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Piagets Theory of Cognitive Development

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Introduction
Over the years there have been a countless number of theorists developing their own models on Cognitive Development, with the two most recognised being the theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Semenovich Vygotsky. Although it is difficult to present the title of ‘superior theory’ to either one of these theorists, the merging of certain aspects of each scheme provides teachers with an ability to devise effective learning strategies that cater for individual students. As a direct result of these Piagetian and Vygotskian concepts, students possess the ability to develop and learn at a rate more specified to their learning ability.
Review of Literature
Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, the assimilation-accommodation model, is composed of four stages, sensorimotor (0 - 2 years), preoperational (2 – 7 years), concrete operational (7 – 11 years) and formal operational (11 – adult). Candida Peterson (2004) claims that within Piaget’s theory, each stage must be sufficiently achieved by the individual in order to advance to the next stage, although there is debate about whether we all do reach the final stage. Piaget believes that the most significant aspect of a child's cognitive development is the interaction between peers, rather than elders, the outside environment, as illustrated by Youniss (1982). Piaget recognised that the rate of cognitive development is determined by four factors, biological maturation, activity, social interaction and equilibration, as illustrated in Woolfolk and Margetts (2010). These factors revolve solely around mental structures named schemes, which change with age. These schemes are an organisation of thoughts, behaviour, personal doings and perceptions that can develop and change through experiences in life, shown in Berk (2006). Yet there are many criticisms, seen within Woolfolk and Margetts (2010), to this development...

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