Contrasting Theorists

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Contrasting Theorists- Piaget, Vygotsky and Erikson

Piaget, Vygotsky and Erikson all had great impact on the research of how the human mind develops. Personally I believe that Jensen would agree with both Piaget and Erikson theories because they both tie to his four stages of development and Gladwell would agree with the three. Nonetheless, I believe that all, Jensen, Erikson, Vygotsky, and Gladwell would agree with Jean Piaget that “ the principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.”

Piaget’s theory of cognitive development focused on children’s intellectual development, the nature of thought and how it developed. He believed in self-initiated discovery and learning by doing. According to Piaget, “ children sort the knowledge they acquire through their experienced and interactions into groupings known as schemas”(Cherry, n.d.). He also believed that learning occurred through 4 different stages, sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete operations stage, and formal operations stage (Boeree, 2006). He believed that in order for learning to happen, students must interact with their environment in a new way and apply their previous schema to their interaction. I work with middle school students so they like learning from their own mistakes. I’ve learned that at middle school age, students do not want to be told what to do and that they learn best from their own mistakes. I also teach math so the only way students can learn a new math concept is by doing it more than once.

Vygotsky, unlike Piaget, believed that learning happens through social interactions. He believed that a child’s potential for full cognitive development depended on a “zone of proximal development” (ZPD), which is reached when a child is engaged in…...

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