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Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development- Piaget & Vygostkian Approaches.docx

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David Collins

Cognitive Development: Piagetian & Vygostkian Approaches Piaget Cognition Development  Cognition: Higher order mental processes by which humans understand and adapt to the world o Thinking o Reasoning o Learning o Problem solving  Developmental psychology seeks to understand how the form and function of cognition changes across the life span Jean Piaget  First to suggest that children see the world differently to adults.  First to develop methods to investigate this.  First to offer a systematic theoretical account of the process of mental growth. Observation and Interview  Observed and recorded young children in their play. Questioned them to elicit how they understood the world o Piaget: What makes the wind? o Julia: The trees. o Piaget: How do you know? o Julia: I saw them waving their arms. o Piaget: How does that make the wind? o Julia (waving her hand in front of his face): Like this. Only they are bigger. And there are lots of trees. o Piaget: What makes the wind on the ocean? o Julia: It blows there from the land. No. It's the waves... Theory  Piaget was trained as a biologist and as a philosopher o Piaget’s view of the intellectual development of the child reflected an interaction between biology and experience o Principles of knowledge:  Seek the organization by which the child understands the world  Identify the functional significance of knowledge (that is, knowledge allows a child to adapt to the world)  Cognitive adaptation reflects the actions of two complementary processes: o Assimilation allows an existing cognitive structure to adapt to the environment o Accommodation allows the cognitive structure to change in order to handle a new environmental situation  As children progress from infancy to adulthood they develop a better understanding of the world—stages of development Four Periods of Development  Sensorimotor period: Birth through age 2 o Infant schemes are simple reflexes and interactions with pe
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