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Cognitive Development Theory - Essay Example

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Development of an individual's ability to learn and master intellectual skills is the focus of cognitive development theories.Intellectual growth is defined by overall biological and psychological advancement as affected by the surrounding environment…
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Cognitive Development Theory
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Cognitive Development Theory

Download file to see previous pages... Cognitive development is related to socialization. A child's ability to judge social relations and gain sense of morality are largely dictated by his intellectual readiness and interaction with his environment (Levitt, n. d.)Cognitive development theory focuses on the following concerns: the specificity or generalizability of domains in cognitive ability changes; the occurrence and rate of change or the existence of qualitative different stages; the processes occurring in physical or psychological aspect of an individual; and the factors affecting development.Cognitive development theory makes sense of one's environment and physiological conditions at which an individual interacts and functions to provide a system by which the process of learning and teaching might understood and controlled for maximum and optimum cognitive development.On the nature and development of intelligence, cognitive theorists particularly Jean Piaget and Lev S. Vygotsky both consider "the role of environmental factors in shaping the intelligence of children, especially on a child's ability to learn by having certain behaviors rewarded and others discouraged" (Encyclopedia of Childhood and Adolescence). Piaget believed that development proceeds from the individual to the social world.Piaget believes that child's knowledge is composed of schemas, or knowledge units, which serve as basis for organizing past and new experiences. These schemas are continuously defined and redefined through "assimilation" and "accommodation". According to Piaget, learning and understanding concepts can only happen when new things are incorporated into old and previously learned concepts. Otherwise, the schema will change to accommodate new knowledge. According to Piaget, cognitive development is a result of learning. Development occurs due to continuous incorporation of things from previous personal experiences. Learning is individually oriented. Development precedes learning. Piaget believed that intelligence arises progressively in the baby's repetitive activities. Vygotsky, in contrast believed that instruction is necessary to attain development. Vygotsky believed that development begins at the social level and moves towards individual internalization. Social and cultural factors are important in the development of intelligence. Through "scaffolding", an adult guided activity, a child learns new things gradually until he reaches new level of understanding. Unlike Piaget, Vygotsky believed that learning precedes development. Vygotsky might have been aware of instances when a child has understood a concept before they can demonstrate their understanding of it. This happens when a child's motor skills are not yet advanced enough or their language skills are not sophisticated enough to indicate their knowledge and mental processes, hence adult guided instruction is recommended to attain development (http://social.jrank.org/pages/145/Cognitive-Development.html). Both theorists however agree that development may be triggered by cognitive conflict. Any change in learning skills and knowledge can only happen if the learner has realized the difference and inconsistency with his existing understanding. Like Piaget, Vygotsky believed that children's egocentric speech was an important part of their cognitive development. They differed in their views of the purpose of egocentric speech. Piaget considered egocentric speech suggests that the child is self-centered and unable to consider the point-of-view of others. Vygotsky seen it as a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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