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Theories of Psychologists - Vygotsky and Piaget

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Katrina Wilson

Professor Jette

Pre/Mid-Adol. Development

20 May 2018

Vygotsky and Piaget are just two of the brilliant minds who helped to build the foundation of modern child development. Vygotsky contributed the idea of scaffolding which states that elementary functions of babies develop over time into higher mental functions. He also introduced us to the zone od proximal development which describes a learner who is between not being able to do something, and being able to do something. This can be easily described as someone who is learning. Piaget contributed the stag theory which states that children reason differently than adults. This is done in stages and in each stage the child is in a different stage of development.

Both theories appear to be a good starting point and establish a basic understanding of child development, but upon further analysis, one could argue that these theories aren’t perfect. In the case of Vygotsky’s theory, it does seem reasonable that functions of children develop over time into higher learning. While reading this, one might begin to think about their early schooling age where simple addition was the most difficult thing to man, and then compare it to the trigonometry they are learning now, and might even laugh at how they could ever think simple addition is hard. But there are always exceptions. According to the University College London, 10% of the US population have learning disabilities. Even if these students had the best education available to them, their minds may not develop at the same rate that non-disabled students do. This is just one of the reasons why Vygotsky’s theory may not seem as perfect as it once seemed.

In comparison, there could be some flaws the Piaget’s theory as well. While we could argue the same reasoning as Vygotsky’s theory, we can also argue another angle. In America, it is obvious that not all people receive the same opportunities. This could be one factor that helps to disprove this theory. In the case of students who have different environments and different parental interactions may not develop in the same fashion as others. While students who have access to proper education and have a high amount of parental involvement may follow the timeline Piaget has established, and progress at an average, or even above average speed through these stages other students may not. Those students who do not receive a proper education and do not have the same parental involvement may not progress the same way through these stages. One might argue that those who even have a difficult home life may not fully reach the final stage Piaget describes where a person can reason about abstract concepts and realize consequences of their actions.

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