In a general sense the theory of cognitive development is not just a single theory but a number of theories offered by a number of cognitive psychologists over the past century. In summary though, cognitive development is the processes by which learning is developed by the construction of thought processes, memory, solving problems, decision-making and covers the life span from childhood to adulthood, but learning does not necessarily stop with adulthood. This construction process is clinically known as “Constructivism”. In constructivism it is not the world, or society that is developing a child but it is the child that is taking in information and constructing themselves with the information that the society they live in has accumulated over previous generations.
Jean Piaget’s (1896-1980) theory of constructivism states that children are only able to learn up to a certain level of development and once a biological mile stone mark has been reached then they will be able to take in new information and knowledge adding to their already acquired knowledge. If a level of knowledge that is beyond a child’s current level of understanding they will be unable to understand what is being presented to them, and it’s the biology of the brain that determines when a child will be able to continue to the next higher level of information. Piaget placed these markers or “takes off” points at the ages of 18 months, 7 years, and 12 years of age. This theory is view much like building a house with each phase of construction needed to be completed before the next phase can begin hence the term constructivism. In other words society can only give a certain level of knowledge to a child and anything higher woul...
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Social Development Theory (L. Vygotsky). Explorations in Learning & Instruction:
The Theory Into Practice Database. Retrieved March 26, 2011
Beaumie Kim, The University of Georgia. (2006). Social Constructivism. Retrieved March 15, 2011 http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Social_Constructivism
Educational Implications of Piaget's Theory. PEARSON. Retrieved March 26, 2011
Classroom Applications of Vygotsky's Theory. PEARSON. Retrieved March 26, 2011 http://wps.ablongman.com/ab_slavin_edpsych_8/38/9951/2547689.cw/content/index.html
Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
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