Theories of Cognitive Development

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This speech will address the concept of cognitive development of children as evidenced by the arguments of Lev Vygotsky and Jean Piaget. This speech will address students at a school where we will compare and contrast the two arguments. Is to persuade students to learn how to develop cognitive among children and how they affect the education of adults. In this case, the speech will address the question of how these two theories that are formulated by psychologists mentioned affects teenagers in education (Wood, 1998).

Cognitive development is one of the most studied topics in psychology. Many psychologists have proposed different definitions of this concept, but this speech will be the definition given by Wood (1998). According to him, cognitive development is the construction of thought processes that are part of remembering, the search for solutions to problems and making rational and precise from infancy through adolescence to adulthood. Initially it was thought that babies do not have the ability to think or to form ideas and therefore remained unconscious until they start learning a language through socialization. On the other hand, has now been shown that children are very aware of their surroundings and are interested in exploring these environments are the moment of birth. From the moment of birth, they start to learn through collection, sorting and processing of information available about him. By use of this information are able to improve their perception and thinking skills. From this understanding of how children learn in the environment, cognitive development can be defined as the process of perceiving, thinking, and securing the world’s understanding of an individual through the interaction of genetic and learned. In this case, therefore, postulated theories of Lev Vygotsky and Piaget, Jean used to describe this phenomenon. Most importantly, areas that are studied in cognitive development are information processing, intelligence, reasoning, memory and language development (Wadsworth, 1971).

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development is one of the most influential theories in the field of psychology. According to this theory, Piaget was primarily interested in how children react to their environment. Basically, the theory of Piaget’s cognitive development suggests that children’s knowledge consists of drawings, which are intelligence units which are used to organize past experiences and thus function as a basis for understanding new experiences. On this basis, therefore, Piaget believed that children are affected by their own personal experiences to help them develop cognitively (Wood, 1998).

In this theory, child development knowledge is modified by two complementary processes that were identified by Piaget as accommodation and assimilation. In this case, assimilation is the process by which new information is understood by being incorporated into existing representation. This indicates that children learn and develop their knowledge by adding knowledge to existing knowledge or learned now. Here, through the experiences of children are able to learn new things more than others and therefore the development of cognition. Piaget suggested that children assimilate new ideas and thoughts through the process of correlation of these new ideas to things we already know. A child learns a language from the experiences he / she has about that language. Moreover, the second process postulated by Piaget is a property which shows that in children a scheme may change in a way that accommodates new knowledge. In the growth process, the representation of a child allows the integration of new experiences. Basically, there is a need to balance assimilation and accommodation of children’s experiences in the growth process. According to Piaget, this aspect of the balance of the two processes of cognitive development that is called equilibrium (Wadsworth, 1971).

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development occurs in four different stages in each stage is characterized by increasingly difficult levels and conceptual thinking. Importantly, each phase is based on what was learned in the previous stage. These steps include: infancy, pre-operational stage, concrete operational stage, and the formal operational stage (Wood, 1998).

In the stage of childhood or sensorimotor, the aspect of intelligence is often demonstrated through motor activity in the absence of the use of symbols. The intelligence of a child is restricted, but in one way or another is improved and developed as it is based on physical interactions through socialization and experience. According to Piaget, children are able to acquire the memory at the age of seven months. In this case, the appearance of increased physical mobility of children in the improvement of new intellectual abilities. At the end of this stage, language abilities are generally better in children (Wadsworth, 1971).

Moreover, pre-operational stage also known as early childhood and early childhood has two sub stages. In this case, intelligence is illustrated by the use of symbols and language. Basically, memory and imagination are typically improved while thinking occurs in a non-rational and non-reversible. The child builds his understanding of the experiences of the first stage. According to Piaget, this stage of cognitive development is dominated by the thought insensitive (Wadsworth, 1971).


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