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How do I compare and contrast Piaget's and Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development?

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jakande | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted June 21, 2013 at 1:14 AM via web

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How do I compare and contrast Piaget's and Vygotsky's theory of cognitive development?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:54 AM (Answer #1)

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The main difference between Piaget and Vygotsky is that Piaget believed that children go through set stages of cognitive development, and Vygotsky believed that cognitive development is continual.

Piaget and Vygotsky both focused on child development.  Piaget believed that children went through specific stages.  His stages were Sensorimotor (infant), Preoperational (toddler through early elementary), Concrete operational (school age) and Formal operational (adolescence through adulthood).

Vygotsky believed that learning occurs along a spectrum.  He coined the term zone of proximal development to describe the sweet spot between what a child already knows and what he does not know yet.  The middle ground, the ZPD, is where children can learn with assistance.

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