Cognitive Theory and Sociocultural Theory

1059 Words5 Pages
Throughout the centuries many detailed and comprehensive theories concerning child development have arisen. There are five major theories and two of these are Cognitive Theory and Sociocultural Theory. The great mind behind the grand theory known as Cognitive Theory was Jean Piaget and the idea of Sociocultural Theory was developed by Lev Vygotsky. Each of these scientists has their own comprehensive insights to their developed theory.
The first major cognitive theorist was Jean Piaget, a Swiss scientist. Piaget discovered Cognitive Theory which is the theory that focuses on changes in how people think over time. According to Cognitive Theory, our thoughts shape our attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and to understand human behavior one must understand thinking. (Berger, p. 46, 47) Piaget developed the idea that cognitive development occurs in four periods including sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational and formal operational. Each of these is relevant to certain cognitive processes at certain stages of development. The sensorimotor stage is the first of the four stages and ranges from birth to two years old. This is when infants use their senses and motor skills to understand the world. Preoperational is the age period from two to six years old and this is when kids start to use their imaginations and think very much about their own selves, causing them to view the world from their own individual perspective. The concrete operational period occurs from ages six to eleven and this is when children start to think logically and rationally throughout experiences but their thought process is limited only to

what they can see, hear, touch and experience. The last period is from age twelve onto adulthood and in this perio...

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...cieties and customs. I also like the fact that Vygotsky included the idea of cognition and how it is stimulated and developed with the help of more skilled and experienced members of society. This is generally how most children learn as they grow up.
Both of these men were very intelligent and I admire both of their ideas and theories concerning the development of children. Cognitive Theory focuses more on the changes in how people think over time and Sociocultural Theory focuses more on the idea that human development results from the interaction of each developing person and their surrounding society. Each theory has many vast, comprehensive ideas that can be applied to the development of all children in one way or another.

Works Cited

Berger, Kathleen Stassen. The Developing Person through Childhood and Adolescence. New York, NY: Worth, 2012. Print.
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