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Compare and contrast Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theories of development
Over the past centuries psychologists, educators and philosophers have pursued general theories of learning. Some theories strive to make sense of cognitive and intellectual development, others focus on social, emotional and personality development. These theories frequently differ in their answers to the principle question of learning and development.
One theorist, Jean Piaget, is one of the most widely acknowledged. Piaget’s theory, more so known as Piaget’s cognitive development theory, had a dramatic impact in the field of child development. Piaget, born in Switzerland in 1886, created a theory based around the development of mental structures called schemas. Schemas form the basis of how we understand the world. For example, a young child’s schema would be ‘grasping an object’, whereas an older persons schema might be ‘doing the shopping’. As children grow, they develop and refine their schemas. For example, a child might have a general schema of a ‘dog’, which with development, the schema would involve new features such as ‘it runs’, ‘it bites’ etc. As a child creates new schemas, Piaget



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