is not universal e.g. Gladwins study of the Polynesian islanders 3 Alternative to Piaget: 1: Lev Vygotsky 1896 - 1934 Work remained little known because it was banned by Stalin after Vygotskys death Collapse of the Soviet Union meant: greater dialogue between the West and Russia Vygotskys work translated into English 4
Vygotskys Theory: The role of culture/social interaction (1) Sociocultural environment ALL IMPORTANT for cognitive development Different contexts create different forms of development Cognitive processes (language, thought, reasoning) develop THROUGH social interaction Development is a product of CULTURE 5 Vygotskys Theory: The role of culture/social interaction (2) Vygotsky
emphasised the role of: social interaction instruction Central idea: Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD): the difference between the level of actual development and potential development 6 Developmental Gains Zone of Proximal Development Actual Development Potential Development
Time 7 Example from Seifert, Hoffnung & Hoffnung Parent: Child:
Parent: Child: Parent: Child: Here are four books for you and the same for your brother The same? (He investigates his brothers pile of books.) No, he has more (spoken with annoyance). No, really, theyre the same. Take another look. He does have more.
Try laying his out in a row. Then lay yours out too. Then compare (Does as suggested) One two three four . One two three four. The same! (He looks satisfied) 8 Summary of the role of social interaction 1. Confirm existing knowledge 2. Add new information Instruction most effective when: it builds on previous knowledge and skills (e.g.
counting) it provides a sensible challenge - theres no point pushing children beyond their potential 9 Vygotskys theory: The role of language Piagets view: language is just another representational system. Underdeveloped until 6/7 years of age Vygotskys view: language is social and communicative. Essential for cognitive development. Why did Vygotsky think this? Private speech - children talk to themselves
10 Vygotsky suggested: adults give instructions to children (social speech) children start to use parents instructions to direct their own behaviour (private speech) private speech becomes internalised as thought processes (silent statements) Children use this internalised speech to plan and organise behaviour => cognitive development 11 Summary of Vygotsky Culture
and social interaction very important in cognitive development Social interaction with knowledgeable others moves development forward - ZPD Language is central to cognitive development: social speech => private speech => thought 12 Alternative to Piaget 2: Jerome Bruner Very influenced by Piagets and Vygotskys work Responsible for introducing Vygotskys work
to the non-Soviet world 13 Bruners Theory: Similarities with Piaget Socio-Cognitive Stage Theory: Enactive Mode Iconic Mode Symbolic Mode Abstract thinking develops out of concrete thinking 14
Bruners Theory: Similarities with Vygotsky Interpersonal communication necessary for development - socio-cognitive theory Development relies on active intervention of expert others: SCAFFOLDING Contingency Rule (Wood, 1980) 15 Bruners Theory: The role of language Language important:
without language, thought is limited language forms the basis of understanding: prelinguistic thought - games and rituals rituals gradually replaced as adult adds information rituals replaced by linguistic modes of communication Summary of Bruner Socio-cognitive stage theory Based on interaction with adults Relies on adults developing reciprocal behaviour with the child 16 Overall Conclusion
Piaget underestimated the importance of culture and social interaction Vygotsky: social interaction and language necessary for cognitive development Bruner: Stage theory but emphasised role of social interaction and language 17 Learning Outcomes Critically evaluate the theories of Bruner and Vygotsky
Critically compare and contrast the theories of Piaget, Bruner & Vygotsky 18
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