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Chapter 8

TEXTBOOK Chapter 8 - Cognitive Development: PIAGET AND VYGOTSKY

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Elizabeth Johnson

NotesFromReadingCHAPTER8COGNITIVEDEVELOPMENTPIAGETANDVYGOTSKYPGS296337IntroductionCognitionThe mental activity through which human beings acquire and process knowledgeIncludes many mental processes such as perception attention learning memory and reasoning PART ONE Piagets Theory of Cognitive DevelopmentAs Paget helped Binet to develop standardized IQ tests for children Piaget made two important observationsoHe noticed that children of the same age tended to get the same answers wrongoHe observed that the errors of children of a particular age differed in systematic ways from those of older or younger childrenTo study childrens thinking Piaget relied on interviews and observations oInterviews he would present the children with a problem to solve or a question to answer and then ask them to explain their thinkingoObservations he used mainly very young children including detailed observations of his own children he would present a problem and then watch how children behaved as they tried to solve it Piagets theory proposed that over development the child acquires qualitatively new ways of thinking and understanding the worldPART TWO Piagets Main Tenet The Child Actively Seeks KnowledgePiaget argues that children are actively seeking out information where they try to fit new information with the knowledge they already possess Constructivist ViewThe idea that children actively create their understanding of the world as they encounter new information and have new experiences Cognitive OrganizationPiaget believed that over the course of development childrens knowledge of the world gets organized into increasingly more complex cognitive structuresoCognitive Structure is an organized group of interrelated memories thoughts and strategies that the child uses in trying to understand a situation SchemaAn organized unit of knowledge that the child uses to try to understand a situation a schema forms the basis for organizing actions to respond to the environment OrganizationCombining simple mental structures into more complex systemsoImportant for development of knowledgeOperationsSchemas based on internal mental activitiesCognitive AdaptationPiaget proposed that children continually modify their schemas in relation to their own experiences and referred to this process as adaptation oAdaptationThe individuals tendency to adjust to environmental demands AssimilationMoulding a new experience to fit an existing way of responding to the environmentAccommodationModifying an existing way of responding to the environment to fit the characteristics of a new experience PART THREE The Stages of Cognitive DevelopmentStages of DevelopmentComprehensive qualitative changes over time in the way a child thinks
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