Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Constructivism

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Teachers inadvertently use learning theories to inform their teaching. They play a major role in children’s learning and are extremely valuable when used correctly. In this piece of writing, three different learning theories will be discussed: Piaget’s theory of cognitive constructivism, Vygotsky’s theory of social constructivism and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Each of these theories will be explored deeper and evaluated as well as analysing their importance in relation to the primary classroom.

There are two forms of constructivism that will be explored. The first is Piaget’s theory of cognitive constructivism. Piaget’s (1936) theory of cognitive development describes how children construct a mental model of the world (SIMPLYPSYCHOLOGY.ORG).
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He did this in order to understand their development. His theory is one of the foundations of constructivism and it covers three major themes about social interaction, a more knowledgeable other and the zone of proximal development. Vygotsky believes that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development. This is in contrast to Piaget’s view that development precedes learning. Vygotsky believes that social learning precedes development. Vygotsky states that ‘every function in the child’s cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people and then inside the child’ (Vygotsky, L. 1978). In addition to this, he developed the idea of the more knowledgeable other and this refers to anyone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner. This person is usually though of as being a teacher however it could also be a peer. Vygotsky’s main finding was based on the zone of proximal development. The ZPD ‘is the distance between a student’s ability to perform a task under adult guidance and/or with peer collaboration and the student’s ability solving the problem independently. According to Vygotsky, learning occurred in this zone’ (LEARNING-THEORIES.COM). Vygotsky believed that in order for a child to further their learning, they required a more …show more content…
As (Fox, 2001) also believes that learners do need to interact, to have dialogues, to solve problems and also to make sense of new ideas. Children can be helped by the expertise of their teachers and instruction, demonstration and practice is needed as well as challenging problems (Fox,

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