Compare Theories of Piaget,Vgotsky and Erikson - Essay Example

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Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Erik Erikson all played significant roles in the understanding of human development. Each of these proponents made highly regarded advances in developmental psychology, allowing for better comprehension of the psychological changes that occur across the human lifespan…
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Running head: THEORIES OF PIAGET, VYGOTSKY, AND ERIKSON Theories of Piaget, Vygotsky, and Erikson in Developmental Psychology
Theories in Developmental Psychology
Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Erik Erikson all played significant roles in the understanding of human development. Each of these proponents made highly regarded advances in developmental psychology, allowing for better comprehension of the psychological changes that occur across the human lifespan. In the three selected articles, it will be discussed how the major claims of each theorists manifests in the field of psychology and how each theory is put to use. A critical eye can interpret examples when more than one theory can be applied to a particular situation.
In the article, "Cognitive and Social Constructivism" there is a relationship being defined between the two differing views of Piaget and Vygotsky. Piaget's cognitive constructivism emphasizes thinking over language; even as Vygotsky's social constructivism emphasizes the reverse-language over thinking. With Piaget's theory, it is most detrimental in the practice of teaching to ensure individual understanding and knowledge of certain concepts. This grasping of ideas is independent of all other characters in the classroom and tailored to fit each separate individual. Piaget's theory of cognitive development is outlined in which four stages are surpassed to achieve elevated intensities of cognitive ability (pp. 242). It is discussed how the child undergoes the accommodation and assimilation of new concepts (or schema) to further enhance his or her knowledge base and move through the stages of development. The teacher is more capable of aiding in the learning process when each child's particular level of development is determined.
On the contrary, social constructivism is dependent upon the teacher, other students, or other adults to facilitate learning. Vygotsky's supposition about the zone of proximal development and cultural- historical psychology should be utilized in a social constructivist classroom. Not only is it consequential that those surrounding the student adequately prompt and intervene in the learning process and allow the student to then branch out into his or her own understanding; but it is equally important that the student's individual culture and uniqueness be acknowledged to promote learning (pp.245). The author recommends an arrangement of some aspects of cognitive and social constructivism by teachers to enable effective learning within the classroom.
The article "Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity" provides additional insight into the diverse interests of the educational psychologist. It is explained how Vygotsky developed his theories pertaining to the psychology of art and the creativity and imagination of children. In his work, Psychology of Art, it is vividly illustrated how the perceptual and aesthetic values of art evoke emotions and formulate how human beings view the world around them. In turn, how human beings perceive art influences the creativity and imagination of the individual in question. This clarifies why children were once deemed too immature to behold certain forms of art. As a whole, the elements of art, creativity, and imagination interact to inspire conscious thinking within a developing individual.
Finally the psychosocial theory of development is described in "Erikson's Psychosocial Stages Applied to Supervision". In this article, the development of an amateur school counselor undergoes supervision by a more experienced professional until he or she emerges confident and capable to supervise others. The novice counselor endures certain crises similar to those set forth in the theory of psychosocial development in which at each level a decision must be made and progress continues depending upon those decisions or lessons learned. It is the task of the experienced professional to guide the novice through these stages.
As discussed in these articles, the concepts summarized in areas of developmental psychology can be relevant to various areas of the science. By learning and understanding about the changes human beings endure over their existence, we as members of the helping field are more able to offer solutions to problems that may occur.
Lindqvist, G. (2003) Vygotsky's Theory of Creativity. Creativity Research Journal. 15:2,
Powell, K.C. & Kalina C.J. (2009) Cognitive and Social Constructivism: Developing tools for an
effective classroom. Education. 130:2, pp. 241-250.
Slavin, Robert E. (2008) Educational Psychology: Theory and Practice. Ninth Ed. Allyn &
Studer, J. (2007) Erikson's Psychosocial Stages Applied to Supervision. Guidance & Counseling.
21:3, pp. 168-173. Read More
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