Vygotsky - cognitive development stagesI am writing a paper that involves discussing the Vygotsky's views on the "stages" of development from birth to adolescence.  I was given a writing about his...

Vygotsky - cognitive development stages

I am writing a paper that involves discussing the Vygotsky's views on the "stages" of development from birth to adolescence.  I was given a writing about his theory of cognitive development that I am supposed to write the paper from.  I can't really see any "stages" within his theory.  The full section of the paper asks for similarities and differences between Piaget and Vygotski's views on the stages of development(I also have a writing on Piaget's views), but I need to understand what Vygotsky's views are before I can compare them with Piaget's.  I am struggling with this...

What would you consider Vygotsky's stages of development within his cognitive development theory? or when comparing his views with Piaget's would you approach this from a different direction?  If so, how?

Any help/direction would be appreciated!

This seem complicated, but possibly I am just missing something?   

Expert Answers
ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Vygotsky had three major themes to his theory of cognitive development. The first was social. Vygotsky felt that development was actually a product of social learning. The second prong was "the more knowledgable other" or MKO. this refers to a person or persons who have acquired more learning with regard to the topic at hand, and these people usually end up teaching or coaching the child. The third element of his theory is the Zone of Proximal Development or ZPD this is the level between a child's need to have direct instruction and his or her ability to learn on his or her own.





Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Vygotsky's stages are a little more difficult to recognize than are Piaget's because whereas Piaget focused on stages of individual development, since he believed development preceded learning, Vygotsky focused on social development, since he believed social development precedes individual development: for him development starts as an external and moves inward to become internalized by the individual. Therefore Vygotsky's stages have to do with how the child is impacted by and affected by changing or developing social constructs: parenting; preliminary education; more motivated education etc. The hyperlinks lead to two good resources.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would add to this thorough response that the third element of Vygotsky's theory is important in terms of how we learn because the gap between the need and ability is something that results in teachers needing to create "scaffolding" to support learners to bridge that gap and achieve their learning objectives.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I will add to the responses already here. Vygotsky's beliefs are very useful in the classroom. The ZPD is a valuable teaching tool. I think that Piaget's stages are more useful to teachers though. Especially in early childhood, Piaget laid out specific stages of development for each age.