Similarities And Differences Between Piaget And Vygotsky

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In regards to child development, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky are both highly regarded and well known for their theories. Some educators view themselves as Piagetian while others view themselves as Vygotskians. They see Piaget and Vygotsky as being vastly different. Then there are others who see similarities between the two and hold both Piaget and Vygotsky as correct in their theories. The purpose of this paper is to examine the similarities and differences between Piaget and Vygotsky and determine what can be gained by better understanding these theories. A Brief Summary of the Theories of Piaget and Vygotsky Before we can examine the similarities and differences of Piaget and Vygotsky, we must first have an understanding of their theories.…show more content…
Lourenco’s (2012) article makes the point several times that the biggest difference is that Piaget adheres to an autonomous view while Vygotsky adheres to a heteronomous view. Piaget sees the child as constructing his/her own knowledge and that this is an internal process. Vygotsky, on the other hand, sees the child as developing through social interactions and that this is an external process. Another major difference seen in Lourenco’s (2012) article is that Piaget felt that instruction lead to memorization and not a functional understanding. Piaget felt that we keep children from understanding something completely when we teach them something they could have discovered on their own. Concepts are formed naturally and scientific concepts are not gained by a teacher. Vygotsky on the other hand found that children did better with guidance form an adult. He felt that scientific concepts are gained from teachers and that the child-adult relationship promoted development. In his theory the adult or higher-functioning peer plays an important role in the child’s development and knowledge. Whereas Piaget’s theory looks at social relationships as two equal peers, Vygotsky’s theory looks at an authority based
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